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How do you know when it’s time to replace your water heater?

rusty water heater scale
Your propane water heater works hard behind the scenes to keep things clean around your home, providing hot water for your sinks, showers, washing machine and dishwasher. Most of the time it does its job without complaint.

Until it doesn’t…usually in the middle of a long, luxurious hot shower (you can almost hear the record-scratch, can’t you?).

If you’re a keen observer, that cold-water wakeup may not be much of a surprise: usually, your water heater will let you know there are going to be problems ahead. Here are some signs that the water heater in your NC home is on its last legs:

  1. You’re getting higher energy bills. At some point in your water heater’s lifespan – usually around the 10 to 12-year mark if you have a storage-type water heater (that is, one with a tank) – your water heater will start to experience a drop off in performance. Keep a close eye on your energy bills to see if they’re going up – and on how long it takes to get water to warm up in the morning.
  2. You notice signs of hard water that weren’t there before. “Hard” water – that is, water that contains a higher than average amount of minerals– is a common problem with household water supplies. But a sudden onset of hard water symptoms – everything from white stains on your silverware and glassware to itchy skin and clothing – could indicate that your water is “hardening” due to a build up of minerals in your storage tank. That mineralization will reduce efficiency and shorten the life of your water heater.
  3. Rusty water. If you notice rusty, reddish water coming from your taps, your storage tank may well be corroding on the inside. That could mean a tank failure – and the unplanned indoor pool that comes with it – are in your (possibly near) future.
  4. A leak. A leak in a water heater is never a good thing. If you spot one, turn off the tank’s water supply and call us immediately for water heater service.
  5. Strange sounds. If you hear rumbling or sizzling sounds coming from your water heater’s storage tank, you could have a build-up of efficiency-robbing sediment. If you leave that problem unattended, it can cause long-term problems – including water heater breakdown.

If you notice one or more of these signs, it could be time for a water heater upgrade – especially if your equipment has reached its second decade. Today’s high-efficiency water heaters will heat more water for less money – and do it reliably, day after day.

Don’t wait for a flood in your basement – if you notice water heater warning signs like these, contact us today to learn about water heater options – including propane tankless water heaters – that meet your family’s needs and your budget!