When the Hot Water Heater is Leaking Should You Repair or Replace?
Like any other home appliance, your hot water heater will eventually get old, break down, or require repairs. When your water heater is old or leaking from the top or bottom, is repair or replacement the right choice? Happily, this question is pretty easy to answer!
The Donley Rule of Water Heaters
- If you have an old water heater (8+ years), replacement is recommended.
- If your hot water heater is relatively new or under warranty, have it repaired.
- When you need a new water heater, call the Comfort Heroes at Donley
Why Is My Hot Water Heater Leaking?
Age and corrosion are the culprits when your hot water heater is leaking from the top or bottom. You might see some corrosion buildup on the pipes or valves outside of the unit, but it’s what’s inside that’s killing your water heater and causing leaks. There are very high levels of minerals in our local Valley water, particularly calcium and magnesium. Mineral buildup gradually weakens and corrodes the inner tank of your hot water heater, eventually causing leaks or failure of the unit.
Helpful Hint: If you want to keep the hot water heater tank from corroding, be sure to flush it once a year. This will remove sediment that aids in corrosion. Your water heater will also run more efficiently.
How to Replace the Water Heater
Replacing a water heater is as simple as making a phone call to Donley Service Center. We’ll recommend the right size and type of water heater (gas or electric) for your home, then professionally install it so you’ll have piping hot water in no time. If you prefer, you can even purchase a water heater yourself, and have us do the installation for you, and we’ll even haul away the old unit for disposal.
Five Signs of a Failing Water Heater
- Your water gets warm, but never quite hot.
- The water heater makes a rumbling noise.
- Hot water is rusty or discolored.
- Water is leaking around the water heater.
- Only cold water is flowing from the tap.
Dangers of a Faulty Water Heater
While uncommon, water heaters can eventually become dangerous without proper maintenance. In the worst-case scenario, a poorly maintained water heater can literally become a bomb. No, it’s not just an urban legend – water heaters really can explode, especially if the unit’s temperature and pressure relief (TPR) valve fails.
Another danger? If you have a gas water heater unit, and the burner doesn’t shut off, gas can build up in your home, putting your home and family at significant risk.
Poorly maintained gas water heaters can also release carbon monoxide, an odorless gas that’s deadly and virtually undetectable. Just a few hours of exposure can have life-threatening consequences.
The most common dangers of a faulty water heater is a leak, which means:
- Hot water damaging the drywall around the unit.
- Damage to items stored near the water heater.
- The risk for burns from hot water or steam from the unit.
- Potential interior damage if the water seeps into your home.
Avoid a dangerous situation arising by having your hot water heater regularly serviced and maintained by a plumbing professional from Donley. Your technician can identify potential problems before they become big ones, and keep your hot water heater in good working order.
When to Replace the Water Heater
While most of the working parts on today’s hot water heaters can be repaired or replaced, there are times when replacement is the only option. For instance, if hot water heater problems develop because of a leak in a corroding tank, there’s no option but to replace it. If you have an old water heater (8+ years), replacement is also recommended. If the water heater unit is making excess noise or you’re running out of hot water frequently, you should get a new water heater.
Here are some fun ideas to repurpose an old water heater.
Replacing a water heater is as simple as making a phone call to Donley Service Center. Our professionals can recommend the right size and type of water heater (gas or electric, tankless or solar) for your home, then install it so you’ll have piping hot water in no time. If you prefer, you can even purchase a water heater yourself, and have us do the installation for you, and haul away the old unit for disposal.
Donley Service Center has been serving Valley residents and businesses since 1976. Our longevity and award-winning customer service speak volumes about the quality of the work we do, and all of our work is guaranteed.
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