Here are 4 signs your old water heater is in trouble

From showers to dishes and laundry, your home depends on a working water heater. When your water heater stops working, it can be a huge disruption. In this blog, we’ll review the signs that your old water heater is in trouble—and what to do to correct the problem.

The signs an old water heater is struggling

Nothing lasts forever, and that’s almost doubly true for water heaters. After all, that combination of heat, water, and metal can only last for so long. Here are the signs it’s time to upgrade to a new water heater.

#1. Less hot water than there used to be

All standard water heaters have a sacrificial anode rod within them that “absorbs” the rust, protecting the outside tank walls from damage. However, eventually, this anode rod is spent, and the rust and calcium buildup comes for the tank body itself.

As this rust builds up day-after-day, year-after-year, eventually it begins to fill the space within the tank. Left unchecked, this can lead to a noticeable reduction in the amount of hot water your system can provide at once, since there’s physically less room to store hot water in the tank.

#2. The water is less hot than it used to be

If you’re finding that your home’s water is less “hot” and more “moderately lukewarm,” it might be a sign that your old water heater needs to be repaired or replaced.

Warm, not hot, water could be a sign of different problems. It could be an issue with the heating element itself. Or, that aforementioned reduction in tank space could be the culprit. Either way, there’s a point where a water heater just won’t be able to keep up.

#3. You’re seeing rust in the water supply

Ok, so that anode rod we mentioned earlier? After it’s gone, the tank itself will begin to rust. This rust will begin to leech into the hot water supply that’s going to your home, causing rust-colored water to appear, either consistently or once in a while.

But, here’s a problem. How do you know if the rusty water is from your old water heater or your (even older) water pipes? Obviously, the latter is a much bigger problem than the former.

Turn the tap to hot and see if you notice the rusty water. Then, turn off the hot tap entirely. If the rust coloration goes away, it’s likely the water heater that’s the problem.

#4. The tank is leaking

We saved this one for last, but it’s the one thing you should immediately call us about. If your hot water tank is leaking, it’s time for a new one, since it’s very likely that the hull has been compromised.

A leaking tank is never just a nuisance. Left untreated, even the smallest crack in a tank can lead to a tank burst, which can completely destroy your garage, flood your home, and—generally—make for a really, really terrible day.

If you suspect that your older water heater is leaking, has a hairline fracture, or other problems, contact Air Control immediately.

Call Air Control for water heater services

Air Control is proud to provide Lake Havasu City and Mohave County with water heater repair and installation services. If you’re ready to change out your old water heater for a new one, contact us.

What are tankless water heaters, and how do they work?

We get this question quite a bit: what are tankless water heaters, and how do they work? These are newer systems, and most homeowners are still familiar with standard (or “traditional”) water heaters. But, tankless units have many advantages, too, and they might just be right for your home.

In this blog post, we’ll review what tankless water heaters are, and what makes them different from standard systems. Read on to learn more!

What are tankless water heaters?

To best explain what tankless water heaters are and how they work, let’s run through their benefits and what makes them different from standard water heaters:

signs you need a new water heater

A standard water heater has a tank, and is typically floor-mounted.

#1. They provide you with constant hot water

This is the biggest selling point of these systems. Tankless water heaters heat water as it’s needed at the faucet, meaning they can provide a constant supply of hot water on demand. This is where they get their technical name: demand-type water heaters.

We all know what it’s like to have the entire family getting ready in the morning. The last person to shower is often the one stuck taking a cold shower. Then, there’s no hot water for laundry or dishes until the water heater “recharges” its supply.

That’s not a problem with a tankless water heater. These systems operate by moving water past heated coils, heating it as needed. Whether its a gas or electric system, these coils are capable of getting water up to the desired temperature and then out to where it’s needed.

#2. They can save space compared to standard water heaters

One of the biggest benefits of tankless water heaters as compared to traditional water heaters is the potential for space savings. Generally, standard water heaters are 60-inch tall and 24-inch wide. They’re floor-mounted, typically in a garage or closet.

In contrast, most tankless systems are just 28-by-20, and they’re typically wall-mounted. This can save your floor space.

what are tankless water heaters

Tankless water heaters are wall-mounted, and do not carry water in a tank.

#3. They last longer than normal water heaters

Traditional water heaters have a typical lifespan of 10 to 12 years. The lifespan of tankless water heaters is about double that. They can last as long as 20 years when properly maintained by a professional plumber. If you plan to stay in your home for a long time, a tankless water heater is the best choice, since an increased lifespan means greater cost savings in the long run.

#4. They’re more energy-efficient, too

The operating cost of tankless water heaters is much lower compared to traditional water heaters. These systems use significantly less electricity or gas to heat up the water because they heat water when it’s needed, instead of having to keep water heated in a tank for use.

As a result, you will be able to save a lot due to reduced energy usage. The annual savings can amount to $100 when using Energy Star tankless water heater, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

The verdict?

The reality is that tankless water heaters have many advantages over standard “tanked” systems. The trade-off? They cost more upfront.

However, if you’re planning on owning your home for a long time, it’s pretty likely that the energy savings of the system will eventually catch up and pass the increased initial investment. That’s in addition to the convenience these systems represent in your home.

If you’re unsure if a tankless water heater is right for your home in Lake Havasu City, Bullhead City, or other parts of Mohave County, give our team a call at (928) 680-0600, or contact us online.

Our expert plumbing team can walk you through the best ways to determine if you should go tankless, and we can even provide you with a quote for a new system.