Many Long Island homeowners have no idea when their water heater is about to kick the bucket. A little bit of knowledge goes a long way. It can save you the headache of going days without hot water or paying for costly repairs. Here are some indicators that your water heater may need to be replaced.
Your Water Heater Is Too Old
It is important to know the actual age of your home's water heater. To find the age of your unit, look for the serial number on the manufacturer’s sticker on the upper portion of the water heater. The serial number contains the date that the water heater was manufactured. It will not look the way a date is normally written. Instead, the serial number will have a date code such as "F051052638". The letter corresponds with the month that the water heater was manufactured. In the example above, F represents the sixth letter in the alphabet, so the unit was made in the sixth month, June. Next, the first two digits of the serial number are 05, which represents the year, 2005. So this water heater was made in June 2005.
Each manufacturer has a similar date code, and they can vary. Check the manufacturer’s website to learn more.Water heaters aren’t made to last forever. Most models only have an eight to twelve year lifespan so if yours is approaching this range, it might be time to upgrade. As a general rule, if your water heater is more than ten years old, you should consider replacing it. If your water heater is in a spot that could damage your home in the event of a leak you should look into the logistical possibility of moving it. Today’s water heaters are much more energy-efficient. By replacing your outdated water heater, you will see a drastic increase in savings each year.
Unusual Noise or Rumbling Coming From Your Water Heater
While it is normal to hear some sounds as the water heats, loud cracks and pops indicate an interaction between the heating elements inside the heater and the scale and mineral deposits built up on them. As a water heater gets older, soot can build up on the bottom of the tank. As this sediment is heated and reheated, it hardens over time. This often leads to banging and rumbling sounds coming from the water heater as it heats up. This is a sign that the water heater has reached the end of its life.
The sediment will eventually cause your water heater to run less efficiency. More electricity or gas will be needed to heat your home's water. The extra time spent heating the water can damage metal tank, causing small holes and cracks. If you start to hear unusual sounds coming from your water heater, be on the lookout for small leaks.
Another reason hot water heaters make noise is because the heating element may be burning out. If you have flushed out your tank and removed the sediment but are still hearing strange noises, it could be time to replace the heating element
Rust Coming Out of Your Faucets
Is rusty water coming out of your faucets? This can be a sign that your water heater is rusting on the inside and may begin to leak soon. It doesn’t necessarily mean that your water heater is on its way out, but it is worth testing further. If you have galvanized piping, you may have rusty pipes. A good test to avoid replacing a functioning water heater is to drain a few five-gallon buckets of hot water out of the water heater. By the third bucket, if the water from your heater is still coming out rusty, then most likely the water heater, and not the piping, is at fault.
Water Heater Tank Leaks
If you notice moisture around your water, it is possible that you have a leak in the tank. Wipe the tank dry with a towel and come back to check on it the following day. If you see water on the floor again, it means your tank is leaking and needs to be replaced immediately.
Before replacing your water heater, your maintenance technician will check to make sure there are no other leaks coming from either the fittings or connections to the tank. They will also make sure that the temperature/pressure overflow pipe is not leaking. If all of the connections and fittings are dry, it may be time to replace the water heater.
Having water heater troubles in your Long Island home or office? Scheduling an appointment with Dole Fuel is fast and simple. Our team of highly trained customer service and maintenance technicians is available to answer all of your questions. Contact us today at (631) 673-6182 to schedule your yearly hot water heater maintenance.