The water heater is easily one of the most used appliances in the home. Yet it’s often forgotten about until something bad happens. At S.A.A.B. Plumbing and heating, we strongly encourage regular maintenance and properly timed water heater repairs that can keep the heater alive for a long time. Even then, it will eventually need to be replaced. If you’ve moved into a home with an existing water heater, then that time may be sooner than you think. You can quickly find this out by looking for a serial number on the manufacturer’s sticker located in the upper right hand portion of the water heater. The serial number contains the date that the water heater was manufactured. But it won’t look the way a date is normally written. Instead, the serial number will have a date code such as “F051052638”. F is for the month and F is the sixth letter in the alphabet, so it represents 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.

Replacing a hot water heater may be cheaper than paying for repetitive water heater repair services. And it can save you quite a lot on your monthly energy bill. Old heaters, especially those older than a decade, are costing more money than they are worth. Here are four signs that it might be time to replace your water heater.

1. It’s Older Than Ten Years

It’s amazing that some homes still use water heaters that are thirty years old. Water heaters are designed to be tough and durable, but just because your water heater still turns on doesn’t mean it’s doing its job properly. Upgrading to a new unit can save you as much as $800 in energy costs during the unit’s lifespan. You’ll save even more by avoiding unwanted repairs. Generally, most water heaters that are more than 10 years old should be considered for replacement.

2. Excessive Water Collection Near The Heater

It’s pretty important that your water stay inside of your hot water heater until you need it. You likely have a serious problem once you notice water beginning to leak and collect near the base of the heater. These types of leaks are often the first sign that your unit is failing and needs to be replaced.

In the best case scenario, one of the valves is damaged and water heater repair is all that is needed. But the most common causes of leaks are from within the tank itself. If the tank has not been maintained properly during its lifetime, then the sediment will have built up inside. This can cause the tank to rust and crack. Once the tank itself is leaking it will need to be replaced.

3. Brown Or Rusty Water

Once again, this is caused by the accumulation of sediment inside the tank. A water heater can be flushed once a year to reduce the likelihood of this occurring. Unfortunately, once the unit has reached a point with significant build up it cannot be reversed. Your only option will be to replace the tank entirely or to live with brown water.

4. Rumbling And Noises

A rumbling sound coming from your water heater is a clear sign that sediment has accumulated in the tank and it may need to be replaced. The sound is caused when water is trapped in the sediment and boils. The sediment build up can cause a number of problems like those already discussed. The sediment will also prevent proper heat transfer through the water. This results in water that isn’t hot when it should be. It also means the unit needs to work harder and consume more energy.

Is It Time For A Replacement?

If your water heater is displaying any of these problems, then it may be time for a replacement. S.A.A.B. Plumbing and Heating is an Ashland, MA based plumbing and heating company. We handle a variety of repairs, replacements, and installations in the local area. Contact us using our contact form or call 774-292-1236 today if your unit is experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above!