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If there’s one thing people depend on a lot in their homes, it’s hot water. From the moment you wake up in the morning to the moment you go to bed, having hot water is a must. Unfortunately, water heater problems can leave you without hot water in your home when you least expect it. This is why it’s important to have maintenance done every once in a while. If you’ve got a problem with your water heater, here’s what you need to know about water heater repair and when it’s time for a replacement.
How Long Do Water Heaters Last?
The first thing you need to consider when it comes to deciding between water heater repair and replacement is how long you’ve had your water heater for. While taking care of your water heater will help it last a bit longer, there comes a time when it’s simply not worth repairing your water heater anymore.
On average, water heaters tend to last about 8 to 12 years. After a certain point, corrosion of the tank and problems with the anode rod and heating elements start to take their toll. While a water heater repair expert can replace a sacrificial anode or heating element, there isn’t much to be done about a bad tank.
Since corrosion is the real killer when it comes to water heaters, it’s important to note that the hardness of your water has an effect on how long your water heater will last. While some water heaters may last the full 12 years or even longer, hard water could shorten that lifespan by years. If you know you have hard water in your home, you need to keep a close eye on your water heater.
Common Water Heater Problems
As far as the problems you’re likely to experience with a water heater, there are several. While most of these problems tend to happen as a result of the age of your water heater, some can be prevented by taking good care of it.
Inside the water heater, the sacrificial anode rod and heating elements are the most likely parts to have problems. The sacrificial anode rod is designed to corrode instead of the tank to keep your water heater intact. Over time, it becomes so corroded that it stops doing that job effectively. The upper and lower heating elements ensure the tank of water is evenly heated, and those can go bad at any time.
As far as the whole water heater goes, the tank is one of the biggest concerns. Whether a bad sacrificial anode rod or hard water is the cause of your corroded water heater, it’s important to have a water heater repair expert replace it right away as any fix will be short term.
The pressure relief valve on your water heater is also a common problem part. This valve is responsible for ensuring proper pressure in the tank, so a leaking or malfunctioning valve could be causing some pretty serious problems. This is another problem you should call a water heater repair specialist for right away.
Water Heater Maintenance
If you want to avoid problems with the water heater in your Huntington Beach, CA, home, the best thing you can do is have routine maintenance done every once in a while. Making sure your water heater is clean and functioning properly can prevent costly problems in the future.
One of the most important parts of water heater maintenance is making sure there isn’t a bunch of sediment building up in the tank. The minerals in the water tend to settle at the bottom of the tank, leading to more corrosion. To avoid this, you should have a water heater repair company flush your water heater to get rid of the sediment every once in a while.
During maintenance, the sacrificial anode rod should also be checked. Since these rods tend to get worse and worse the longer you use them, it’s important to keep an eye on them. Not only that, a bad sacrificial anode rod could lead to more corrosion which ultimately shortens the lifespan of the unit.
Repairing vs. Replacing
The truth of the matter is, it’s tough to bring yourself to spend hundreds on a new water heater for your home. This is why many people opt for water heater repair services instead of simply replacing their water heater. It’s important to understand when it’s best to repair a water heater and when you should simply invest in a new one.
The most common water heater repair jobs include the sacrificial anode, pressure relief valve and heating elements. These are all very fixable problems if you catch them early and are willing to spend some money to replace the parts. The only exception is a bad sacrificial anode rod, which could have caused significant damage to the tank itself.
If your water heater is nearing the end of its life or has problems with the tank itself, it’s best to simply replace it. There’s not a lot you can do to fix a corroded water heater tank, and any fix would be short term at best. On top of that, the bill for a new water heater won’t be much more than an expensive repair bill.
The Smart Move
Nobody wants to have water heater problems, but they’re hard to avoid. If you find yourself without hot water one day, your first move should be calling a plumber to have them inspect it for problems and advise you on whether it needs to be repaired or replaced.
If you need water heater repair or replacement in the Huntington Beach, CA, area, bluefrog Plumbing + Drain of Orange County has you covered. We know all about fixing and replacing water heaters, and we’re happy to help. Call bluefrog at (949) 393-0933 today to learn more or schedule an appointment.