A traditional tank-style water heater has a lifespan of around 8-10 years. Depending on how much use it has had over that time and whether it has been properly maintained, it may last significantly longer or need replacement a lot sooner. So how do you know when it's time for a new water heater?
Water Heater Leaks
Some water heater leaks may are the result of a faulty valve or leaking pipe. If this is the case, it may just need a simple repair to keep it operating. If the water heater is leaking because of corrosion, it may be time to replace the unit.
The Water Heater Heating Slowly
First, check that the thermostat on the water heater is set high enough. If demand for hot water has increased in the home, you may just need a larger capacity tank installed, or a tankless water heater. Slow heating can also be caused by a build-up up rust and sediment. Flush the tank to remove the sediment. If the water heater is still not heating fast enough after flushing the unit, it may be time for a new water heater.
Malfunctioning Water Heater
In some cases the water heater may be have broken parts that need replacement. A plumber can check the heating element (electric water heaters) thermostat, gas burner and thermocoupler to make sure they are functioning. Consider the age of the unit against the cost of repairs when deciding whether to repair the unit.
Have water heater questions? MR Plumbing can help.