Your home's water heater is an essential part of your plumbing system. An improperly functioning water heater can cause a great deal of discomfort for you, especially in the winter months, and can also greatly increase your utility bills due to higher inefficiency. Thankfully, there are a couple of signs that you can keep your eye out for to help determine when you should look into purchasing a replacement for your water heater.
Less Hot Water
A clear indication that you should have your water heater replaced is if its capacity drops over time. This is because of sediment that builds up within the tank, and then hardens over time, creating a solid layer at the bottom of the tank that lowers your water heater's overall water capacity. This sediment can also block the heating element, making your water heater less effective overall and boosting your energy bills to higher levels. While it may be possible to contact a professional to remove small amounts of sediment, if you've experienced a great deal of buildup within the tank, you will likely have to look into purchasing a replacement unit.
In a similar vein to the above point, sediment that builds up within your water heater can cause banging and rumbling as the sediment itself actively expands and contracts as it's heated. This can greatly increase the chances of a leak developing in the hot water tank, which can be a much more serious and expensive issue to fix. If you notice constant rumbling or strange sounds coming from your water heater, especially if in combination with a small hot water capacity, you should go down in your basement and check around your water heater for any signs of leaks.
Rust in the Water
Over time, as the protective coating around your water heater's tank breaks down, rust can begin to form on the interior of the tank. This can greatly increase the risk of a leak developing, which can cause a significant amount of water damage in your home. If you notice rust in the hot water coming out of your faucets, you should contact a professional immediately to have your unit looked at to determine if you need to replace your water heater. As a preventative measure in the future, you can prevent rust from developing on the interior of your tank by installing an anode rod in your water heater.
To learn more, contact a company like Cascade Plumbing & Mechanical, LLC.