In most homes, hot water is in high demand for everything from washing dishes to relaxing baths. All water heaters, even the top of the line models, are susceptible to damage as they age. As with any aspect of home repair, it is always best to address problems sooner rather than later. However, it can be difficult to recognize a problem with your hot water heater before you lose access to hot water entirely! Below, we’ll discuss a few ways you can determine if your water heater is in need of repairs or replacement.
For most water heaters, you can expect 8 to 10 years of service. Be sure to know how old your hot water heater is so that you can prepare for replacement as your water heater nears the end of its lifespan. If you wait longer, your water heater becomes increasingly susceptible to corrosion, cracks, and worn out parts.
In your hot water heater, there is a rod that attracts corrosive elements within your water, and it is called the anode rod. The anode rod will begin to rust with time, and you can find this rust in your hot water supply. If your hot water is coming out of the faucets with a rusty tint, you likely need to have the anode rod replaced if your water heater still has a few years of life left. However, sometimes the rust can come from the tank itself, which means that you are very close to needing a replacement.
Most water heaters are relatively quiet. If your unit begins to emit loud banging noises, or loud gurgling sounds, you may need to have it replaced soon. These sounds usually happen when your water heater is having trouble maintain the temperature of the water, and is therefore working harder to provide your hot water. This also puts a larger drain on your energy usage, so you should opt for a more efficient model promptly.