Water Heater Trouble? Signs it’s Time to Replace

When you think of your plumbing system and water supply, what’s the first thing that comes to mind?

Many would say the hot water heater. This residential plumbing powerhouse is the 2nd highest energy consuming appliance in the home, and accounts for nearly 25% of your energy bill, per the DOE.

Age is one of the most important factors in determining the efficiency and performance capabilities of your water heater. In addition, the design and location of the unit plays a big part.

Conventional water heaters are estimated to last roughly 12 years. For hybrid and tankless models, you can expect up to 20 years of performance, maybe even more.

Related: How long do appliances last?

From laundry to bathing, washing dishes and cleaning, hot water is a staple in your daily life, and it’s often taken for granted—until something goes wrong. Any disruption in hot water delivery hits hard.

What you don’t know is that issues in your water heater develop over time, starting in the form of normal sediment and building up, but eventually resulting in tank corrosion and damage. This can have a serious impact on the quality and volume of water available to your home.

So, what should you look out for to know if your water heater is nearing the end? Here are some telltale

signs of water heater failure…

Common signs of water heater failure

Changes in water quality—If you see chunks of sediment, or water appears cloudy or rusty, it’s obvious there’s a problem.

Unusual odors—If water has a metallic smell or taste, there could be iron present. This is a major safety concern that you shouldn’t ignore.

Banging or rumbling noises—This potentially indicates that so much sediment has built up that it’s hardened on the inside base of the tank. This can cause cracks that affect the efficiency and performance of your water heater.

Pressure & temperature inconsistencies—If testing valves and increasing temperature settings provides no relief, your heater could be signaling to you that it’s losing efficiency.

Water heater repair & installation

Whether you’re experiencing signs of trouble, or think it’s time for a replacement—do your research.  From conventional to tankless to hybrid, every model has pros and cons, and more importantly, every family’s needs and demands are different.

At Robinson’s Plumbing, we’re here to help you navigate the options and decide what’s best for your home—and your budget.   

Related: Comparing water heater options

Many of our customers see the benefit of installing tankless water heaters because they’re compact, efficient and reported to save nearly 40% on energy costs (DOE). Here are a few things to consider before deciding to go tankless…

Considerations before going tankless

Is your conventional water heater taking up valuable space? Large, bulky tanks require storage space many of us can’t afford. Tankless units let you regain space in your home because they’re mounted on the wall instead of installed in corners, closets, basements and utility rooms.

What are your family’s hot water needs? The EPA estimates that a family of four uses 400 gallons of water per day. Tankless water heaters provide hot water on demand, so regardless of household usage, you save money, energy and reduce waste by only producing hot water when you need it.

What does the life expectancy and investment mean to you? Tankless models cost up to three times as much as conventional water heaters, but they more than make up for it with their unique benefits. If you’re replacing equipment for the long haul, tankless is a great suggestion.

Do you want to save money on maintenance, repairs and energy costs? If your budget supports the investment in tankless, it won’t be long until you start seeing a return. Literally maintenance-free, you don’t have to worry about leaks and plumbing repairs, and you’ll notice the money instantly saved on your water bill.

Delivering long-term comfort and satisfaction

Robinson’s Plumbing provides residential plumbing service, including water heater maintenance, repair and installation. Our experienced plumbers can perform an inspection and troubleshoot most issues, but in some cases, your water heater may be reaching the end of the road. Let us help you decide on the best water heater for your home, lifestyle and budget.

To learn more about our plumbing services or for recommendations on the best water heaters for your home, contact us today at 804-794-0918.