Replacing a water heater be daunting, but practicing vigilance can help better evaluate your equipment and prepare. Consider replacing your water heater sooner, rather than later if you notice any of the following signs.
Strange noise coming from the water heater as it starts working is one of the most noticeable signs of failing equipment. Sediment build up is a possible cause of knocking and rumbling that can be fixed before the problem gets any worse. When an aging water heater is continually called upon to heat and reheat water, sediment starts to form on the bottom of the tank. Over time, the sediment hardens and grows thicker along the tank floor.
Noise from a water heater caused by sediment buildup means the tank will eventually leak. If the knocking and rumbling continues after an HVAC professional performs a flush, then the problem is more critical, and the water heater should be replaced immediately.
Rusty water from sink faucets or rusty valves on your water heater could mean a leak is coming soon. When corrosion takes hold on a steel surface, it slowly spreads and eats through the metal. If you spot rust around the water inlet or pressure relief valve on the heater, it’s likely that rust has also taken hold inside the tank. If that’s the case, the only option is to replace the tank as soon as possible.
If you have galvanized piping, you may have rusty pipes. A good test to avoid replacing a functioning water heater is to drain a few five-gallon buckets of hot water out of the water heater. By the third bucket, if the water from your heater is still coming out rusty, then most likely the water heater is at fault.
Consistent, lukewarm water is not only frustrating, but also a sign of a malfunctioning or inadequate water heater. The loss of heat in your water supply is likely due to either a misadjusted thermostat, a broken heating element, or a tank that’s too small for the size of your house. Correctly setting your water heater thermostat between 120 and 140 degrees could solve the first problem, but for the other two concerns, you’ll need to invest in a new water heater.