How Do You Know You Need A New Hot Water Heater?
There are a few ways to determine if you need to have your hot water heater replaced.
The most apparent is when you notice leaks. Chances are, if your feet are getting wet it is time to take a serious look at the cause of the problem.
Relief Valve Leaking?
If you notice that the relief valve is dripping, there is over 150 pounds of pressure built up which indicates that either the expansion tank is bad, or the pressure reducing valve at the meter is not operating properly. If you notice that the relief valve runs continuously, it’s probably not good. If it comes on and then goe off every so often, it’s because too much pressure is being built up.
Rust On The Exterior Of The Hot Water Heater?
Visible rust on the exterior of the unit will indicate a need for hot water heater replacement.
If you notice rust marks on the side it’s likely because the heater is leaking from the top. If there is rust at the burner, the unit may be leaking, but the water is evaporating before it makes it to the floor.
Expansion Tanks Help Relieve Pressure and Can Prolong The Life Of The Hot Water Heater
The expansion tank (if you have one) is located on top of the water heater. It can prolong the life of your water heater by taking the hammer shocks out of anything that uses a solenoid valve (like washing machines and dishwashers).
Water will expand as it heats which causes a rise in the pressure.
A Quick Water History Lesson
Years ago, the water would expand back into the street, but more recently the water companies have been using backflow preventers at the water meter. This gives the pressure no way to be relieved. The resulting build-up of excess pressure is then transferred to your pipes, appliances, fixtures, and hot water heater.
What An Expansion Tank Does
With the installation of an expansion tank and maintaining it, you give the pressure a way to be relieved. Maintain it by pressing in the schrader valve every couple years or annually to see whether air is in it or not. If water comes out of this valve, the rubber bladder inside has ruptured. Water is now against the steel in the expansion tank which inevitably will lead to leaking.
In Summary, A Leak Is Not What You Want To See..
Again, the most obvious sign that it’s time for hot water heater replacement is when you notice leaks.
If your feet get wet, it’s time for a hot water heater replacement. If you notice any of these symptoms, contact a professional plumber in York PA.