Like all household appliances, water heaters don't last forever. As long as you're home, you're going to be running your hot water heater daily. After all, you NEED hot water to properly wash dishes and to take nice warm showers.
Since we use our hot water heater on a daily basis, it's constantly being used. Over the years, eventually these units will need to be replaced.
If your hot water heater isn't working properly (e.g. the water is not getting hot enough), that doesn't necessarily mean you're going to run out to the closest home store and plop down $500-$1,000 (going rate for a new water heater) on a brand-new unit.
If you're taking lukewarm, or worse, cold showers, you want to act fast. If a repair instead of a replacement is in order, and you wait too long to call a professional plumber, a minor problem can escalate into a big problem.
For example, if you have a leak and you ignore it, a small leak can turn into a larger leak, and it can cause costly damage to your flooring, walls, and belongings inside your home, near the water heater. So, how can you tell if your water heater needs to be repaired or replaced?
Here are a few ways to tell if it needs to be simply repaired, or if you need to invest in a new unit:
- If your unit is old, the more likely it is to break down. On average, gas water heaters last around 8 years, whereas electric units last up to 10 years. If you properly maintain (flush out sediment buildup once a year) a water heater, you can get quite a few more years out of the unit. However, if you have a large household or if your family enjoys taking multiple showers each day, the unit may need to be replaced sooner than expected.
- If you notice rust or corrosion near the water inlet and outlet connections, or the pressure relief valve, this may be a sign that it's time for a replacement.
- If sediment buildup has clogged the drain valve, you may need to a new unit.
- If there is a lot of water dripping down the Temperature and Pressure (T&P) valve, it's time to call a professional plumber.
We are only scratching the surface when it comes to water heater issues. If your water heater is acting up and it's a rather new unit, it's worth having one of our Kansas City plumbers inspect the unit to see if it simply needs to be repaired.
If it turns out that your water heater does need to be replaced, we can take care of it for you – give us a call today to schedule a free estimate!