Most hot water tanks have a warranty of 5-10 years, and for the most part, as long as you clear sediment out annually and have it inspected once or twice, it should easily last that long. Once your tank is outside of its warranty time, you’ll likely want to step up the inspections and care if you want to keep it running for another 5-10 years. However, no matter how well you take care of your hot water tank, it’s eventually going to need to be replaced.
A hot water tank that’s beginning to malfunction can actually be quite dangerous. The hot water and pressure have a lot of energy and the potential to severely harm your house. In order to protect your family and home, it’s a good idea to have your tank inspected annually after the warranty has finished. Some signs, like strange noises coming from in the tank, are pretty obvious signs of trouble, but here are a few more things to watch out for.
Not Hot. This is likely the most obvious sign that it’s time for a new tank. A hot water tank has one job. If it’s not producing hot water (or not as much hot water as it used to), it’s time to have an inspection and either have the tank repaired or replaced.
Mysterious Leaking. The seams in older tanks deteriorate over time. As they do, steam and water escape and leak on to the floor seemingly from nowhere. Corrosion and rusting can also allow leaks to spring, and unfortunately, you’re often better off replacing than repairing.
Pilot Light Turns Off. If you have an older hot water tank, keep an eye on the pilot light. As the tank ages, the light has a tendency to go out. If you notice this is happening regularly, it’s time to replace your hot water tank.
You Can’t Drain Water. We’ve written before about how to drain your hot water tank in order to clear the sediment out. If you find that no water comes out when you release the valve, that may mean you have so much sediment, the water can’t escape. If a second problem like built up pressure occurs, this will be very problematic. Make sure to clean out the sediment once a year. If you can’t get the water to drain, then it’s time for a new tank.
If you hot water tank is giving you some signs that it’s ready to go, call Plumbing Paramedics and have an inspection done. It may be something small and easy to fix! We’ll help to answer your question, and if you do need to replace, we can help you decide on a new tank or whether a tankless option might be better for your family. Call us today at (403) 452-2911.