Dealing with a Broken Water Heater?
No matter if it is electric or gas, a broken water heater will stop your day fast, especially if that first shower in the morning is when you discovered you had a broken water heater. Bbbbbrrrrr ….. if only you had known, you’d have been prepared, right? So what can you do to prepare for this kind of situation?
What are the Signs your Water Heater is Going Out?
A hot water heater will rarely simply quit working. They almost always give out some type of indication that you need to call for service or shop for a new water heater. By being aware of the following indicators, you can avoid that uncomfortable cold shower one morning.
When a gas water heater is leaking, you’ll notice either water dripping out of the tank or pooling up around the bottom. Sometimes, it is water dripping from the pipes. Before you go purchase a new one, check that all the water valves are closed and there aren’t any loose connections. However, a leaking tank is definitely a sign of a broken water heater. Sometimes, a gas water heater will not stay lit if there is water leaking from the tank.
Water Heater Age
Your water heater should have a label on it from the plumber that installed the unit with the installation date. If not, you can call the manufacturer or search their website with the brand name and serial number to get the manufactured date. How long should a gas water heater last? Typically, the maximum life of a gas water heater is 12 to 15 years. By year ten, you’re on borrowed time before you have a broken water heater.
Hot Water Shortage
A water heater tank will fill with up sediment from the water and from the tank interior. Regular flushing will keep that sediment minimized. When a hot water tank isn’t flushed, that sediment builds up and will minimize the amount of hot water the tank can hold. Go too long without flushing, and you’ll have a broken water heater on your hands because that sediment has built up, clogged, and corroded the valves.
Inconsistent Water Temperatures
Another indication that you’re about to have a broken water heater is that the water temperature is inconsistent, especially during activities like showering. You may be able to have the thermostat or heating element changed to fix that problem. Otherwise, it’s time to shop for a new water heater.
Brownish, reddish, murky water coming from the faucets indicates the water heater tank hasn’t been flushed and that you’re about to have a broken water heater. Funny tasting water usually accompanies that colored water too, though you may not notice this as much since we don’t usually drink hot water.
A water heater shouldn’t make loud, strange sounds, so if yours is making sounds, it could mean the tank needs flushing, connections could be loose, or there’s another reason you’re about to have a broken water heater. Either way, a professional plumber can offer an inspection to confirm the problem and provide you with a solution.
Low Water Pressure
If the water in your area is hard, of poor quality, or if you have low water pressure, this will allow more sediment to build up in the water heater tank. The water lines and valves become clogged up, and you’ll end up with a broken water heater faster than normal. When you know the water is hard and of poor quality, flushing the tank two to three times a year can help prolong its lifespan.
Can a Water Heater Last 30 Years?
When properly installed and maintained with regular tank flushing, you could get 30 years from a gas water heater. By learning how a gas water heater works, you can learn the importance of quality installation and proper maintenance of a water heater. There are many working components within and around the exterior of a water heater that benefit from tank flushing and from having quality water.
When to Replace a Gas Water Heater
There is no question about the important role your water heater has in your home. Even if you flush your water heater and add water enhancement features to your home, eventually it will need to be replaced. Things to look for that may indicate you’ll have a broken water heater sooner rather than later are:
- Age – If you moved into a pre-occupied home, you may not realize the age of the water heater. Check for the manufacturer or the installed labels for dates. If there isn’t any such label, get the make and model and do a Google search.
- Rust – If the water is rusty or the valves are rusty, you’re close to having a broken water heater. Replacing it now before it quits is recommended.
- Noisy – A water heater shouldn’t be too noisy, so if yours is making a lot of noise, it is better to replace it now than wake up to an ice-cold shower.
- Leaking – A water heater that has water pooled up around the bottom of the tank is an indication of a broken water heater.
- Not Heating – If your water heater isn’t heating up at all, check the thermostat. If it is set where it should be and the pilot light is on, then you have a broken water heater on your hands.
Is it Normal When a Gas Water Heater Smells Like Exhaust?
A gas water heater must have an exhaust vent going outside. If you’re smelling an exhaust type of odor, the chimney or flue must have disconnected, and the water heater exhaust is coming back inside the house. Call a plumber immediately to have it inspected and repaired.
At The End of the Day – What is the Cost to Replace a Gas Water Heater?
The water heater in your home is essential, so having an idea of what it will cost is helpful in preparing for a broken water heater to be replaced. The cost will vary based on the brand of the water and where you’re located, but the average is around $1200.00 for a gas water heater. If you’re ready to learn more or to set up your own gas water heater replacement, reach out to us at (214) 380-3473.