Should I Repair or Replace My Water Heater? Part 2
In Part 1, we discussed a few diagnostic signs that can help tell the average homeowner whether it’s time to repair or replace their water heater. If you’re seeing any of the issues described here, it may be time to call an HVAC professional to get some expert advice. Here are some more signs to watch out for:
Rust Collecting Around the Heater
If you’ve noticed the accumulation of rust anywhere near your water heater, you have a serious issue. If you notice rust on the exterior of the heater, the issue is easy to diagnose: your heater has aged to the point of leaking, and the rust is a sign of fissures.
Rust in in the hot water itself is trickier, as the cause can be anything from the heater, the pipes, or the faucet. Regardless, this poses a significant health risk for the residents of your home. If your water heater is within the 8-12 year window of age, it’s a strong sign that the rust is originating from the inside of your heater. Check the water inlet and pressure relief valve on the heater for signs of rust. You can also narrow it down by assessing when the rust is appearing. If rust is only in your water when it’s hot or has recently been heated, that points heavily to the heater. If you see it whenever used, that points to a pipe issue.
Noticing Strange Noises
A failing water heater will emanate noises from its tank with increasing volume. You want to listen for a low, heavy rumble that gets stronger as the device heats up.
If you’re hearing more of a popping, bubbling noise – like a percolating coffee maker – it means that there’s just sediment buildup in the tank that needs to be flushed out. A screech will also mean that there’s a plumbing issue or blockage preventing proper water flow.
Fixing Performance Issues
If you’re seeing issues with the energy efficiency or overall performance of your water heater, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re due for a replacement. If your water isn’t heating up as fast as you’ve come to expect or you’re seeing a spike in your power bill, the first step is a thorough inspection and upkeep.
Erratic or poor performance can be the result of electrical issues including a blown fuse or a tripped breaker. Check that your heater is receiving consistent, uninterrupted power before taking any major steps.
If you’re seeing temperature irregularities, check your pipes. They could be the result of issues with the insulation of the pipes themselves, especially if you’re noticing that issue in a specific area of the home. A faulty thermostat or pilot light can do the same thing.
A lot of issues can be resolved by flushing your water heater. The buildup of sediment at the bottom of the tank can cause issues with water quality, noise, energy inefficiency, and poor performance.
And if you’re seeing leakage on the pressure relief valve, don’t worry; that just means that the valve itself needs to be replaced.
At Vaughan, we have the expertise to conduct a full replacement of your water heater, or to conduct the maintenance that will extend its lifespan. For more information, contact us at 856-322-8005.