A household heating system may not do much work over a winter in Southern California, and that’s how most of us like it! But there is a heating system in your house that does an immense amount of labor in winter—as well a spring, summer, and fall. It’s your water heater, and it runs almost every day of the year to keep your household supplied with the hot water necessary for so many basic tasks.
All that work means a water heater eventually runs down and reaches a point where all the best repairs won’t do much but drain money while the water heater becomes less efficient and effective. By all means, have your water heater repaired if those repairs are worth it. But be ready to accept when the better investment is to purchase a new water heater.
Water Heater Age
Depending on the water heater type, the average expected equipment life can range from 15 to 30 years. Gas-powered tank water heaters have the shorter lifespan, while tankless systems can have the longest. (Any water heater that misses out on regular maintenance will probably fail years earlier than its average lifespan.)
So although the age of your household water heater isn’t an absolute indicator of when to have it replaced, it’s a good estimate for when you should start to watch for other warnings that it’s approaching the end of its service life.
Drop in Hot Water Volume
The most common problem that a water heater starting to fail for the final time will encounter is a loss of the amount of hot water it can deliver. If the house runs out of hot water earlier in the morning during peak shower time than it once did, there’s trouble. Call to see if the system can be repaired, but if the water heater is already in the upper range of years of service, this loss of hot water volume is a strong signal to get a new water heater.
Rise in Heating Costs
As a water heater becomes decrepit, it will cost much more to operate. Keep a watch on your utility bills to see if there’s a steady rise in heating costs for which you cannot account. Because the water heater uses so much power, it’s a prime suspect for increases in energy use. Most water heaters will keep their energy efficiency until the last two years of their service lives—so those rise in costs are a big warning.
If you see rust or other types of corrosion forming on the tank of your water heater, or notice rusty discoloration in the hot water, then it’s almost certainly time for a new water heater. Corrosion can rarely be fixed without replacing most of the system.
For a professional opinion on whether you need a new water heater in Bloomington, CA or elsewhere in the Greater Riverside Area, A-Avis Home Services is the contractor your can trust. We have served homes here for more than 60 years.
Like our shoe covers, our customers are the coolest! Call A-Avis Home Services Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. for all your home service needs.