The worst time to realize your hot water heater is not working is in the cold winter months (that will be here before you know it). But if you understand the signs indicating your heater needs replacing, it is possible to avoid this situation from ever happening. If you are wondering how to know if your hot water heater is broken or when you should replace it, keep reading for some helpful tips.
The age of your water heater
Furnaces have a relatively long lifespan, ranging from 15-25 years, depending on maintenance and usage. The older the system, the more likely it is to break down. If you’re unsure of how old your water heater is, check for a pilot light. Units that have one are most likely to be more than 25 years old. Consider upgrading your outdated water heater before it breaks down completely to avoid an interruption of heat during the colder fall months.
Higher than usual utility bills
An increase in your utility bills can signify a water heater that isn’t running correctly. If you find your furnace running longer, even in moderate temperatures, it may be time for a replacement. Upgrading to a new system will keep your home warmer and reduce your utility bills.
Strange or loud noises
One of the first problems you will encounter if your water heater is on the fritz is loud rattling, banging, or squealing noises. The loud noises can come from a problem with the motor, motor bearings, or the blower assembly. It’s best to call a professional immediately so you can fix this problem before your water heater fails.
Short cycling occurs when your heating system briefly kicks on and off. It can be caused by several factors, including heater exchanger overheating, improper unit sizing, thermostat settings, dirty air filters, and more. Short cycling decreases the efficiency of your system and can be a sign it needs to be replaced.
Constantly adjusting the thermostat
If you’re constantly adjusting the thermostat or notice rooms that are heated unevenly, it could be a sign of a failing water heater. When a furnace needs to be replaced, it can become more difficult to push heat evenly throughout your home, causing the temperature to vary from room to room.
Burner flame color
If you own a gas furnace, check the status of your flame. A properly functioning furnace flame will burn a blue color, indicating an adequate amount of oxygen. A yellow flame means that carbon monoxide is present. Carbon monoxide that isn’t vented can be harmful to your health. If you see a yellow flame, it’s essential to leave your home and call a professional.
Visible signs of rust, debris, or dust
Visible signs on or around your unit, like rust, debris, dust, and water, can all indicate a problem. Your water heater isn’t operating efficiently, and it’s probably time to install a new one.
How Do I Know If My Hot Water Heater Is Broken?
If you’ve found yourself asking the question “When should I replace my water heater”, it may be time to consider calling the professionals at Fosh Plumbing & Heating Inc. Our team can provide expert water heater repair and replacement services so you will never experience a failing water heater this winter. Connect with us today to receive an estimate.