You're excited to be moving out of an apartment and into your first home. The previous owners took care of the property, but some of the appliances are getting on in years. You can expect to get up to 12 years of use from the average water heater. But how long you have until it must be replaced depends on any signs you see now of it failing. Here are some of the symptoms of an aging water heater so you can begin planning its replacement.
Sediment in the Water
If you leave a pitcher of water sit for a few hours and notice a brown sediment in the bottom, minerals have built up in the water heater. This will be even more pronounced if you live in an area with hard water. While the sediment in your drinking glass is not harmful, a buildup of sediment in the water heater tank will reduce its life quickly. Have a plumbing service flush out the water tank every year to remove the sediment and prevent more severe damage to the tank.
If you see brown colored water coming out of the faucet for a few seconds after you turn it on, there may be rust forming in the steel tank of the water heater. Minerals in the water react with the steel lining and can cause it to rust. A plumber can flush out the hot water tank and clear out the minerals and existing rust to extend the life of the water heater.
Sulfurous Smell to the Water
A water heater with a large buildup of sediment can cause the hot water to have a rotten egg smell. This is the sign of a water heater that is close to needing replacement. Flushing the tank won't get rid of all of the bad smell and your water tank may be rusting inside. If you have this problem, start saving for a new water heater in the next several months.
Knocking Sounds in the Water Heater
If you hear popping, crackling and banging in the water heater, these are large, hard pieces of sediment moving about and knocking against the steel tank. This is a good sign of a water heater ready to be retired. Schedule a replacement as soon as you can before the unit completely fails.
If you see puddles of water under the water heater or the bottom of the unit feels wet, get in touch with a water heater repair company quickly to replace the unit. The steel tank has rusted through and is leaking. Hot water tanks are under a lot of pressure and a rusty, leaking tank can rupture. This will send gallons of hot, sediment filled water all over your floor. Any leaks are a sign to call a plumber immediately before you have a big mess to clean up.
Contact a company like Ellsworth Plumbing & Heating Co for more information.