What is the Most Common Cause of Water Heater Failure?

connections for a water heater

What is the Most Common Cause of Water Heater Failure?

For most of us in the Lewis Center, OH area, we take our hot water every morning and night for granted. But as it has been said, always expect the unexpected. By this, that means your water heater could quit providing hot water any moment, leaving you with the need to have your water heater repaired or replaced. 

Is it worth it to have a water heater repaired?

The age of your water heater will be the first consideration. If your water heater is less than five years old, yes, water heater repair is worthwhile. However, if your water is eight years old or older, a water heater replacement would make more sense. Another factor to consider is the cost of a water heater repair, even for a 5-year-old water heater. When repairs are 25% or more of the cost of a replacement, go with a replacement.

When do you need a water heater replacement?

The most common cause that plumbers find for water heater repairs is corrosion. The anode rod is a sacrificial component in the water. It deteriorates over time and must be replaced, but fortunately, it is an inexpensive part and the labor isn’t intensive.

Just as you have your HVAC system and roof inspected every two years, you should have your water heater inspected as well.  An experienced plumber will be able to determine if the anode rod is corroding and should be replaced before it completely quits and leaves you without hot water one morning. 

What are the indicators a water heater is about to quit?

Most water heater repairs can cost between $200 and $1,000, depending on the brand, the problem, and what parts are needed. To get the longest lifespan possible from your water heater, and to avoid those expensive water heater repairs, be aware of the following: 

1. Insufficient Supply of Hot Water: If you aren’t getting enough hot water for an average shower time, it probably is from sediment buildup. All water has sediment and as it builds up inside the tank, it minimizes how much space is in the tank for the hot water. Sediment buildup can be avoided by having your water heater flushed once a year. 

 2. Water Heater Leaking: There are a lot of places a water can start leaking as the water flows through the system. From the water connections at the plumbing source, at the water heater itself, along the bottom or side of the tank, and more. This also includes the TPR valve (temperature and pressure relief valve) can come loose, leaving you with water dripping and pooling on the floor around the tank. This can be either an inexpensive water heater repair or it may indicate you need a new water heater.

3. Water Temperature Inconsistent: When a water heater is working correctly, the hot water flow should be consistent and steady. If the temperature is starting to be inconsistent, you may have a water heater repair service done, like flushing the tank. If that doesn’t help the situation, it is time to get a replacement. 

4. Decreased Water Pressure: Sediment buildup will lessen the water heater pressure throughout your home. Having the water heater flushed and inspected for other possible water heater repairs may help, if not, you’ll need to start shopping for a new water heater. 

5. Suspicious Noises and Sounds: A water heater that starts banging, clanging, and knocking is a loud clue that you need to shop for a new water heater, sooner rather than later. At this point, water heater repairs are not going to help. 

6. Discolored Water: If the water coming into your home has a metallic taste or is discolored and murky look, it is most likely from either rust or a buildup of sediment. Have the system flushed and if that doesn’t help, check the plumbing pipes coming from the meter to your house. If that isn’t any help, it is time to replace it. 

In Conclusion

If water heater repairs aren’t possible or don’t help, and you are faced with a new water heater, shop around. The plumber you choose to install your water heater may offer to include the replacement unit with his quote but ask to shop for your own and have it delivered to your home. This can lower their quote and give you some freedom to shop around for a lower price.  Like any good business owner, a plumber will typically increase the cost of a new water heater. But if you don’t have the time, use a plumber you can trust and has good references. 

Meanwhile, if you’re looking for services such as water heater repair in Lewis Center, OH our team can be there for you. Just call 614-681-8870 to learn more about the services PlumbSure Plumbing and Drains can provide.