If your water heater fails and dumps a 40-gallon mess in the basement or utility closet, you’re facing costly water damage repairs and an appliance replacement too. Learning the signs that indicate the heater is reaching the end of its life span can help you avoid headaches and extra expenses.
Replacement Warning Signs to Watch For
Start looking at your replacement options if you see any of these signs:
- Drop in water temperature: Having to dial up the thermostat setting to maintain a comfortable water temperature points to serious problems. A decline in water temperature typically occurs when extensive corrosion inside the tank has eroded the element, damaged the gas valve or deteriorated the dip tube.
- Tank is leaking: Minor unidentifiable leaks are a sign the inside of the heater is badly corroded and welded joins or side-wall seams are starting to give out. This often happens in older tanks that haven’t been well-maintained.
- White plastic pieces in the sink aerators: Those broken bits of plastic are from the tank’s dip tube that has disintegrated with age. Once the dip tube deteriorates, cold water entering the tank is no longer sent down toward the burner to be properly heated.
- No water from the drain valve: When corrosion and sediment build up have completely blocked the drain valve, it’s a sign your tank is on its last legs. Pumping the water out through the top and thoroughly vacuuming out the sludge may buy you some time, but it’s wiser to simply replace the appliance.
- Rusty inlet and outlet nipples: If the sacrificial anode rod hasn’t been replaced and gets eaten away by corrosion, the connection nipples will quickly start to rust. Once corrosion is visible on the connections, it’s likely reached a critical state inside the tank.
- Leaking T&P relief valve: A rusty, leaking T&P valve is another sign of serious corrosion in the tank. You can replace the valve, but this may not stop the deterioration that’s already underway inside the water heater.
To schedule water heater replacement in your Central Arizona home, contact the plumbing experts at Wolff Mechanical.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Phoenix Valley area of Arizona about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Yuriy Vlasenko/Shutterstock”