Your water heater is built to last, but it won’t last forever. Even if you take the best possible care of it, you can expect to need a new one at some point. But you probably don’t want to realize that you need a new water heater when your current one breaks down completely.
The best way to ensure a smooth transition to a new system is to keep an eye out for certain telltale signs that your water heater is reaching the end of its lifespan, and then call a technician to confirm. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the signs that you should consider replacing your water heater.
Trouble Providing Enough Hot Water
Temporary failure to provide hot water, perhaps because you’ve overwhelmed or exhausted the system, is not a big deal. It’s especially common if you have multiple people in the house using hot water at the same time. If the water heater is failing to provide hot water in even moderate amounts, however, then you might have a bigger issue.
Water heater efficiency slowly declines over time as wear and tear build up on the system. Eventually, the accumulated wear and tear will become severe enough that it will start to adversely affect the water heater’s heating capacity. If this is the reason that your water heater is having trouble heating enough water, it’s time for a new one.
Water heaters break down every once in a while, just like any other system. There’s a difference between the occasional breakdown every couple of years, however, and breaking down every few months. If your water heater is breaking down multiple times a year, it’s time to install a new system.
That level of frequency in repair issues is likely due to simple age and wear causing parts in the system to fail in groups. It’s not going to get better, and at that point continuing to repair the system is just replacing it one piece at a time. If you want to save money and frustration in the long run, we highly recommend that you replace a system that is breaking down that often.
The average water heater tends to last somewhere between 15-20 years, depending on individual circumstances like where it is installed and how often it receives maintenance. Once a water heater approaches a couple of decades in age, it will tend to pretty quickly accumulate a range of chronic problems that will reduce its cost-effectiveness.
The older the water heater gets, the more it will cost to keep it up and running. The cost of maintaining an old and frequently malfunctioning water heater will quickly outstrip the cost of just installing a new system. So, if your water heater is older than 15 years, we highly recommend that you talk to a professional about installing a new one. It may be a higher up-front cost, but we promise that it will save you a lot more money in the long run.