Mountain View Water Heater Replacement

How to Decide Between Water Heater Repair or Replacement

If your water heater is leaking or not heating up, you may be able to repair the existing unit. Learn the signs of needing a full water heater replacement when the time comes.

How Long Do Water Heaters Last?

Based on the manufacturer’s recommended service life, the life span of a water heater is between eight to 12 years. That varies with the location and design of the unit, quality of installation, maintenance schedule and water quality. If your water heater is greater than 10 years old, leaks around the base of the tank or if it operates erratically, it’s likely time for a replacement. You may even want to upgrade to a more efficient model to reduce your energy expenses.

In many instances, repairs and troubleshooting can preserve your current water heater. Before you look for a replacement, make sure that an electrical problem, such as a blown fuse or tripped breaker, isn’t the reason for the unit’s failure. Routine water heater servicing will extend the life of your unit, and some repairs — such as replacing a pressure relief valve or heating element — are pretty simple.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Perhaps the most frequent problem connected with a water heater is water that isn’t as hot as you want it to be. This is usually caused by a broken thermostat or a malfunctioning heating element. Check the following when your water isn’t hot enough.

Electric Water Heater

  • Make sure the power is connected and reset the thermostat
  • Flush the heater to remove sediment from the tank
  • Insulate the hot water pipes
  • Replace the heating element or thermostat
  • Raise the temperature setting on the thermostat

Gas Water Heater

  • Make sure the gas is connected and the pilot light is lit
  • Flush the heater to expel sediment from the tank
  • Insulate the hot water pipes
  • Clean the gas burner and replace the thermocoupler (a safety device that shuts off the gas automatically if the pilot flame goes out)
  • Raise the temperature setting on the thermostat

Other Common Problems and Possible Solutions

  • Hissing or Sizzling Noises: Sediment may have accumulated in the tank. Flush the tank until the water clears. Remove and soak the elements in a pan filled with white vinegar for up to an hour and scrape off the collected scale
  • Leaking Pressure Relief Valve: Replace the valve
  • Leaking Water Supply Pipes: Tighten Up the fittings. If that doesn’t work, shut off the water and replace the fittings

Water Heater Maintenance

Today’s water heaters are manufactured to require little or zero servicing, but these maintenance suggestions could extend the life of your water heater.

  • Drain the water heater twice a year to free it of accumulated sedimentation that causes corrosion. This also increases efficiency
  • Test the pressure relief valve by lifting the valve’s handle and letting it snap back. This should release a burst of water into the overflow drainpipe. If it doesn’t, install a new valve
  • Lower the temperature setting on the thermostat to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. This reduces damage to the tank caused by overheating

If you need water heater replacement service in Mountain View, we can help you. Call us today for more information.

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