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5 Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Water Heater


1st Sign: Your Water Heater Is Too Old

And how old is too old you ask? You really should replace electric water heaters after 10 years and gas water heaters after 8. But what if you don’t know how old your water heater is? Well, the year and month of production is on the serial number, but it’s not always obvious.

In the case of Bradford White Water Heaters, one of our favorites, the first two characters of the serial number represent the year and month of manufacture, but it’s coded as follows. Other brands, use different codes, but a quick online search will help you solve the puzzle.

BWWH Serial Number

2nd Sign: The Tank is Rusted

If hot water comes out of the faucet rusty or you see rust around the water inlet or pressure relief valve on the water heater, there’s a good chance the inside of the tank is rusted. Rusty water, in and of itself, isn’t great, it’s also a harbinger of leaks which means you’ll need to replace your water heater soon.

3rd Sign: The Water Heater is Making Noise

Like rust, noise is never a great sign. More often than not, the cause of the noise is sediment buildup. With continued use, sediment collects at the bottom of the tank. If you are not flushing the tank regularly (at least once a year), the sediment will harden, making the water heater inefficient.

Water heaters with sediment buildup have to work harder to heat the same amount of water so they consume more energy and the increased wear and tear will inevitably shorten its lifespan. If the water heater is still making noise after it’s flushed, you probably need a new water heater.

4th Sign: There’s Water Around the Water Heater

Over time, your water heater goes through thousands of heating cycles. The constant expansion and contraction of the metal will eventually compromise the integrity of the tank. Leaks can also be caused by problems with the connectors and fittings or the pressure relief valve.

Even a small amount of water can damage floors, subfloors and walls, and it can quickly turn into a much bigger problem like flooding or mold. If your water heater is leaking, turn off the water and the electric or gas that power it, and call your plumber as soon as possible.

5th Sign: The Water Heater Isn’t Heating Water

If your water isn’t getting hot enough (or if it’s getting too hot), you may need to adjust the thermostat (the thermostat should be set somewhere between 120 and 140 degrees) – this one isn’t a big deal.

If you’re not getting any hot water, you could have a broken heating element. You’ll need a plumber for this one, but you probably don’t need a new water heater, unless it’s an older unit.

If your family has grown or your demands for hot water have increased recently– you probably need a water heater that is better suited for your current needs.

Professional Plumbing & Design has been offering residential and commercial plumbing services to customers in Sarasota, Bradenton, Palmetto, and Venice, since 1985.

Our Pro Club members get front-of-the-line service, 10% discounts & 2-year guarantees on all repairs and replacements, and FREE annual safety inspections so we catch small plumbing issues before they become big problems. Best of all, their monthly investment of just $4.95 is accrued and can be applied to any future service so it’s basically FREE to join the club.

To schedule service or for more information about our Pro Club, Call The Professionals at 941-355-5400.

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