Water Heater Replacement: When to Replace Your Water Heater

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Everyone adores the luxury of having nice hot water at their fingertips. We use it for just about everything from showers, to washing dishes, to washing clothes and more. In order to keep equipment working properly, we must to an eye on it. A minor maintenance issue can snowball into needing a major overhaul.

Water Heater Safety Apparatus

Some of the ways we can maintain a good water heater are by checking its pressure every now and then. A quick check of the pressure valve can keep the tank from becoming over-pressurized. Normally, every water heater comes with a built-in pressure relief valve. This is a safety mechanism. Without this apparatus, the pressure inside of the water heater can build up and even burst. The explosion can ruin the machine and also cause harm to anyone who is in short distance of it. Set a date on your calendar to check to see if the safety gadget on the water heater is working properly.

When checking the pressure valve, first turn off the electricity that is connected to it. Next, turn off the cold water. Find a bowl or a little bucket so the water that is released does not drip on the floor and make a mess. Pulling the lever to the valve is how you would check it. By listening closely the air can be heard coming out. If no air or water comes out, then it would be a good idea to empty the tank and replace the valve. This small adjustment could save hundreds of dollars on a new water heater that becomes over-pressurized.

Flushing the Tank of the Water Heater

Flushing out the water heater tank can lower the amount of the sediment buildup. Whenever a water heater goes through the process of heating water, pieces of sediment form and lands at the very bottom of the tank. Minerals such as magnesium and calcium slowly build up causing the tank to clog. Water discoloration is one of the signs that there is a significant buildup in the tank. The water is now coming out of the sink and shower a brownish-red color.

Also, a tank that has a large build-up can begin making loud sounds. That’s one way that the tank is letting the owner know that something is wrong, along with an obvious reduction in the amount of hot water. The reason why there are knocking sounds in the tank is that pieces of the sediment has broken loose and are hitting up against the tank. In many cases, the problem with the buildup could have gone on for some time, until the noises are heard. The loud noises are what catches the attention of many heater owners.

After about 15 years, many water heaters began to show signs that they need to be replaced. If the efficiency of the heater has gone down below 50%, it may be time for a water heater replacement. After a while, the mineral buildup on the bottom of the tank is so heavy that no amount of cleaning works. Another sign that it may be time to move on is the number of leaks throughout the heater. If you notice leaks, turn off the electricity or gas before attempting to look further.

Rising water bills are another good way to recognize that a new water heater is needed. The heater is working twice as much to distribute half the amount of hot water. If the water in the shower is still lukewarm, when prior it was super hot and ready to go, then there may have a problem.

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