How Do You Know When Your Water Heater Needs Replacing?

copper-piping-how to know when you need a new water heater blog by canyon state taken by prefocus solutions in surprise az home

Water heaters are the unsung heroes of any home, yet they tend to go unnoticed. From warming up your morning shower to helping out with the dishes and laundry, what would you do without your trusty old water heater? Even though your Arizona spicket provides you with a natural hot spring for a good part of the year (local inside joke), it doesn’t mean the hard water here doesn’t take its toll. If you’re not investing in annual plumbing maintenance, how do you know when your water heater needs replacing?  

Nothing lasts forever, and stagnant tanks that are full of hard water easily decrease the lifespan of Arizona water heaters. Aside from unnecessary repairs, poorly maintained water heaters can force you to replace the unit far sooner than you need to. Besides, waiting until the last minute to change it out is not a wise decision. Forcing everyone at home (or the office) to make do without hot water could backfire quickly.

In addition to dealing with sporadic mood swings, putting replacement off can put your family’s (or tenant’s) health at risk. Unstable heating equipment that’s producing poor water quality is a big problem. So, when should you invest in a new water heater? While there’s no accurate set-in-stone expiration date, there are a few basic rules worth considering. So we decided to create somewhat of a “how to know when you need a new water heater” guide to get you off on the right foot.


1. Replace Outdated Water Heaters

The first thing you need to figure out is when you installed your current water heater – or when it was last replaced. If it was more than a decade ago (and you haven’t been keeping up with maintenance), then you should probably start shopping. If you’re not entirely sure how old your current model is, you can check the serial number on the sticker near the top of the heater. The first and second numbers will normally indicate the year it was made. Some stickers do vary, though.

Once you know how old your water heater is, check with the manufacturer’s website or manual to see how long the product is expected to last. Most heaters have a lifespan of only eight to ten years. Any older than that, and you’ll start to have more chronic problems. If you want to get the most life out of your heater as possible, we recommend flushing it yearly and having it serviced anytime you sense a change in its performance.

2. Repairs Aren’t Fixing Your Hot Water Problems.

This may sound obvious, but if you’re continuously unable to get your water heater to produce hot water on a consistent basis, then you ought to get a new one. Many Arizona homeowners spend more money repairing power circuits, tripped high temperature limit regulators or circulation pumps than it would have cost to install a new water heating system. While it may be tempting to milk the life of your unit, consider the risks involved and weigh your options with an open mind.

red-circulation pump for water heater system at canyon state plumbing showroom in sun city west az for non submersible options

Dirty Water Continues to be a Problem.

Sometimes, the issue doesn’t even involve hot water. One of the most telling signs of a bad water heater is dirty water. In most cases, this is often an indicator that sediment has built up in the tank and is now passing through into your appliances. If your water comes out red, this signifies that the heater’s internal parts are beginning to rust. Not only does this mean the tank is toast, but that all hot water plumbing systems need to be flushed from potentially harmful substances.

In some instances, dirty water is caused within piping. Filling glass jars with hot and cold water will easily tell you if the pipes or the water heater are the culprit. Either way, this should let you know when you need a new water heater. After installation, regular maintenance will help prevent rusting and keep hot water heaters clean and safe for the household. Our plumbing repair team recommends adding aluminum or zinc to anode rods – or to the switches on larger rods. 

A Noisy Water Heater Should Make You Nervous.

Do you ever listen to your water heater and wonder if the sounds it’s making are normal? In all fairness, water heaters do make some noise. A low hum or a slight whir is nothing to be concerned about. But when it comes to loud thumping, rumbling, booming, and other annoying clunking sounds; a replacement should be a strong consideration. No water heater should ever be loud enough for you to hear across the house.

As water heaters age, sediment begins to build up inside the tank. Heat and pressure cause the sediment to harden into scale. As the heating element warms up this scale, it begins to burn, causing the heating element to fail and make kettling noises. This is a waste of energy and can damage your heater irreparably. In other words, when your water heater needs replacing, it’s going to be rather noisy.

yellow plastic hose line metal for heated water tank in surprise az home that canyon state plumbing replaced water heater

Leaks Won’t Stop Around the Water Heater.

Water heaters are pressurized and heated, meaning that the metal used to make them continually expands and contracts. Over time, small cracks can develop, causing your water heater to leak. Other weak points, such as the pressure release valve and other connections, can also age away and create leaks. While they may seem like minor inconveniences, leaks are actually signs the heater is about to die.

Just Know When You Need a Water Heater, Canyon State Will Deliver.

Nonetheless, our service experts are always available to come inspect your water heater and discuss potential outcomes. We believe the community’s ability to develop  relationships with reputable local businesses is important. Although COVID-19 has been a challenge for all of us, getting a professional opinion on an expensive purchase is invaluable. If your water heater has seen the last of its days, we’d love an opportunity to help you find an affordable, efficient option for your home or business.

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About Us

Canyon State Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing proudly serves residential and light commercial customers in Phoenix and surrounding areas. At Canyon State Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing, we schedule and perform routine maintenance of your HVAC equipment when it’s convenient for you.

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