A new water heater is a considerable expense for your Harrisonburg, VA home, but it’s often a smart investment to make. Knowing when to replace your system can save you a great deal of time, money, and frustration. A professional plumbing service can help you make a final determination, but it’s often clear when it’s time to upgrade.

Your Water Heater Is Aging

You can expect the typical water heater to last around 10 years before it starts experiencing serious issues. Some may hold out longer, but it’s best to start planning for a replacement after a decade of service. You can find the age of your water heater by checking the label affixed to the side of the tank. The serial number will give you all the information you need, but note that manufacturers use several different numbering systems.

You’re Losing Hot Water Capacity

Losing hot water entirely is an obvious sign that it’s time for your old heater to go. Less obvious, however, is a loss of hot water capacity. The amount of hot water your system can supply at once is limited by the size of its storage tank. Over time, sediment precipitates out of the water stored in your tank and accumulates on the bottom. This gradually reduces the amount of stored water, which means your system runs out of hot water more quickly. A limited supply of hot water is a clear sign that it’s time to replace your system.

You’ve Spotted Rust

Along with sediment buildup, corrosion is one of your water heater’s greatest natural enemies. Check your heater regularly for rust on the tank or anywhere near the water inlet or pressure relief valve. Rust in these places usually indicates that there’s also rust inside the tank. Unfortunately, a rusty tank just isn’t practical to repair, so a replacement is the only solution. You might also begin to notice rust in your water, but this can come from several sources. It’s important to have it checked out by a professional before making any decisions.

It’s tempting to put off replacing a water heater that still functions but doing so rarely turns out well. By swapping out your old heater, you can enjoy greater reliability, better performance, and money-saving efficiency gains. To find out more, check out Valley Air Heating, Cooling & Plumbing’s water heater services.

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