Hot water is an essential part of everyday life in the modern world. Whether you’re taking a shower in the morning, washing your hands, or hand-washing dishes, you need access to hot water. Unfortunately, water heaters don’t last very long and that life expectancy can be even shorter depending on the water quality in your San Antonio, TX, home. If your water heater is starting to give you trouble and you’re thinking about calling a plumber for water heater repair, here are some tips to help you decide if it’s time for a new water heater.
Water Heater Age
The age of your water heater is one of the biggest factors when you’re deciding between water heater repair and replacement. As we mentioned before, water heaters don’t last very long, and it’s usually better to replace your water heater if it’s nearing the end of its expected life.
On average, water heaters last between 8 and 10 years. The exact lifespan of your water heater can vary a bit depending on water quality, what type of water heater you have, and when you purchased it. That being said, there’s really nothing you can do to prevent the water heater problems that come with long-term use. The longer you use your water heater, the more sediment builds up and leads to corrosion inside the tank. Eventually, this damage can lead to holes and cracks in the actual tank of your water heater, at which point water heater repair is no longer an option.
Tankless water heaters may last up to 20 years, and tank water heaters can last a bit longer than a decade with routine maintenance. Having a water heater repair expert flush your water heater is the best way to extend its life.
Signs of a Bad Water Heater
As a homeowner, keeping an eye on the fixtures and appliances in your home is essential — especially when it comes to repairs. Catching potential problems early on can save you money on water heater repairs and help extend the life of your water heater. Here are some signs of a bad water heater that you should keep an eye out for.
Lack of hot water
If you have no hot water or you’re simply not getting enough hot water for your San Antonio, TX, home, that could be a sign that your water heater is getting old. Typically, a residential water heater can provide more than enough hot water for a long shower, so you shouldn’t be running out of hot water during the first shower of the day. The same goes for washing your dishes or running a load of laundry — your water heater should be able to handle regular demand.
Water heaters can heat water to a point that it can actually cause scalding, so inconsistent temperatures are a major water heater problem. If your water is suddenly getting too hot or too cold, there could be an electrical problem or a problem with one of the heating elements in your water heater. If that’s the case, you should call a plumber for a replacement rather than putting yourself at risk.
There are some water heater problems that a plumber can fix, but certain water heater repairs simply aren’t worth the trouble. Leaks are one of the biggest water heater problems if they’re coming from the actual tank. You can’t really do anything to fix a leaking water heater tank, so a leaking water heater means it’s time to invest in a new one.
Upgrading Your Water Heater
You might also consider replacing your water heater if you’re interested in upgrading to something new. Newer water heaters are typically more efficient and offer convenient features, and you can even opt for a tankless water heater for on-demand hot water. Keep in mind that it’s going to take a while for the improved efficiency of your new water heater to pay off — but it’s well worth the investment if you need a new unit anyway.
Tank vs Tankless
Tankless water heaters are all rage when it comes to water heater repair and installation, but is a tankless unit right for you?
Tankless water heaters are great because they’re more efficient. Instead of keeping 50 gallons of water hot, tankless units heat water as you need it. This also means that you don’t run out of hot water unless you’re using more hot water (in GPM) than your tankless water heater can produce.
Tank water heaters are generally more affordable and easier to install, and they’re typically simpler in terms of repair. The downside is that you can run out of hot water with a tank water heater, plus they’re not quite as efficient.
Repairing Your Water Heater
As far as water heater repair goes, there are really only a couple of things you can do. Our plumbers can check to make sure your water heater is working properly and diagnose the problem. No hot water can often be fixed by replacing the heating elements and thermostats. We can also replace your sacrificial anode rod to help prevent corrosion caused by the buildup of sediment.
Tankless water heaters are a bit more complex, but our team can fix your tankless water heater, too.
Is It Time to Upgrade?
If you have a water heater that’s 10 or 15 years old and you’re suddenly not getting hot water, it might be time to upgrade to a new water heater. bluefrog Plumbing + Drain + HVAC of San Antonio can help you find an efficient and affordable water heater upgrade for your home and get it installed for you. We can even install tankless water heaters in your San Antonio, TX, home and perform annual water heater maintenance. If you need water heater repair or replacement, call bluefrog Plumbing + Drain + HVAC of San Antonio at (210) 876-1629.