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Is It Time To Ask Santa for a New Water Heater?

Having a water heater go out is a hassle any time of the year. However, with the added stress of the holidays and the cold weather making a hot shower more desirable, losing a water heater at this time of year can be frustrating. Chances are, with holiday meals and gatherings, there will be an increased load on most home’s water heaters. 

Homeowners must understand the signs that their water heater is on the verge of needing to be replaced. Watching for these signs can help prevent frustrating and embarrassing losses of hot water during the holiday season. 

Age of a Water Heater

water hater

As with most things, water heaters have a life expectancy. Once they are near the end of their useful lives, it will become more prone to breakdowns. On average, most water heaters last about ten years. After this point, the tank becomes compromised, and the burner can lose efficiency, costing lots of extra, unnecessary utility costs. 

The repeated heating of a hot water tank is tough on a water heater. The high heat from the burner or heating elements can cause the inner tubes to corrode or the heating elements to become covered in scale. The heat expansion of the tank can even weaken it and make it vulnerable to rust. If a water heater shows signs of old age, it is best to replace it preemptively before it springs a leak, costs too much to operate, or quits altogether. 

Cracked or Leaking Tank

One of the worst things that can happen to an old water tank is a crack or leaks. According to the most recent building codes, water heaters must be installed with a drip pan underneath them to catch any water that may leak out of a tank. However, many tanks installed by DIYers are installed ignorant of building codes. 

Tanks installed without a drip pan can allow water to pool on the floors where they are installed. A leaking tank can ruin floors and walls and encourage mold growth in the out-of-the-way places where water heaters are installed. 

Discolored Water

There are a couple of ways that a hot water tank can dispense discolored water. The first and most urgent is mineral scale. Mineral scale forms because municipal water sources have high mineral content. As the water heats inside the tank, the minerals become undissolved and form a scale that settles on the tank’s bottom. This scale lowers efficiency and can eventually erode the tank’s bottom to the point where it leaks. 

colored water

Red or rust-colored water is another form of discoloration that indicates that a water heater is in distress. Water is damaging to the steel that a water tank is made out of. Several mechanisms protect the steel from water damage, but they may fail and allow the tank to rust. Once a tank is rusting, it’s only a matter of time before it will start to leak. Flushing can only do so much.

About The Plumbing Dr

The Plumbing Dr has been solving Falls Church, VA plumbing problems since 1979. They offer emergency service and promise not to leave any mess behind when they’re done working. Their upfront pricing and satisfaction guarantee give customers peace of mind that they are getting honest and effective service. Call The Plumbing Dr. today for professional water heater replacement in Falls Church, VA.