Knowing when to replace a water heater can be tricky. Water heaters are an essential part of every home, so if yours has been around for over a decade, it’s important to watch for signs that it isn’t operating properly. Even if it appears to be in solid condition, it’s a good idea to replace a water heater after ten years as a precaution and schedule water heater repair.
How To Know The Age Of Your Water Heater
If you’re wondering how old your water heater is, you can decipher its age based on its serial number. The serial number is on the manufacturer’s sticker placed towards the top of your tank. It is ten digits and contains a letter followed by a string of numbers. However, all you need to look at is the first letter, and the following two numbers.
The first letter indicates the month it was manufactured. For example, the letter H is the eighth letter in the alphabet, indicating the eighth month of the year, which would be August.
The following two numbers indicate the year it was made. For example, “06” or “12” would mean it was made in 2006 or 2012 respectively. Hence, B162435948 would mean your water heater was manufactured in February (B) of 2016 (16). Based on the year, you’ll have a good idea of when to replace a water heater.
How To Know When To Replace A Water Heater
The following signs indicate that there are issues with your water heater and you may need a replacement.
1. Power Failure
If there is no hot water being produced in your home, this may be a sign that your water heater has broken down. Before having it replaced, however, be sure to check that the circuit breaker has not tripped, or the pilot light has not gone out. A cutoff to the power source of the heater could also be the cause.
2. Hot Water Heater Leaking
It’s a big red flag to find your hot water heater leaking. While there are a few possible reasons your water heater is leaking, such as a misused temperature & pressure valve or a poorly shut drain valve, old age will eventually cause issues and leaks.
As a steel water heater ages, it corrodes and turns rusty. This corrosion may cause sediment buildup, leading to pinhole leaks. If the tank inside the water heater deteriorates, it may cause bigger scale leaks.
Read More: Is a Leaking Water Heater Dangerous?
3. Bad Tasting Water
If your water doesn't taste quite right, it can be a way of determining the health of your water heater. If there is a metallic taste to your water, that's a red flag. Even if the water is clear, your water heater is not properly filtering its contents.
This can usually be fixed by replacing the anode rod in your water heater, which filters corrosive elements. However, if you replace your anode rod and the water still tastes weird, your water heater is damaged and needs to be replaced.
4. Discolored Water
If your water is brown or rusty looking when you turn it on hot, this is a tell-tale sign of a failing water heater. As your heater ages and corrodes, the rust leaks into the water and travels with it into your home.
Similar to your water’s taste, if you notice discoloration you should first replace your anode rod. If it continues, the discoloration could be due to an external factor such as eroded sediment entering your piping through a nearby water main break. If this is not the case, your water heater needs to be replaced.
5. Loud Noises
If your water heater is making startling noises, it could be a sign that it’s malfunctioning. When sediment builds up to a high volume, it’s not uncommon to hear unusual sounds. As the noises increase in volume, you will want to call a professional as soon as possible to check it out, since, yes — water heaters can explode.
Three Cheers For Ten Years
Don’t wait until you are forced to replace your water heater. Get ahead of water heater problems that will cause you time, money and inconveniences. Once your water heater has reached that magic 10-year mark since its manufacturing, you should start to consider purchasing a new, updated water heater. Once you get a new water heater, there are steps you can take to keep your water heater healthy, possibly extending its longevity.
If you are experiencing any of the signs of a failing water heater and need a professional to take a look, or have already purchased a new water heater and need a quick and smooth installation, call or contact the experienced professionals at John C. Flood.