How Long Do Water Heaters Last?

When to Replace a Water Heater

Your running water is one of the most important parts of your home. After all, you need water to cook, clean yourself, do laundry, and even to sustain your life. However, as homeowners know, taking care of one home-related task often leads to another. While access to running water is important, the ability to control the temperature of that water is just as crucial. This is where a water heater comes in.

In the plumbing world, we like to call it like we see it, and that was likely the thought process of whoever coined the term “water heater.” As the name implies, the purpose of this plumbing fixture is to heat water. The water heater takes cold water from a water supply pipe and heats it. A water heater pumps water throughout the home when ever you prompt it to, like when you go to take a shower or a drink from the faucet.

A typical water heater lasts between 6 and 13 years, but you will likely want to look into replacing it after 12 years. Although some water heaters can last up to 20 years, this is not a guarantee, and it would be smart to keep up with a regular maintenance schedule if you want to extend the life of your tank. Regular maintenance will also help you optimize efficiency and safety. Having your water heater serviced annually by a licensed plumber like the ones at Tony’s Plumbing Service will protect your asset and help solve ongoing issues before they become a more expensive problem. Some signs that you might need a new water heater or might need to get your water heater checked include:

  • Your system is old.

If you know your water heater system is old, you might be worried about when it will be time to replace it. The good news is that you might have more time with your system than you think. The only way to know for sure is to schedule a service with a plumber who will be able to check the status of your system and help predict its remaining lifespan for you.

  • Your water has taken on a strange color.

If your water appears tinted, especially when you use hot water, this might mean there is rust in your water heater or that it is leaking. Rusty water looks unsightly, has an unpleasant taste, and can stain your beautiful appliances and clothing. If you are having this issue, you will want to schedule a servicing with a plumber in order to get it solved ASAP.

  • You are hearing unusual gurgling or popping sounds coming from the water heater.

Ideally, your water heater should radiate heat that helps regulate your water temperature, but if it is radiating strange noises instead, this could be due to a range of troubles. For one, you might be dealing with reduced volume at the bottom of the tank. This means there are trapped bubbles at the bottom that are rattling around and causing a ruckus. If you do not get this issue looked at, you might have more than a simple headache to deal with down the road. A noisy water heater could eventually lead to wall damage, so you will want a plumber to remove any build-up or issues and restore the tank to its former silent glory.

  • You notice there is water spilling around the heater.

Your water should be flowing through your pipes, not around your water heater! We all leak with old age, and our water heaters are no exception. An old unit with substantial build-up on the inside might be to blame for the new indoor swimming pool you never wanted. If water is accumulating around your system, it can be more than just an annoyance. Eventually, it can flood the room where the unit is located and lead to thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to your floors. You will be much better off scheduling maintenance with a plumber to have your unit checked. This simple appointment will help you avoid a flood-like disaster in the long run.

  • Your water is not hot.

If the water coming through your pipes is not hot and does not become hot when you prompt it to, this is a telltale sign there is an issue with your water heater. This could be due to your tank’s limited capacity. If you are a big fan of hot water and your family has used lots of it in a short span of time, you might have emptied the tank’s supply faster than its heating elements could replace it. If this is the case, it might be a matter of simply waiting for your tank to recuperate. This process usually takes about a half hour. After you have waited, if your water is still cold, you might be dealing with a leaking tank or an issue with your diverter valve. A plumber will be able to get to the bottom of this mystery and help you enjoy your heated water once again.

Tony’s Plumbing Service can help you keep your water heater in tip-top shape, and our team can replace your unit when it’s time to say goodbye. Call us at (209) 665-3088 or contact us online for help with your plumbing needs.