Customers often ask us at S & D Plumbing how they can judge if they should simply repair a faulty water heater or replace it. If your water heater has been acting up lately and you're faced with the repair or replace dilemma, we've developed the following guidelines that can help with your decision.
Age of the Unit
Most water heaters are designed to last between 8 and 10 years. So if your water heater is already within this age range, it's probably better to spend your money investing in a new unit rather than putting an expensive band-aid on a water heater that may fail again within a few months. Definite signs of water heater age include leaks, strange noises, inconsistent heating of water, and rust that appears either on the tank or in the water.
Signs of Corrosion
Rust on the exterior of your current water tank is a sure sign that the unit is ready to spring a leak. If you notice that the water coming out of your faucets is rusty or if you notice rust around the pressure relief valve attached to the water heater, drain several buckets of water from the heater and check for signs of rust in the water. This way you'll be certain the rust is coming from the water heater and not your piping system.
Loud rumbling noises that occur as the water heater is in the process of running is not a definite indicator that your water heater needs replacement. This noise is usually due to the build-up of sediment at the bottom of the tank that naturally occurs with age. We would recommend calling your local plumber to flush your tank out to remove the sediment.
Water Surrounding the Heater
It's time to call us for water heater replacement as soon as you notice any water laying around the base of the heater. Our technician can check to see if its a repairable problem with the fittings, but usually any sign of water leaking means it's time for a new tank.
If you've noticed any of the above issues with your water heater, call S & D Plumbing today for a free evaluation and our recommendations regarding repairing and replacing in your particular situation.