Hot water heaters, typically, last between 10 and 15 years. It's one of the things that keeps our home's running and provide us with hot water. But, it's also something we tend to ignore until there's a problem.
And, when problems with the water heater strike, it can be a disaster. No one wants to wake up to flooding, no hot water, and mold growing in the basement!
Thankfully, there are ways to avoid these problems. If you know what to look for, you can get the water heater replaced before the problems hit.
It's best to have a professional to look at the unit. It can be hot and you can get burned. Also removing any parts (on purpose or by accident) can ruin the heater.
1. Look for 'Muddy Water'
If you see water that appears muddy or you see a lot of sediment in the hot water tank, you have a potential problem. Have the plumber or HVAC expert attach a hose to the drainange valve, turn the power off, and drain the contents. They can them examine them and tell you how serious the problem is... it could be a sign that your heater will fail fairly soon.
2. Listen to Your Hot Water Heater
If you pay attention to the sounds the unit makes, you can get a good idea of how it's functioning. But, hearing loud pops, bangs or grinding noises indicates a problem. If you're unsure, consult your plumber.
3. Look for Any Leaks
If you see any signs of water or dampness around the water heater, contact a plumber or HVAC professional, as soon as possible. This is a major warning sign and means the unit is in major danger of breaking down.
Disconnect the unit, turn the power off and let the unti cool down. Your HVAC pro can then remove it and replace it.
Do not wait if you see any leaks. This is dangerous. It can lead to electrical problems, flooding (which can be dangerous, even life threatening), and massive damage to the home. This is not one of those small home improvements that can be put off...this is a serious issue and needs to be dealt with, fast.