Only some like it hot? Let’s be honest with ourselves, we ALL rely on hot water.
Our water heaters get us through every shower and dishwasher run. But even though our plumbing technology has improved 10-fold in the past 100 years, even the best units aren’t made to last forever. We must all prepare for water heater failure, or prepare to replace old units. If not, say hello to cold showers during the winter!
Preparing for water heater failure isn’t always easy, but one thing is common: most issues occur when the heater is nearing the end of its life.
Visual signs that signify it’s time for a replacement can include a number of issues.
Parts may begin to wear and need replacement. Corrosion on the inner and outer workings will be noticeable. The entire tank may crack. Most of these visual signs will begin to occur around 8-10 years, signifying a time for a replacement.
How old are you now: One of the most proactive things a homeowner can do to prepare for this failure time is to know the age of the heater. If you can’t recall the age of your purchase or new heater installation, check the serial number of the unit. Manufacturers will note the month and year of the unit production, and this is often a code within the serial number.
Once you locate this on the unit, use the manufacturer’s website to interpret the code and learn the age of the unit.
Compromised supply: An easy tell-tale sign of a water heater issue is felt. Water may come from your shower or sink colder than usual or may run out much faster than before.
This could signify a larger issue with the unit, a failing heating element. Licensed plumbers can diagnose this and repair the issue. An alternative issue could be a mineral sediment that has hardened on the bottom of the heater unit.
This generally occurs around the 10-year mark and could indicate a coming heater failure. If you are unsure of this, call a plumber to properly diagnose the issue.
If any of these issues begin to appear in your home this fall, or during the year, call your licensed plumbing team at Norfolk Plumbing to give your heater a thorough inspection and guide you through the solutions that may be necessary.