The average lifespan of most water heaters is between eight and 12 years. While some do last as long as 15-20 years with regular maintenance, this is the exception rather than the rule. If your water heater is showing signs of damage or wear and tear and it’s at least 10 years old, it’s worth comparing the price of the repair with the cost of a brand new water heater. Here are some signs to look for that your water heater might need to be repaired or replaced:
Leaking or water collecting underneath in drain pan
Rust or other debris in your hot water
Loud noises when the unit is in use
Not heating water to the temperature it’s set for
Water takes a long time to heat up
If your water heater is 10 years old or more and the price of the repair would be 30% or more of the cost for a brand new water heater, it’s best to consider replacing the water heater. Your technician can help you choose the best type and capacity water heater for your home. If you haven’t considered the type of water heater you have, it’s worth knowing there are three main types to choose from.
Standard Tank Water Heater – This is the standard water heater most people are familiar with. A large tank holds water that is heated by either electricity or gas. High efficiency standard water heaters are available and can save you as much as 7% on your utility bill.
Hybrid Water Heater – This type of water heater uses a tank, like the standard water heater. However, the water is heated using the home’s heat pump instead of directly by gas or electric. This type of water heater uses existing electricity and water lines and can save you as much as 60% on your water heating costs.
Tankless Water Heater – This type of water heater doesn’t store water in a tank but rather heats water on demand as you need it or use it. It gives you an endless and unlimited supply of hot water. This type of water heater can reduce water heating costs by up to 30%.
Another note about water heaters: The manufacturing requirements for water heaters changed in April of 2015 to require designs that increased efficiency with greater insulation, among other design improvements. This has resulted in many water heater models and capacities being shorter and wider than previous models. What this means for the consumer is that you might have to compromise on the capacity of your new water heater to fit into the space available. Your Williamson’s technician can explain the changes and help you select the best water heater option for your home.