1. Your hot water heater is old
Depending on the area that you live in, the lifespan of your water heater will change. A hot water tank in the city with a water hardness of 10 Grains per gallon will last an average of 10 to 12 years. While a Hot Water Heater on a well system with 5 grains of hardness will last an average of 12 to 15 years. As well, water heaters on a water softener will last much longer. Watch for common signs that your water heater is at the end of its life. It will start giving warning signs that are described below
2. Your water is discoloured
So you turned on the tap and the water coming out has a red colour to it. That is your first indication that the tank has been compromised and is showing signs of corrosion. When the glass lining has failed it will produce rusty water in the hot water system. Easy to see in white fixtures like tubs, sinks and showers but harder in areas like the kitchen sink. The most common area of failure is the bottom of the tank as it holds the sediment bed. Discoloured water will damage washing machines and other household appliances. Water damage is the leading cause of insurance claims with the average claim being $11,650.
3. Your tank isn’t producing hot water
One of the biggest complaints that we hear is that the tank is constantly running out of hot water and they can’t get more than one shower. Depending on the style of tank there are a few items to take into consideration. Every tank has a thermostat and a heating element. In an electric tank the thermostat controls the immersion element which heats the water. If the thermostat is not working or the element is broken it will reduce the water temperature giving a lack of hot water. In a gas water heater the thermostat is located behind the gas valve and controls the gas burner. Either the gas valve is faulty or the dip tube is no longer distributing cold water down to the bottom of the tank. An anode rod has no effect on the performance of the water heater but is important to the lifespan. The anode is a sacrificial rod that allows the water to attack instead of the glass lining. If your tank is under 8 years old and is not producing hot water it is time for a service call.
4. Your hot water tank is rumbling
In the plumbing world we call this kettling. It is the best way to describe strange noises or rumbling noises coming from a water heater. Kettling is common in old water heaters that have a thick sediment bed on the bottom of it. Commercial water heaters will build up this bed in a short period of time causing them to be serviced more often. Where a residential tank will need to be replaced. If you hear popping or rumbling noises coming from your hot water heater it is a clear sign that you need a new hot water heater.
5. There’s sediment build-up
Like we described above. Sediment buildup will cause all sorts of problems for your home and hot water heater. Sediment build-up is caused by heating your water past 140F/60C. More common in gas heaters where the bottom of the tank is heated past 140F/60C to allow the hot water to rise to the top of the tank. Older tanks that have a thick sediment bed will start sending the sediment through the hot water supply and start plugging faucets and aerators. If you find that you are seeing sand like substance in the bottom of your tub then it is time to replace the water heater. A common myth is that you can clean, flush or rinse the tank by draining it. Unless you pull all the connections off of the tank and figure out a way to get water all around the inside you will never get all the sediment out of it. If the tank is older than 10 years it needs to be replaced.
New hot water heater options
If you are in the market for a new water heater remember that there are lots of options in the market. Tankless water heaters are a great option for endless hot water with a high efficiency rating. Or you can upgrade your existing heater to a larger size. When asking for pricing over the phone it is a good idea to always have your model and serial number available. Make sure you get pricing including labour and always ask about the length of warranty the appliance has. Every manufacturer is different and offers their own value to customers.
Get your broken hot water heater replaced by expert plumbers in Edmonton
If you're having issues with your water heater, always call in a professional plumber. Atmosphere Plumbing & Heating has licensed plumbers available to go over all your plumbing needs. We will make sure to offer you an energy efficient product that has the ability to give you endless hot showers. If you need a new water heater, upgrade to a tankless or need any plumbing services Atmosphere Plumbing and Heating is the company for you.