People often neglect their water heaters. When a water heater begins to fail, however, they come to the forefront of their owners’ minds. Fortunately, there are often early signs that a water heater is failing, and those who are able to determine a failure early will be able to plan for a replacement in a smooth manner. Here are some of the signs of a failing water heater and some hints that it may be time to purchase a new one.
– Lukewarm water
One of the most obvious signs of a failing water heater is inefficient heating. There are a number of reasons why a water heater might fail to heat the water as effectively as it once did, but some of these problems may lead to the conclusion that the water heater cannot be repaired. A broken heating element can be replaced without much difficulty, but other structural issues may mean that recovery is impossible. Even homeowners who are capable of fixing their water heaters may want to have an expert examine it to see if more failures are likely in the future. In many cases, a second failure causes the system to completely break, which can leave homeowners without hot water until the replacement unit has arrived and can be installed.
– Failing structure
Even though water heaters do not have many moving parts, the combination of heat that is constantly generated and the flow of water will eventually lead to metal fatigue. While some cracks can be patched, some cannot be fixed so safely. Further, early signs of metal fatigue often indicate that there are further structural issues within the water heater, and cracks may simply be a sign of advanced age. When the metal casing or other structural parts of a water heater begin to break, it may be time to consider purchasing a new one.
– Ineffective operation
In some cases, a water heater will be capable of keeping water hot but will not operate in an effective manner. Some older systems are simply ineffective by design, and an upgrade may be worth the expenses involved. However, parts that a become degraded may simply be unable to operate as effectively as they had in the past. In addition, internal leaks can sap energy away from the system, which will also cause wasteful operation. An early sign that a water heater cannot operate effectively may be higher electricity bills. If any question arises, it may be wise to consult with an expert who can determine if a water heater is functioning correctly and if it can be repaired.
– Frequent repairs
Much like cars, old water heater sometimes require constant repairs. Even if these repairs are successful, constant failures may indicate that dumping more money into a water heater is a wasteful effort. At some point, owners will want to determine if they have already wasted too much money on an old water heater and if purchasing a new device will save money in the long run. Fortunately, new water heaters offer a number of advantages over older ones, and upgrading to a more efficient unit will lead to significant savings over time.