Puddles, Rust and Leaks: It May be Time to Replace your Water Heater

Would you put a new patch on an old, beaten-up and ripped pair of blue jeans?

Would you paint a rickety, old AMC Pacer but not repair the slipping transmission and bad rotors?

Finally, would you keep a decade-old water heater that is leaking and barely running?

waterheaterUnfortunately, even though most sane people would throw the ripped jeans away and tow the dead car to the junkyard, they will keep the musty, dusty water heater until it breaks down, or worse, could burst and possibly cause thousands of dollars in water damage.  There’s a simple way to avoid that and keep your water heated without any delay. (I mean who really wants to take a cold shower? I didn’t think so.)

First, let’s talk about your water heater. There are two types of water heaters: 

  1. Electric: It operates using a thermostat. When the water is heated, the thermostat shuts it down and cools. When the hot water valve is turned back on, the thermostat calls for more hot water and heats the water back up.
  2. Gas: There is a thermocouple that goes into the the gas valve. It will heat the water up to the set temperature and then it shuts off. It cools off and then reheats when it is turned on again.

A typical water heater lasts for about ten to twelve (10-12) years. After that time, it begins to break down and needs to be replaced.

You can examine your water heater and see the tell-tale signs of deterioration:

  1. The gas valve no longer works.
  2. The pilot light doesn’t stay lit.
  3. There are puddles of water at the base of the heater.
  4. There is water constantly dripping at the bottom of the heater.
  5. There is a rust ring at the bottom.

When you see any of the above, it’s time to replace your water heater.  It’s ten-year life is coming to an end and, just like the junk car and the holey jeans, you need to ditch this tin can quick.

Why quickly? Well, the continued use of a deteriorating water heater could be disastrous. I have received calls from frantic and bewildered customers telling me that their water heater just exploded. Yes, you heard me right. It exploded like the villain’s car in a James Bond movie.  It was ugly and cost them thousands of dollars in home repairs, not to mention a new water heater.

So, pick up the flashlight and open the closet door or walk downstairs to your basement, wipe away the layer of dust and check the manufacturer’s date on your water heater. There are several ways to find the date:

  1. You’ll see a date on the top part near the manufacturer’s name and disclaimer.
  2. If it’s not on there, call the manufacturer, whose number should be on it, and give them serial number which can be easily found at the top of the heater.
  3. If none of those work, call us at American Drain Cleaning and Plumbing and we can figure it out.

I prefer Rheem or Bradford White water heaters. They are quality products and carry a six (6) year warranty.  Most plumbers can replace your water heater in about five (5) hours or less.

Bottom line: Water heaters, like blue jeans and AMC Pacers, don’t last forever. Examine yours today and replace it (if needed) before you have to replace everything around it, too.

Call a licensed plumber at American Drain Cleaning and Plumbing (610) 342-6852 or check out our website at www.americandraincleaningandplumbing.com and have us take a look at your water heater today. We serve Phoenixville, Royersford, Ardmore, Flourtown, Schwenksville and the surrounding counties.

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4 Responses to Puddles, Rust and Leaks: It May be Time to Replace your Water Heater

  1. Thank you, 5Star Home Warranty for publishing my blog on your site!

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