3 Signs It's Time To Replace Your Home's Water Heater

Your water heater has served your home faithfully for the past several years. Whenever you've gone to wash a load of dishes, take a shower, or do laundry, you've always had clean, hot water to get the job done. However, you're now noticing that your water heater just doesn't operate as well once did. Get a water heater installation if it's showing these three signs:

You're Running Out Of Hot Water

There are multiple reasons your plumbing system will run out of hot water. In most cases, a lack of hot water indicates the capacity of your water tank isn't large enough to accommodate the number of people in your household. Although this issue alone is enough to warrant replacing your water heater with one that has a larger capacity, you can choose to conserve your hot water in an effort to ensure there's enough left to use at all times.

However, another reason that may be causing your hot water shortage is a broken heating component. If you have an electric water heater, then one of your heating elements may have failed and can no longer heat the water in your tank. Unless you've regularly drained your water tank, chances are your lower heating element has failed due to being covered in mineral and sediment buildup.

If you have a gas water heater, then your burner assembly can sustain corrosion damage. Although your water tank is insulated, small amounts of condensation can collect beneath your tank and drip onto your burner assembly.

Additionally, water that drips from the relief valve on the side of your tank can overfill your drain basin and allow water to leak into your combustion chamber.

In either case, your problems can be fixed by replacing your burner assembly. However, if the rest of your tank is in poor condition, then it will be more cost efficient for you to replace your entire water heater than to repair your burner assembly.

Your Hot Water is Hard

Although your municipal water treatment station filters a majority of the contaminants in your water supply, small amounts of minerals still remain in the water entering your plumbing. When these minerals enter your water tank, they'll be neutralized upon contact with your anode rod—a long, thick rod made of a noble metal. However, after years of exposure to corrosive minerals, your anode rod will disintegrate and allow corrosive minerals in your water supply to damage the rest of your tank.

If you failed to change your anode rod in a timely fashion (about every four to five years), then corrosive minerals can eat away at your dip tube, tank lining, and—if you have an electric water heater—your heating elements. As minerals continue to enter your tank, the corrosion damage to your tank and your hot water quality will worsen. Once the internal components of your water heater have sustained corrosion damage, you won't be able to repair them.

Your Heating Costs Are Increasing

In addition to inflation, your heating costs will increase as your heating components become less efficient. If you have a gas water heater, then your burner assembly will operate inefficiently and require more fuel to heat your water tank when it's dirty or corroded. If you have an electric water heater, then your heating costs will increase when one of your elements fails or when your elements aren't powerful enough to accommodate seasonally-reduced water temperatures.

If these signs are present in your water heater, then contact a professional plumber to replace your water heater. Although it's possible to replace your water heater by yourself, leaving the job to a professional will guarantee that your new water heater is installed safely and in accordance with local building codes.