Because a water heater replacement can be expensive and annoying, you may have put it off longer than you should have.
And then, early one morning, your hot shower becomes a freezing cold wake-up call.
Before you reach this critical juncture, let’s look at some of the warning signs that it’s time to call your plumbing contractor.
Water Heater Leaks
A leaking water heater is a crisis waiting to happen. When the tank springs a leak, it can dump its entire contents before anyone notices, causing thousands of dollars in damage to your home.
If you notice the smallest hint of a leak, don’t hesitate to pick up the phone. If your unit is more than five or six years old, a full water heater replacement will probably be more cost effective.
A Loss of Hot Water Pressure
Water heaters use a special valve – known as a check valve – to prevent hot water from backing up into the cold line.
Sometimes this check valve can become stuck, leading to a loss of pressure from the hot side. It can happen because of the tank’s age, but it’s more common if you have hard (mineral-heavy) water. In many cases, the check valve can be repaired or replaced.
The other potential cause of a pressure loss is a little more serious. Pressure will also be lost if the tank itself has deteriorated or ruptured. Again, grab the phone and dial up your plumber for a water heater replacement
If your water doesn’t seem as hot as it used to be – or if you’re suddenly left with no hot water at all – it likely indicates a problem.
Over time, sediment and corrosion can build up inside the tank. If your appliance is electric, this build-up can cause the heating elements to fail. In a gas water heater, a build-up of sediment leaves less and less room for the water, until eventually you have only moments before it runs cold.
In most cases, this condition can’t be repaired. In other words, it’s time for a water heater replacement.
The Tank Won’t Drain
If you perform periodic maintenance on your water heater, you know this involves attaching a hose and draining the tank. This is important because it helps minimize the sediment build-up and extends the life of the water heater.
If you attempt to drain the tank and find that the water doesn’t flow out with gusto, it may have reached the end of the road.
Unless you have professional training or experience, it can be difficult to determine the problem. And, although you may be inclined to either attempt a repair or wait it out to see what happens next, that could be a disastrous decision. If a significant problem does exist, you may well come home one day to find a river running through your home.
If you suspect a problem, it’s always better to play it safe and call a professional.
American Plumbing Services is Provo’s premier locally owned and operated plumbing contractor. Serving commercial and residential customers throughout Northern Utah, we understand how important it is to make the right decision when it comes to plumbing repairs.
Don’t take chances with your home. Call us today to schedule a service call if you suspect it may be time for a water heater replacement or repair.