When Is the Best Time to Replace My Water Heater?

When Is the Best Time to Replace My Water Heater?

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For comfortable hot water without disruption, Atlanta area homeowners need to know when to replace their water heater. To help you avoid discomfort and potential disaster, our licensed plumbers fill you in on how long you can expect your water heater to last and when you’ll know it’s time to replace it.

How Long Do Water Heaters Last?

The best thing we have when it comes to water heater lifespan is estimated service life – this is about how long you can expect your water heater to last. Of course, how much you use it and how you maintain it can shift this number in either direction, but generally expect your water heater’s service life to be around the following:

  • 10 to 15 years for tank water heaters
  • 20 to 30 years for tankless water heaters

Water heater maintenance is extremely important in determining when to replace it. Sediment from water is deposited throughout the water heater as it works, but maintenance helps to remove this buildup and prevent damage. If you’ve never drained your tank water heater or had professional maintenance performed, your water heater could require replacement before it reaches the above range. Same goes for water heaters that experience heavy use – they tend to wear out faster than ones that experience less use.

How Do I Know When to Replace My Water Heater?

No one wants to replace their water heater too early, but it’s difficult to know the right time. Knowing when to replace it can be determined when you start noticing these signs at home:

  • Old Age: A tank hot water heater ought to be replaced if it’s 10 years old or more. If your current water heater is nearing the end of its lifespan, it will struggle to provide you with water hot enough to keep you satisfied.
  • Rusty Water: When hot water is rusty, it indicates the water heater is rusting on the inside. Rust in your hot water heater will eventually lead to a water leak if it’s neglected.
  • Not Enough Hot Water: This is the most common sign a new water heater is needed. Sediment builds up over time in water heaters, which prevents water from heating.
  • Strange Rumbling Noises: When sediment builds up on the bottom of your water heater, it is continuously heated and reheated. The sediment hardens and your heater makes a rumbling noise when it operates.
  • Water Leaks: Over time, your tank experiences slight fractures, which causes water to leak. The leak will stop when the water cools down inside the tank. The leak might also be from the fittings or connections to the tank.

If you notice any of the symptoms mentioned above, replacing your water heater is the smart option. Call your plumber to inspect your existing water heater to determine if the cause of symptoms can be fixed with minor repairs, or if it’s time for a new unit.

Should I Replace My Water Heater Before It Completely Fails?

As you decide when to replace your water heater, you have two options: go ahead and replace it when you start noticing the symptoms above, or wait until your water heater stops working entirely. One of these choices is preferable to the other. Can you guess which one?

It is always smart to replace your water heater before it completely fails. Why? Because water heater malfunctions pose a serious risk of flooding and resulting water damage.

If your water heater spectacularly fails, it could result in gallons upon gallons of water spilling out into your home. The damage that results is expensive to clean up and fix, and you risk valuables being destroyed.

Instead of waiting for total system failure, plan in advance to have a new unit installed. Doing so helps you avoid damage and prevents disruption in hot water service so your family is able to continue using hot water as normal in the home.

How Much Does It Cost to Replace the Water Heater?

It helps to know the approximate cost of this project so you know what to plan for. While water heater installation costs vary. Here are the average costs of placing this new plumbing appliance into service:

  • For a tank water heater, you’ll likely pay between $800 and $1,500 for installation. Gas tank water heaters cost about $100 to $200 more to purchase.
  • For a tankless water heater, expect to pay between $1,000 and $3,000 for new equipment and installation.

For Water Heater Installation, Trust Estes

Avoid disruptions in hot water use at home as well as potential flooding and water damage by knowing when to replace your water heater. The Atlanta plumbers of Estes Services help you select efficient new water heating equipment and perform the expert installation you need for reliable hot water at home. 

Contact us today to receive a quote for water heater installation.