From leaks to lack of hot water, there are several clear signs that your water heater is no longer working properly. Other problems indicate the need for replacement. Are you and your family pulling out straws for showers and bathrooms because there is never enough hot water on demand? If you have a growing family or have added a bathroom, maybe the current hot water will not meet your needs and it's time to buy a larger unit. Water heater sizes are based on the gallons of water they contain and demand.
Overall, a 30-gallon capacity is fine for one person; two people do well with a 40-gallon capacity, and a 50-gallon water heater means there will be no more amazing showers for larger families. Explore the option of upgrading to a water heater unit that not only meets your current needs, but can also last for many years. Most standard water heaters last about a decade before they need to be replaced. You may squeeze a few more years out of your system, but after 10 years, you should consider at least buying a replacement water heater.
How long do water heaters last in a standard house? Most systems can last from 15 to 20 years. If a water heater is more than 20 years old, it is usually better to install a new system, even if the current water heater is working properly. A decline due to age is going to start soon, and it's best to get ahead with a new water heater. If you see water leaks around the water heater, there may be a leak in the tank that needs to be fixed immediately.
If the thermostat is reset and the hot water returns, then there is no reason to replace the heater. No matter what variety of conventional tanks you have (gas, electric, oil or propane), it will continuously heat the water in your tank throughout the day. If the cold water problem occurs only in bad weather, you may need to find ways to keep your tank or pipes more insulated from cold air. After countless cycles of heating the water in the tank and the metal expanding every time the water is heated, fractures may begin to form.
Some reasons for hot water failure are simple and just need an inexpensive repair to fix things. After adjusting the thermostat, it will take a while for the water heater to increase the temperature of the water in the tank. Knocking, clinking or rumbling noises may indicate that there is sediment accumulating on the bottom of the unit, making it difficult for the hot water heater to operate efficiently. It may be too cold for the unit to heat the water quickly enough or to a high enough temperature.
If a repair can help keep your water heater working for at least a couple more years and you plan to move soon anyway, a repair might make more sense than a replacement. One way to know if it is the water heater is to run about three buckets filled with hot water through a nozzle. Gas water heaters use a burner to heat water, which can also spoil over time if not properly maintained. Homeowners should check for this problem as soon as they hear any unusual noise from their water heater.
You can call a professional to come check and replace these items if you suspect that this is the cause of your cold water problem.