Knowing how old your water heater is can be helpful when planning for replacement and knowing when you’re better off replacing the unit instead of putting money towards repairs. In most cases, if a water heater is more than 10 years old you should consider a replacement. As water heaters enter their second decade the risk of developing leaks increases, which can potentially cause damage to your home. Tankless water, or on-demand water heaters, have a life expectancy of around 20 years when properly maintained.
You can find the age of your water heater by looking for the serial number on the manufacturer’s sticker near the top of the water heater. The serial number contains the date that the water heater was manufactured. It will not be in a standard date format, but will have a date code such as “G062052658”.
G is for the month and G is the seventh letter in the alphabet, so it represents the seventh month, July. Next, the first two digits of the serial number are 06, which represents the year, 2006. So this water heater was made in July 2006. Each manufacturer uses a similar date code, but they may vary – so check the manufacturer’s website to learn more.
How Do You Know It’s Time To Replace Your Old Water Heater?
If your water heater is getting on in years you may begin to notice that it doesn’t maintain hot temperatures long enough, or it quickly runs out of hot water after just a few minutes. Sediment build-up at the bottom of the tank can reduce heating efficiency over time. Flushing the tank at least once a year can remove this sediment, improving heating efficiency and extending the lifespan of the unit. Sudden loss of hot water is often a symptom of a broken dip tube. The dip tube sends the cold water supply to the bottom of the tank where the burner is located. If the dip tub breaks, the cold water will enter at the top of the tank, where the hot water exits, leading to a cold shower. Anthony’s Plumbing can inspect the dip tub and make sure it is connected and working correctly.
If there are water leaks around the tank, or significant signs of corrosion, it may be time to consider replacing the unit before a major water leak occurs, causing damage to your home. A plumber should inspect the water heater to ensure it is in good working condition.
Have questions about your home’s water heater? Call Anthony’s Plumbing. We can help answer all your plumbing questions.