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Should I Replace My Water Heater This Winter?

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Your water heater is the unsung hero of home comfort, working hard behind the scenes of your Connecticut home every day to keep hot water flowing to your faucets, showers, washing machine and dishwasher.

But sometimes your water heater works a little too hard – especially it the winter, when it is laboring to overcome colder water coming in from your municipal supply or well, standing heat loss caused by your storage tank living in a cold basement, and a greater workload as more layers of clothing get washed and people spend more time in hot showers.

If your water heater overworks for a long enough time, you could start to see symptoms that range from erratic water temperatures and leaks to strange sounds and odors; when these problems arise, it could be time for a water heater upgrade.

5 Common Signs You May Need to Replace Your Water Heater

Here are five common signs to keep an eye, nose, and ear out for this winter:

  1. Degraded performance. Once your conventional water heater (one with a storage tank) hits the 10-year mark, you’ll probably notice that it doesn’t work as well as it used to (tankless water heaters last much longer since they don’t have to deal with the corrosive effects of water). Keep a close eye on your energy bills to see if they’re going up – and on how often you can’t get your water to the “right” temperature.
  2. Spots on glasses and silverware. What do ugly stains on your silverware, spots on your glasses, and itchy skin have in common? Well, besides the fact that they’re all annoying, they’re also common signs of hard (mineralized) water. Hard water can cause lime build-up, which can reduce efficiency and shorten the life of your water heater.
  3. Discolored water. If you find rusty water in the tank, your storage tank could be corroding on the inside. That could mean a tank failure – and the unplanned indoor pool that comes with it – are on the horizon in the (possibly near) future.
  4. Leaks. A leak in a water heater is never a good thing; in fact, it could mean one of several bad things. If you spot a leak, turn off the tank’s water supply and call us immediately.
  5. Odd sounds or odors. Strange sounds usually mean you have a build-up of efficiency-robbing sediment in your hot water storage tank– a problem that could cause premature tank failure if left unattended. The sudden onset of a sulfuric (rotten egg) odor in your water could indicate you have a failing anode rod – a problem that will eventually lead to accelerated tank corrosion, leaks, or even a storage tank failure if you don’t replace either the rod or the water heater.

If you notice one or more of these signs, it could be time for a water heater upgrade – especially if your equipment has reached its double-digit years. Today’s high-efficiency water heaters will heat more water for less money – and do it reliably, day after day.

Don’t wait for a water heater disaster – contact Hocon today to learn about water heater options – including propane tankless water heaters from Rinnai – that meet your family’s needs and your budget!