Having hot water at home is an essential need to lead a comfortable life, especially when it comes to personal hygiene, sanitizing our dishes and washing our clothes. As with any other appliance around our homes, water heaters have a limited lifespan. It is always a good idea to know how they work, how long they usually last and how to detect the first signs of any issues that might occur with them. In the middle of winter or after a long day of work, running out of hot water in the middle of a shower can be an annoyance. It is for this reason we thought we would prepare a short guide so that you know how long a water heater lasts and how to detect any faults that may happen with them.
How long does a water heater last on average?
First of all, it is good to know how to distinguish between the two types of water heaters. There are some water heaters that work with gas which generates combustion to produce heat. On the other hand we have electric heaters, more modern but with the disadvantage of not working when you need it in the event of a power outage. In both cases, they are both large metal cylinders that have a storage capacity of approximately 30 gallons of water. According to the United States Department of Energy, this equipment is designed to last between 10 to 15 years. This of course depends on the type, make, and model of the equipment, as well as how it has been used and cared for throughout the years. If you do not know how old your heater is, check its serial number to verify.
In the last decade or so, tankless water heaters have appeared on the market. These work in such a way that they only heat the water required for use, this allows for significant energy savings. At a time when electricity prices increase, it is definitely a more economical option for residential or commercial uses in the long run. In addition, since they do not have as much wear on the equipment, it is estimated that they have a useful life of at least 20 years, so their duration increases compared to traditional devices. They are costly compared to the older models but will save you money down the line.
Remember that if you have the need to look for a new product, we can help you find out what size of water heater do you need.
How do I know if my hot water heater has expired?
A first sign that a water heater has run out of time is when it no longer heats the water as much as it used to. It may occur that during a shower you notice that hot water stops coming out, or it does not come out at the temperature it should. A water heater’s whole functionality is to raise the temperature of the water. When the equipment is not working properly, and you are getting lukewarm results in the shower etc. it is probably because the water heater is at the end of its useful life and needs to be replaced with a new one. Another way of telling if something is wrong is that you have to wait longer than necessary for the water to heat up to the right temperature before getting in. These are all signs that the water heater is not working properly.
Another possible problem that may appear is a leak in some area of the pipes the water is traveling through to and from the water heater. Although this might be small, it is indicating a malfunction of the equipment. If you are ever faced with this problem, it is highly recommended that you call a certified and licensed plumbing technician like we have here at Metro-Flow Plumbing, so that the problem does not continue to get worse and it is fixed correctly. Your equipment may need to be replaced or repaired, and the sooner you do it, the better. In addition, nipping a problem like this before it gets worse will keep your home from the obvious flooding that may occur.
A third sign of heater deterioration is rust in the water. When the liquid comes out with a different color, a weird odor or a strange taste, it may be an indication that the equipment is not working correctly. In general, this indicates that the tank is rusty inside, so it can hardly be recovered. Another option is that different sediments are entering the tank from the outside. In any case, it is worth checking it since it is likely that the equipment is damaged and needs to be replaced.
Knowing how long a water heater lasts is also essential to know if you start suspecting a malfunction. If the equipment is old and has more than 9 or 10 years, it has a higher chance of failure at any time. In many cases, it is good to anticipate and think about a replacement before it is unavoidable. Thus, more than one headache will be avoided and another 10 years without any problems can be guaranteed.
Finally, a signal that can also mark the aging of the water heater is noise. In normal operation, the equipment should hardly be heard at all. If you start to feel loud knocking or noises coming from the heater, it is most definitely a red flag. Most likely, sediment has built up inside the tank, which can cause serious damage. If a change in the equipment is not imposed, at the very least have a professional inspect it so they can solve the problem as soon as possible. Read the next article if you don’t know how to hire a plumber.
Tips to improve the life of a water heater
While the life of your water heater is relatively standard, there are some equipment care tips that can extend its life. Among the principal advice that can be given in this regard is maintenance. Performing scheduled maintenance is one of the most important things you can do to all the appliances around your home. An annual review will undoubtedly extend your appliances life span, including your water heaters. The experience and customer care of Metro-Flow Plumbing professionals can be useful in detecting problems and offering solutions before they become a bigger problem for you down the line.
Using filters for your water heater’s water supply will improve the average duration of its life, especially in areas where the water does not arrive completely clean. By keeping sediment and foreign material out of the tank, filters can help improve equipment performance and prevent some failures. Carrying out a complete drainage of the tank will help to eliminate the sediments that may have been deposited inside already. It is best to carry out this process every 6 or 12 months and in the presence of a professional. Do not try to do this yourself as you won’t have anyone that knows what they are doing around if something were to go wrong.
Finally, there is a component of the tank called the anode rod that serves to attract ions and minerals present in the water and prevent them from corroding the tank. This part is located inside, and must be replaced when it is damaged. Normally, an annual review will be enough to check the status of and, if necessary, make the change. It is also an option to install an additional anode rod to give the equipment extra protection.
As you can see, there are several tips that can be applied to improve the lifespan of your water heater. Some of them can be done without previous experience, but in general it is advisable to call a professional plumbing technician to check the equipment and make the arrangements. This will not only improve how long a water heater lasts, but you will be able to make any necessary repairs or changes the day of.
At Metro-Flow Plumbing we can offer you the best personalized service according to your needs. If you are looking for a plumber in Dallas, do not hesitate to contact us! Until next week Dallas!