Water heaters can become ticking time bombs as they near the end of their useful service life. If you don’t pay close attention to the signs that tell you it’s time for a new hot water heater, you could end up facing serious water damage or worse at home.

Take it from the licensed plumbers of Ravinia Plumbing, Sewer, Heating & Electric, and look out for these seven signs you need a new water heater installed in your Chicago North Shore or Chicago Northwest suburbs home.

Signs It’s Time for New Water Heater Installation

Like other appliance replacement projects, new water heater installation is much less of a hassle when it is completed in advance instead of at the last minute due to a sudden failure of your old tank unit. If you encounter any of the following signs in your home, start your water heater replacement project today!

1. Not Enough Hot Water

A clear and common sign of impending water heater failure is the appliance’s inability to meet the household’s hot water demands. Over time, sediment builds up inside the tank, which creates a layer of separation between water to be heated and the heat source. This sediment layer restricts the water heater’s ability to create ample hot water for use in the house. Attempting to drain a sediment-filled tank can expose more problems and cause more harm than good. When your water heater is no longer supplying enough hot water for your family, you are due for a new hot water heater.

2. Old Age

The average tank water heater can be expected to last about 12 years in a home. There are cases where a unit could continue to work until around 17 years of age – regular maintenance and usage habits can impact the water heater’s service life. Alternatively, if your water heater was not well cared for over the years and was never drained, it may not even make it to age 12.

Check your records for receipts that indicate the year your water heater was placed into service so that you can determine the unit’s age. If you do not have any documentation regarding your water heater, its serial number can be used to find its age. Search the manufacturer online, and you’ll find out how to decode the unit’s serial number to show the year it was manufactured.

Once you determine the year your water heater was installed, you can tell its age. If your unit is nearing or beyond 12 years of service, make moves toward new water heater installation now before your existing one suddenly fails.

3. Rust in the Water

When hot water exits your taps with a brown, rusty hue, this coloring is a tell-tale sign of corrosion within your water heater tank, and the unit needs to be replaced. As the tank corrodes from the inside out, leaks could occur at any moment. Replace your water heater as soon as possible to avoid major water damage should your water heater tank suddenly spring a leak.

Brown water and rust can also color hot water when pipes begin to rust. If you are unsure where the rust is coming from, drain a few gallons of hot water from the water heater tank and assess its color. If the water you drained is also brown, the water heater needs to be replaced. If your pipes are rusting, consult your plumber.

4. Odors

In addition to color, hot water may also give off a metallic odor and taste. These signs also indicate the water heater is on the verge of failure.

5. The Water Heater is Leaking

A few drops or water or pooling around the bottom of your water heater tank can be signs that your water heater has reached the end of its service life. Even if there isn’t much water and the leak seems small, do not put off buying a new water heater or you could risk severe water damage in the future.

If you want to make sure it’s the tank that’s leaking and not other components, check the fittings as well as the cold-water inlet and hot-water outlet lines to ensure these components are not the cause of the leak.

6. Rumbling Noises

A rumbling or banging sound from the water heater tank is produced by sediment buildup along the tank floor. The noises are caused by air bubbles attempting to rise through the hardened sediment layer. These noises are likely indicators that it’s time for a new water heater.

7. Frequent Repairs

If your current water heater frequently malfunctions, requiring more than one repair in a six-month period, you’ll want to consider water heater replacement now instead of continuing to funnel funds into a unit that is on the verge of failure.

Contact Ravinia Plumbing, Sewer, Heating & Electric for New Water Heater Installation

Don’t ignore the seven signs it’s time to replace a water heater! If you notice any of the above symptoms in your home, call Ravinia Plumbing today to request an estimate for new water heater installation in Chicago’s North Shore or Chicago’s Northwest suburbs.