Some people truly enjoy taking the DIY approach with various home repairs. They possess the expertise and the skills to tackle some jobs themselves, and they have the knowledge to realise when professional assistance is going to be needed. Other people might be rather clueless, and when something stops working at home, they might not know if the issue is really all that serious. If this describes you, then you might be a bit baffled when your hot water taps stop producing hot water. Can you wait and see if the problem will fix itself, or is a hot water replacement going to be the only way to go?

Signs of a Water Heater in Trouble

There are a few things you might notice when your hot water heater is on its last legs. None of these signs is conclusive by themselves, but if you should begin to experience several of them, with increasing frequency, then it's a valid conclusion that the time to replace your hot water heater is rapidly approaching. What sort of things might start to happen?

  1. The water might not actually be hot. It's not necessarily going to be freezing, but the temperature of the water can be erratic and certainly not as hot as it should be.
  2. Turning on the hot water might produce a variety of unexpected sounds, such as rumbling and creaking. This is due to the heater essentially struggling to reach the necessary temperature.
  3. The water could have a strange colour, reminiscent of rust. This is generally more prevalent in areas with hard water, where an accumulation of minerals has begun to corrode the heater, diminishing its effectiveness and feeding these mineral build-ups into your hot water supply. 

If you should notice these issues, then it can be wise to check the age of your hot water heater.

The Heater's Age

The unit's age can generally be determined by its serial number. Manufacturers generally code the date of production into the serial number, so it's just a question of knowing which company produced the heater and then googling the serial number to determine the date of production. The date of production is not always going to be the date of installation and activation, and it's conceivable that a new heater could have been installed and activated some time after it was manufactured. But knowing the date of production will give you a fairly clear idea of the heater's age. As a general rule of thumb, if the heater was produced a decade or more ago, then a replacement is going to be necessary. In some instances, a heater can last a bit longer, and high-use heaters in areas with hard water might require replacement much earlier.

So if you don't possess any DIY abilities, you don't need to wait and see if your hot water will somehow correct itself. All you need to do is some basic troubleshooting to determine whether your hot water heater needs replacement. For more information about hot water replacement, contact a professional.