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W.C. Butler Heating and Air Conditioning Blog

Signs That It’s Time for a Water Heater Upgrade


Sometimes, you want a cold shower. Perhaps you just got back from a run, or you’ve been working out in your yard all afternoon on a summer day. But getting surprised by icy water coming out of the showerhead is a whole different story.

In the first scenario we just mentioned, you probably wouldn’t be worried about your water heater, while the second scenario could lead you into a panic.

Fortunately, it is possible to know if you may need a water heater replacement long before it completely stops giving you hot water! And don’t you want to try to address any problems with your home comfort systems before it means you can’t use them anymore? We agree, this is a great idea! So read on as we uncover some of the most common signs that it is, in fact, time to replace your water heater.

Your Water Heater Is Old

Age matters when it comes to any one of your home comfort systems. If your water heater has reached the age of 15-20 years, it’s going to be ready for a replacement sooner rather than later. Newer systems will always perform more efficiently and effectively when compared to a system from even the early 2000s.

There Is a Leak

Leaks don’t always mean your water heater is doomed. However, if the leak is coming from the tank of your system, this it’s not something that can be repaired. A leak coming from the water line or the pressure relief valve is fixable, a cracked tank is not.

At this point, this is a clear sign you need to replace the system.

You See Rust or Corrosion

There’s a component inside your tank water heater called the anode rod. Composed of magnesium, this rod is designed to absorb rust and corrosion so that the interior of your tank doesn’t do it instead. Therefore, if you see rust and corrosion on the outside of the tank, it’s too late, and it’s time to intervene with a replacement.

Increased Repair Needs

Last but certainly not least, if you find that your water heater has needed professional repairs more often than it used to (like, once a year) this is a sure sign that it’s on its last leg. The money spent on those repairs is better spent on a new water heater installation.

“Should I Consider Going Tankless?”

There are a lot of reasons to consider getting a tankless system as your next water heater installation! Also called “on-demand” water heaters, tankless systems don’t come on to heat the water until there is a demand for it from a faucet or appliance. This makes it more efficient than a tank water heater because it doesn’t suffer from standby heat loss.

That said, tankless systems can be overwhelmed if there is too much demand on them at once. It’s a good idea to talk to your water heater professional about your options if you’re interested in higher water heater efficiency!

For professional water heater installation in Rocky Mount, VA, contact W.C. Butler Heating and Air Conditioning.

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