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Time for a New Water Heater? Look for These Five Signs

Water heater leak

You probably take your water heater for granted – until a cold shower or a pool of water in your basement lets you know that it is taking some time off, perhaps for good.

Here are six signs your water heater could be on its last legs:

  1. The number on its nameplate – A conventional water heater (one with a storage tank) will last about 10 years on average – a number that can go down significantly if it’s not properly maintained (a tankless water heater can last twice that long – one of several reasons it could be a great investment for your Finger Lakes home. Contact us to learn more).
    If you’re not sure how old your water heater is, here’s a trick: look for the serial number on the manufacturer’s nameplate. The first letter in the serial number corresponds to its month of production; the first two numbers its year of production. For example, in the serial number E072738598, “E”, the fifth letter in the alphabet, corresponds to May, the fifth month. The number “07” represents the year. The water heater was produced in May 2007 – which means it will probably need to be replaced sooner than later.
  2. Higher bills – If your bills are getting higher even though propane gas prices haven’t changed much, your water heater is probably overworking to do its job – and suffering from inefficiency as a result.
  3. Leaks or rusty water – A puddle of water under your tank – or rusty water coming from it – are signs that your water heater could be corroding from the inside out. To see if your hot water is rusty, fill three or four five-gallon buckets: if rust comes only from the hot water tap, you probably need a new water heater.
  4. Water stains – White stains on your utensils and glassware are common signs of hard (mineral-containing) water; so are dry, itchy skin and dull, scratchy clothing. Your water supply could be hard to begin with, or the problem could be the result of a long-term build up of lime in your tank; either way, those minerals will reduce efficiency and shorten the lifespan of your water heater.
  5. Unusual noises – Growling or gurgling noises coming from your storage tank are usually a sign of sediment build-up – a problem that eventually lead to costly water heater repairs a premature replacement if it is not addressed.

If the time has come to replace your water heater, contact us today – we’ll help walk you through some of the things you’ll need to consider to pick the best water heater for your space, lifestyle, and budget.

Don’t wait for a cold shower or an unplanned indoor pool in your basement to replace your old water heater. Contact Ehrhart today to learn about water heater options that meet your family’s needs and your budget!