The time to replace your water heater is before it damages your floor/walls or belongings. If you wait for a leak to occur before replacing your water heater, you could experience expensive water damage that can easily lead to expensive mold problems.
If your water heater is located in an area where there is not much concern, such as in an unfinished basement with a concrete floor near a drain or sump pump, then yes, you can likely wait until the water heater has failed to replace it without too many problems.
If your water heater is showing signs of imminent failure, and you would like to prevent further problems, give Jersey Plumbing a call: (908) 281-7101
If you’re not sure if your water heater is headed for failure, check the following:
Dirty Water • Water that is pouring with a rusty or sandy debris can be a sign of water heater failure or old pipes that could be headed for failure. Either way, you’ll want to get a Master Plumber out to assess the problem.
Noises • Hearing pops or crackling noises coming from the water heater is a sign that the sediment at the bottom of the tank has hardened. This causes your heating source to work overtime, driving up your energy costs and driving down your water heater’s effectiveness.
You may also notice water takes longer to heat at this stage. This problem can be prevented by draining your water at least once a year, or by having an experienced plumber drain it for you.
However, once the sediment has hardened, it’s too late to try draining the water heater. It will eventually crack and leak.
Water Temperature • As stated above, sediment can gather at the bottom of your water heater, causing your heating source to work overtime to achieve the same results. If you notice the water isn’t getting hot, you may be able to drain the water and sediment, replace the heating element, or, if hardened sediment is the problem, replace the water heater.
Leaks • When there is water leaking from the water heater it is time to replace it.
Age • It’s best practice to keep a record of when each unit in your home was purchased. If you don’t happen to know how old your water heater is, you can call the manufacturer and supply them with the model number to find out. Water heaters last 8-10 years. If your water heater is 10 years old, we recommend replacing it. If it’s nearing 8, you may want to save up for the replacement and keep that in your emergency fund.