Clear signs that your water heater is about to fail or needs to be repaired.

On average, you can expect 10-15 years of service from your water heater. Better service at the beginning, declining service later on, but 10 – 15 years nonetheless.

So, for purposes of judging the viability of your water heater, the very first thing to do is determine when it was installed. If you purchased it, hopefully you still have paper or email records. If you don’t have them – either because they’re lost or the previous home owner didn’t leave them behind – simply copy down the serial number from the metal tag on the unit’s tank; then contact the manufacturer for the month and year it was built. That doesn’t necessarily equate with when it was installed, but that at least gets you in the ball park.

What’s the point of all that detective work? Simply this: if you want to replace your water heater when you choose to, and not when and because you have to, one good reason is its age, i.e., at least 10 years old. At that stage of its existence, it’s a safe bet that problems are headed your way, but you have the option of not waiting for them.

The age factor aside, here are five more signs that it’s time to have your water heater either repaired or replaced:

1. Rust-colored water

If you start noticing rusty water but only when you turn on a hot water faucet, that’s a sign of internal tank corrosion OR of internal pipe corrosion, depending on the type of pipes carrying hot water throughout your home. Either way, corrosion is involved and you’ll want to get that checked out.

2. Rust around the base of your storage tank

Only one thing can explain rust, wherever you might locate it: corrosion. In this instance, it’s probably coming from a build-up of calcium and other mineral deposits inside the storage tank.

3. Reduced hot water supply

With age and corrosion comes a water heater’s decreased ability to meet your hot water demands. So if showers are shorter and shorter, and not by choice, and overall household demand remains about the same, your water heater is running out of steam.

4. Rumbling and banging sounds

As sediment builds up inside your tank, your water heater becomes prone to making loud rumbling or banging. Again, the cause is hard water conditions (excess amounts of calcium and magnesium) that created the sediment in the first place.

5. Water around or under your water heater

The older your water heater, the more important it is for you to check on it periodically, visually inspecting for water around the base. What could cause your water tank to leak? You guessed it: internal corrosion.

Can you readily tell from any of these symptoms if your water is repairable, or that it definitely needs to be replaced? No, and neither can Your 1 Plumber…at least not until we thoroughly troubleshoot the symptoms to determine the ultimate problem. If it’s repairable, we’ll give you a guaranteed upfront price and then go to work once we have your approval. If it needs to be repaired, we have plenty of new water heater options to choose from, and all the time you need to help you make the right decision for your family and budget.

Bottom line, if your water heater isn’t performing up to par, simply contact Your 1 Plumber by phone or email now. We’ll make things right again, guaranteed.
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