No mechanical appliance will last forever. Eventually, basic wear and tear will cause the device to become ineffective and inefficient—even with the best care and regular maintenance. Your water heater is a good example of this: although modern manufacturing makes water heaters more durable than ever, the sheer volume of work that the water heater in your home goes through each year limits how long it will work.
But how can you tell that you should arrange for a replacement for your water heater? There are a number of signs to watch for:
Your water heater may still seem to be working adequately, but if it’s more than 15 years old, it is probably time to put in a new one. The average tank water heater will last for 10 to 15 years before it begins to fade from stress. (Tankless systems can last longer, often more than 20 years.) It’s a good idea to get ahead of the potential problems and start fresh with a new water heater.
Drop-in Hot Water Volume
A major warning that a water heater is starting to die is when the amount of hot water it can provide at a time declines. When people in your household start going with lukewarm showers in the morning when this previously was never a problem, the time has come to replace the water heater.
Rust and other types of corrosion are the biggest enemies of any water-using metal appliance. Fortunately, water heaters are built with defenses against corroding, but they can’t work forever. When age gets its grip on a water heater, corrosion will follow. Although some minor corrosion can be fixed, in most cases it means a water heater is ready to retire.
Rising Energy Bills
The water heater accounts for a large percentage of your energy bills over the year since it runs every day. When you notice that your energy costs are climbing steadily without an increase in use, the trouble may be a water heater that is becoming inefficient from age. Call water heater professionals to examine the unit and see if they should install a replacement.