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March 8, 2016

5 Clues Your Water Heater May Need to be Replaced

Let's face it, no one enjoys taking a cold shower, so it's important to maintain your water heater before it completely stops working. Even with regular maintenance, like any appliance, water heaters break down over a period of time and will eventually fail. If you wait too long it may lead to bigger problems as well, such as large leaks and water damage to your home. So how do you know when it’s time for a replacement? Here are a few clues:

1 - Age of unit
The older a water heater gets, the more likely it is to fail. An electric water heater usually have a lifetime of about 8-10 years, while a gas water heater may only last 6-8 years. If your water heater is any older than this, it may be time to check for some of the symptoms below.

2 -  Rust and corrosion

Check your tank for any rust or corrosion, particularly the area around the temperature and pressure relief valve and the inlet and outlet connections. Also check your water to see if it’s turning a rusty color, which could mean there’s rust inside the tank. Unfortunately, rust and corrosion can’t be fixed, once it starts it’s only a matter of time before the water heater tank starts leaking and needs to be replaced.

3 - Unable to drain water through the drain valve
Over time, sediment builds up inside a water heater. Flushing out the tank once a year will help solve this and extend the life of your unit. However, if this task isn’t performed for an extended period of time then the sediment build-up will eventually reach a point where it can no longer be resolved and  you'll have to replace your water heater.

4 - Your hot water tank is leaking
A leak from your hot water tank is usually caused by an internal problem like corrosion and is rarely fixable. If you spot a leak anywhere on your water heater follow these steps and call a plumber in the phoenix area immediately. In this scenario it’s quite likely your water heater will need to be replaced.

5 - Your water is luke warm or cold
If your water isn’t as hot as it used to be, or isn’t hot at all, then there is likely something wrong with your water heater. Check for any of the symptoms above. If you find any of them then it is likely your water heater is beyond repair and will need to be replaced. If your unit does not display any of these symptoms, you might get lucky and only need to replace a heating element.

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