When to Replace Your Water Heater
Water is one of the central resources for today’s society, both for commercial and public use. Car washes, public swimming pools, fountains, plumbing in office buildings, all the way to private use in the home, for familiar uses like showers and baths, flushing the toilet, running sinks, garden hoses, and the washing machine, plus recreational uses like washing a car or filling a private pool. For homeowners, the water heater is critical for most of these functions, and one can ask “When do I need to replace my water heater?” to stay on top of maintenance issues.
The United States needs plenty of water. In fact, the country raised its water use by 200% between the years 1950 and 2000, and may rise well into the future. Homeowners in particular are voracious users of water, so having efficient plumbing and appliances can save a lot of water per year, while leaks and water-inefficient plumbing can conversely waste a lot of it. Often, an American family of four uses 400 gallons of water per day, and this makes for a water and sewer bill of about $500 per year, on average. Efficiency with plumbing is critical, then, but not always observed. Up to 90 gallons of water are wasted each day in an American home that leaks, and some 10% of American homes are like this. All together, from homes with leaky plumbing and wasted public water, a staggering 1 trillion gallons of water is wasted every single year. If a homeowner feels that is or her home is not water efficient enough, the question “When do I need to replace my water heater?” may have the answer: “Now.”
When Do I Need to Replace my Water Heater?
Finding the right plumber to fix leaky plumbing in the home is just the start. Replacing an old or defective water heater is critical for water efficiency and making sure that hot water never runs out, and calling a plumber is always a good idea for this. Sewer repair and other plumbing services may be called upon to further prevent water leaks or other problems in the home’s plumbing if need be.
There are signs that one should ask “When do I need to replace my water heater?” or “when to hire a plumber?” For example, most water heaters will function well for 10 to 15 years, but once that time span has passed since the last installation, it may be time to take preventative measures and get a new one installed before the current one fails. If not, the current one may have a lot of sediments built up inside, drastically reducing how much hot water it can hold at a time, or it may leak. In either of those cases, a homeowner will note their hot water running out unusually early in the day and having to wait until tomorrow to get it back, only to lose it again. An old water heater may even have its storage reduced by half due to years of sediments building up inside.
After a homeowner wonders “When do I need to replace my water heater?” and resolves to get the job done, he or she may call a plumber and other professionals to get the new heater set up. According to Smarter House, one factor to consider ahead of time is what fuel type the water heater will use. Some run off of electricity, and may be the cheapest option if the local electric company offers to sell cheaper electricity to the home during off peak hours for the water heater. A special meter on the heater will gauge when those cheaper off-peak times are, and draw electricity during that time. Otherwise, natural gas or propane may the fuel type that a heater needs, especially if the home has natural gas utilities that are cheaper than electricity. The size of the heater should also be considered, not only for whether it will actually fit into the home, but based on the home’s water needs. A heater too small will run out of hot water in the day, and a too-big heater will be a waste of money.