When your water heater is working properly, you probably don’t think about it at all. From washing dishes to enjoying a hot bath, we all take our home’s water heater for granted until something goes wrong. Being prepared before trouble strikes is key if you want to avoid disruption in the event of a failure.
Here’s everything you need to know to keep your water heater functioning effectively, and what to do when something goes wrong.
Many homeowners wonder “How often should a hot water heater be replaced?” In a typical situation, you should expect your water heater to last about ten years. Although electric water heaters tend to last a bit longer than their natural gas counterparts, the type of water heater is not the best predictor of how long your water heater will last. Instead, your use and maintenance will tell a much better story.
A failed water heater is more than just a disruption; it can sometimes lead to major damage to your home. The good news is that most water heaters will start letting you know it’s time for service before a catastrophe happens. Look for these signs that point to electric or gas hot water heater replacement:
If it’s been a decade since your heater has been installed, it’s likely to need replacing as the cost of major repairs would be better spent on a new unit. If your utility bills are climbing or you seem to need to crank the faucet farther and farther to get hot water, it might be time for a new one. Lastly, if you’ve had to make many repairs already and the unit still isn’t working properly, it’s probably time to stop throwing good money after bad.
If your water heater is relatively young, there are a few things you can check before calling for help:
If you have an electric water heater, your first stop should always be the breaker panel to make sure a breaker hasn’t tripped. Also, check to be sure the thermostat hasn’t accidentally been turned down.
For natural gas water heaters, check to make sure the thermostat is set correctly. If the water isn’t heating properly, it’s best to contact a professional and they can check to make sure the pilot light is working properly and flush the tank to clear sediment as another troubleshooting step. Common fixes for natural gas water heaters include cleaning the burner and replacing the thermocouple--both jobs for an experienced pro, but nothing that will break the bank.
Most of the time, it’s perfectly fine to ignore your water heater and let it do its job uninterrupted. From time to time, you may wonder how long do hot water heaters last. The answer often depends on how well you care for your unit.
Every year, schedule an appointment to let a professional handle it for you. If you ever get the cold shoulder from your water heater, now you know whether a repair is a good idea or if it’s time for a replacement.
To learn more about hot water heater repair or replacement, or to schedule an appointment with one of our experts, call Petro Home Services today!
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