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When To Replace Your Water Heater

8.2 minutes.

That is the average length of a shower in the United States. After toilets and washers, showers use the most water in our homes.

If the average show takes 8.2 minutes, that means we spend almost an hour every week in the shower. For many people, it is part of their daily routine. Whether it's first thing in the morning to help you wake up, or before bed to help you relax.

What happens when you go to turn on the shower, but the water is ice-cold? Don't wait until an emergency with your water heater. Schedule regular maintenance, and monitor its performance over its lifetime.

How do you know when to replace your water heater?

When to Replace Your Water Heater

Replacing a water heater may not be as scary as you think! Depending on the type and model you choose, you can add value to your home by helping it run more efficiently.

There are three tell-tale signs that its time to make the investment.

Insufficient Hot Water Supply

When your hot water heater has reached the end of its life, the first indication is the loss or decrease in hot water supply. You may notice that your hot shower doesn't get as hot, or may not last as long.

However, if this does happen, it may also indicate that your hot water heater has too much sediment in the bottom. Sediment is a natural buildup from your water being heated.

When water is heated minerals are separated from the water, causing the buildup on the bottom of your water heater. When there is a large amount of buildup, there is less room for your water heater to store hot water.

Sometimes the water heaters life can be extended by flushing the sediment out of the tank. Flushing your hot water systems usually involves draining the water from your tank and then running water through the system to flush out sediments and minerals. Often, flushing the tank does the trick.

Water Discoloration

The sediment buildup within your water heater can also lead to water discoloration. Over time this mineral buildup can cling to the inside of your water heater, and to the sides of your pipes.

There are other reasons discoloration may happen, such as rust and corrosion in pipes, or bacteria, so it's important to get your plumbing checked out by a professional.

You've Noticed a Leak!

You've noticed a leak in your water heater. Don't panic! A leak doesn't always mean that the tank has reached its end. First, take a moment and determine where the leak is coming from.

You may be surprised to learn that your leak has a quick and painless fix.


Your "leak" may be condensation that has built up on the outside of your water heater. Condensation is most common in older units, yet, it can happen in newer units. If you have a newer unit, and condensation, it may indicate that the insulation has been damaged, or the thermostat is set to high.

To determine if your water heater is experiencing condensation first turn the power off. Allow your unit to sit for a few hours to cool down. If the "leaking" has ceased, then you know that condensation was the issue.

Turn the heat down on your water heater, and the condensation should cease.

Leaking Pressure Release Valve

Your pressure valve is located near the bottom of your water heater. It's designed to help relieve the built-up pressure within your unit. Too much pressure could be caused by a couple of different things.

The water coming from the exterior of your home could be coming in at a pressure that is too high. It could be as simple as the temperature is set too high on your unit.

One of the most common reasons to have your pressure valve leak is that it is not closed all the way. When tightening your valve be careful that it is snug, but not too tight.

A simple easy fix!

Leaking Tank

Rusting and corrosion are a natural part of a water heaters life cycle. Over time the rusting and corrosion may cause a small leak in the bottom of your water heater. The leak could start as small as a pinhole.

If this small leak isn't discovered, over time the pressure from the water inside the unit will cause the hold in the heater to grow larger.

Once your unit has a leak like this, the best option is a replacement. This will help you avoid a potentially costly water heater flood in your home.

Energy Efficiency is Key

If your current model is not keeping up with your hot water needs, or uses too much gas or power, it may be time for you to upgrade. The life expectancy of a water heater ranges from about 10 to 15 years. If your unit is up there in age, it may be time to make the investment.

Researching fuel options will help you make a wise decision based on what fits with your homes water and energy needs. It is also important to research the various models and types of water heaters available.

Storage Water Heaters

Storage water heaters are the most common unit in homes today. The tank size can range anywhere from 20-80 gallons. Storage water heaters can be heated via natural gas, electricity, propane or oil.

To best determine which unit is going to be best for you, you will want to look at the energy factor. The energy factor is an overall measure of efficiency for your unit and is federally regulated.

Tankless Water Heaters

Tankless water heaters, also known as demand water heaters, heat water on demand. The appeal of this type of water heater is that hot water never runs out.

By heating water when it is needed, demand water heaters reduce energy consumption by 10 to 15 percent!

It Is Time

Now you know when to replace your water heater. Whether in Austin, Round Rock, Pflugersville or surrounding area's, if it is time for you to replace your unit, let us help you! Contact Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Austin TX today!

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