It is not necessary for you to wait until your water heater goes out before you know to replace it. The last thing you should want to do is mop up the water from your water heater or have to clean out a flooded garage because your water heater has malfunctioned. Most of your appliances will give you a warning sign before anything horrible happens to it and your water heater will as well. If you are aware of what to look for, your life being interrupted from water damage because of your water heater can be avoided. There are four things that can guide you in knowing if its time for a new water heater.
No matter when you turn on your faucet, your water should always be clear. If you ever turn on your faucet and you see rust, that could be a sign that something is going on with the sewage plant, or it can be that the tank is rusting on the inside. If you dont replace it soon, you will start to see the leaks. Now, if you think that the rust isnt coming from your tank, but that its coming from your pipes because your home has galvanized plumbing then here is a way to check. You will need to drain a few five gallon buckets form your tank and if you are still getting rust after the third bucket, it is the storage container. If the liquid clears up after one or two buckets, you have a pipe somewhere that needs to be replaced.
As a hot water heater ages it will start to fill with sediment. When sediment is heated over and over again it hardens. When this happens you will start to hear a rumbling sound that comes from the pipes. Most people think it is their plumbing when this happens but its not, it is the depository trying to heat the liquid thats inside. The noise is the heating coils that are covered by the hardened sediment and the metal that is becoming more brittle.
Without question if you find a leak around your hot water heater, it is time to look into replacing it. Often the leak is small and in one area where your hot water heater is located. The first sign might not be constant. As the tank heats up, the cracks get bigger which lets the water out. As it cools the damage contracts and it seals the structure. If you ever see a little puddle, call your local licensed plumber to come out and take a look at it.
People often overlook the age of their water heaters. Every manufacturer has a date on their model and they dont always match with each other but one of the ways that the date is written by many is with a long number that starts with a letter. That letter is the month the water heater was made.
Typically a hot water heater will last for 10 to 15 years; if your water heater is older you should really consider replacing it.
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