How Long Do Water Heaters Last, and When Should You Replace Yours?
It’s time for your morning shower − and the water is freezing. Or, worse, you come home from a weekend getaway to find your water heater sprang a leak that ruined your floors.
Because a water heater doesn’t need a lot of attention, it can be easy to forget about until something goes wrong. That’s why it’s important to know how to maintain this essential plumbing fixture, and when to replace it.
How often should you have to replace a water heater?
Water heaters last until there’s corrosion on the inside. When that happens to yours, it’s on its way out.1 Here are the signs you need a new one:
Thick calcium sediment on the inside of the tank can cause the unit to make noises.
If your hot showers are shorter than usual, it may mean the fixture can’t heat up as efficiently as it used to.
“Rusty” hot water.
Hot water that looks a little red or orange may be a sign of rust in the water. Keep in mind, this applies to hot water only. If it also happens when you turn on the cold water, that suggests another issue
Funny smell or taste.
Hot water may taste metallic, or smell like rotten eggs.
Leaks. Call a plumber!
A professional can tell whether your water heater has failed or you have a different problem. If it has failed, it’s probably due to a crack in the tank.
Higher energy bills.
Spikes in your energy costs may mean your appliance isn’t working efficiently. If changing the temperature on it doesn’t work, there may be a deeper problem.1