As a homeowner, many issues that will come up from time to time with your plumbing. Most often, real plumbing emergencies often occur without any warning and can be quite destructive. Broken water mains and supply lines can release hundreds if not thousands of gallons of water into your home in minutes, leaving behind tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of damage in its wake.
Fortunately for us, there is one component of your plumbing system that requires annual attention and maintenance, and it can be counted on to need a replacement every seven to ten years.
The answer, of course, is your water heater!
Learning how to know when hot water heater needs replacement is something you need to consider if you still have a tank-type unit in your home. The nature of the construction of a tank-type water heater almost guarantees that it is going to start to corrode, begin to leak, and will eventually fail entirely by bursting open and flooding your home with its contents.
It’s not only the tank on your water heater that can fail, but supply valves, supply, and discharge pipes are all susceptible to the corrosive effects of water. Gas burner assemblies fail, often due to the debris they pull in, along with the air necessary to fuel the fire. Usually, our water heaters are located in garages and attics, and there is plenty of particulate matter in both environments to easily cause a blockage in the air intake.
How to Know When Hot Water Heater Needs Replacement?
Usually, the first signs that it is time to replace your tank-type water heater are less available hot water than usual, and water that isn’t quite as hot as it used to be. This is a sign that you have mineral deposits building up in your water heater due to hard water. These deposits will settle to the bottom of the tank, directly above the heating element (in an electric unit) or above the gas burner assembly. As the cluster of minerals grows, water is displaced away from the heat source at the bottom of the tank, and subsequently, you have less hot water available.
If you have not performed regular annual maintenance on your home’s water heater, and your unit is older than seven years, it is time to consider a water heater replacement in Houston.
What Type of Water Heater Replacement Should I Choose?
Understanding how to know when hot water heater needs replacement is only part of the process. The next step is determining what type of water heater should you choose. For about a century, the only viable option for heating water in your home was either a tank-type water heater or a giant cauldron over a fire in your kitchen. Since HOA’s tend to frown upon cauldrons and open flames, you probably have one of the former.
In the last decade or so, an innovation in water heater replacement in Houston became available. Tankless water heaters are different from their huge cylindrical ancestors in that there is NO water storage required to have hot water. The design of the tankless unit, simply stated, is that when you turn on a hot water faucet, water flows over a series of heating elements and out to your faucets giving you unlimited hot water on-demand.
Are Tankless Water Heater Replacements Expensive?
When comparing side-by-side between a tank-type and a tankless water heater, the initial cost of a tankless unit is roughly double the installation cost of a tank unit. Several factors make the tankless units more expensive, aside from just the cost of the technology. The changeover from a tank-type to a tankless water heater requires several modifications to the existing plumbing as well, which tacks on installation costs.
So you’ve learned how to know when hot water heater needs replacement and think it’s time to consider a water heater replacement in Houston, give Nick’s Plumbing and Air Conditioning Services a call. We’ve been installing water heaters in Houston since 1979, and we back our work as well as the materials we install.
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