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Do I Need to Replace My Water Heater?

Posted on February 7, 2017
by Appleby Systems

Can you think of a worse way to discover your water heater has kicked the bucket than waking up on a cold February morning and jumping into a frigid shower?

Sometimes you can get the problem causing the heater failure fixed, and sometimes it’s best to go your separate ways and start a new water heater relationship.

Here’s how you can tell if the time to replace your water heater has come.

How old is it?

hot water tank repairAppliances follow the same age rules as just about everything else on Earth (with the exception of the immortal jellyfish). The older they get, the more likely they are to stop working.

If you rent your water heater from one of the big rental companies, it will have an effective lifespan of around 10 years, after which the rental company will hold it together with replacement pieces, slowly forming a Frankenstein’s monster-like appliance.

Buying your water tank and paying for annual maintenance, rather than reactive repairs from the rental company, can actually double the lifespan of your water heater. This can keep the original parts in better working order and give you greater value over the lifetime of the product. Consider what you’re paying a year for rental costs.  How many tanks could you have bought by the time your rental term is finished – at least two!

So if you’re:

  • Renting an appliance from one of the big rental companies and…
  • It’s more than 10 years old…

It’s time to look into replacing your water heater and own it versus renting.

Is the drain valve clogged?

Sediment builds up and settles inside the bottom of the water tank, consequently losing volume of hot water. This is especially common in rentals, since maintenance usually cleans out this sediment and no rental tanks receive maintenance, only repairs.

Sediment build up is a problem because it forces the heat source, whether gas or electric, to work harder to heat the water. This extra work puts strain on the structure of the tank, and breaks it down. The tank loses pressure and starts to leak, at which point a new tank is the only option.

Is the tank leaking already?

leaking hot water tankLeaks usually form from the inside of the tank first.

If you find water on the floor near your tank, there’s a chance the leak comes from a connection rather than the tank itself.

But if the leak is coming from the tank itself, you need to replace the whole tank. And it’s better to do that sooner than later. Mould and other water damage can be very expensive home repairs.

A new tank can be installed right away – the same day you call, in most cases.

Rust or corrosion is bad.

Most older tanks will eventually rust. They’re made of steel, and not much can be done to totally stop this from happening. Whereas a new tank is glass lined to prolong tank life and prevent corrosion, limiting the possibility of leaks.

It happens over time, and is a sign that the integrity of your tank is on the verge of compromise. It’s only a matter of time before a leak springs and your floor is soaked with tepid water.

What do I need to know about a new water heater?

First, you can decide between:

Storage tanks today are much more efficient than models from 10 years ago, and tankless water heaters are even more efficient (and take up less space in your home).

We stock a handful of brands, including John Wood water heaters and Navien tankless water heaters.

Stop by our showroom or give us a call to talk about your new water heater today.

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