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Water leaking from the plastic faucet on a residential electric water heater sitting on a concrete floor with a red pipe wrench, tubing cutters, teflon tape and copper fittings in the foreground to repair or place the appliance.

3 Signs Your Water Heater Is Showing Age

A water heater is a device that uses natural gas or electricity to heat water for residential and commercial buildings. It comprises a heating coil, an electrical resistance element, and a combustion chamber. Modern heaters feature insulation, heat exchangers, burner controls, and automatic ignition. A water heater should last roughly 15 years if properly maintained. If the unit is not maintained correctly, it will show signs of age and eventually require replacement before its natural lifespan.

1. Leaks

Leaks usually start at the water connections because these spots are subject to constant use and abuse. Check the heater for any loose fittings or hoses. Make sure that all the connectors are tightened securely. Loose fittings can cause a leak that seems to come and go. If the leak is too severe, you should have your water heater inspected immediately and, if necessary, replaced.

2. Strange Noises During Operation

If your water heater starts making strange loud noises during operation, like a thudding or knocking sound, you should have the unit checked immediately. These sounds can be caused by a broken part inside the heater. If the part catches or hits another part during operation, it could lead to more severe problems for other parts of the unit. Listen carefully and make note of any sounds that you hear.

3. Decreased Efficiency

If your water heater is approaching the end of its life, you will likely notice a decrease in efficiency. The water in your household will not get hot as quickly as it once did. This can be particularly inconvenient during winter when you need hot water to warm the house. Your monthly utility bills will also increase as the heater requires more fuel to produce hot water. If your unit starts to have this problem, a new unit may lower your energy bill.

When to Repair, Upgrade, or Replace a Water Heater

If your water heater is nearing the end of its lifespan, it may be time to repair, upgrade, or replace it. If you are just starting to notice some minor problems associated with the unit, you may want to consider repairing it. The unit may still work for a few more years without difficulty. However, if the unit is not operating correctly or you are experiencing significant issues, it may be time to consider a replacement.

If you are expanding your home, an upgrade may be your best option. This will allow you to increase the amount of hot water available for your entire family and make your new home more efficient. If you do decide to replace your unit, make sure that you look for the latest models on the market. They have a better design and are far more energy efficient than most older models.

The price of a new water heater can seem high, but investing in a new unit is usually cheaper in the long run than repairing an old one. Contact Select Plumbing for water heaters and repair services in Lincoln, NE. Our plumbers have the skills and experience to service all major brands. We can also help you choose the right water heater for your home’s needs.