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For most of us, immediate access to hot water from our water heater isn’t optional. We expect the water heater to deliver a steamy hot shower and get us through a sink full of dirty dishes on demand. But even the most advanced water heaters do not last forever! No one wants their hot water access interrupted. In order to prevent this, it is important to replace units that are approaching the end of their lives.
There are some common occurrences that will help you to notice that the water heater is starting to fail.
Most water heaters have a ten year lifespan on average. After so many years, parts wear out, corrosion can develop, and tanks crack. It is important to know the age of your heater. The age will help predict when a replacement may be a consideration.
There are obvious symptoms that alert you very quickly to a problem with your water heater. The most common is when the shower is noticeably cooler or runs out of hot water much faster. This problem can be due to a failing heating element which compromises the hot water supply. Zeek Plumbing would be able to diagnose this issue and perform the repair. It could also mean that sediment over time has hardened on the bottom of the tank or the heating element, as well. If this is the case, the only solution would be replacement. If you wait, it may soon fail to operate adequately.
You will definitely get the message that a replacement may be in your near future if you hear a loud banging sound. This would occur whenever the water in the tank is heating. The tank is expanding rapidly with sediment accumulating and hardening on the bottom. This is what causes the loud sound. It forces the water heater to work harder and expand quickly, causing the big bang sound.
Tankless water heaters, or demand-type water heaters, provide hot water only when it is necessary. These heaters heat water directly without the use of a storage tank.
Once you turn the hot water tap is on, cold water travels through a pipe into the unit. A gas burner or an electric element then heats up the water. This process results in a constant supply of hot water – no waiting for a storage tank to fill up!
Tankless water heaters can be much more energy efficient, especially for homes that use a lot of hot water. If your home uses about 85 gallons a day, the tankless heater can be 8-14% more energy efficient. For homes that use around 40 gallons a day, the demand heater can be 24-34% more energy efficient. Installing the demand type at each hot water outlet, you could achieve an energy savings up to 50%.
Initially, however, the tankless heater does cost more than the conventional storage water heater. This higher priced tankless heater is actually worth the investment since this heater typically lasts longer and has lower operating and energy costs. On average, tankless water heaters last more than 20 years compared to storage water heaters that usually last 10-15 years.
If you are in the market for a new water heater, call Zeek Plumbing today for a thorough inspection and consultation on replacement options. To schedule an appointment please visit www.zeekplumbing.com or give us a call at 866-635-0200. You can also follow us on Facebook!