Your water heater is one of the most important appliances in your entire home. You depend on it for everything from bathing to cleaning to cooking. Even your other appliances including your dishwasher and washing machine both depend on it. However, while your water heater may be important, it’s also one of the appliances in your home that is the most prone to wearing out and needing replaced. In fact, the average water heater generally lasts only around eight years before it needs to be replaced.

How do you know this time for replacement is coming up for you? The last thing you want is for a serious emergency to come up that forces you to go without hot water for any period of time. Also, you really don’t want to have the expense of a water heater replacement sneak up on you either. If you want to avoid both of these issues, you can by simply keeping an eye out for any of the common signs that you may need to replace your water heater. Here are five of these common signs that you may need a new water heater so you can avoid an emergency and keep your hot water supply stable.

Inconsistent or Fluctuating Water Temperatures

You’re enjoying a warm shower when suddenly out of nowhere the water turns stone-cold and then boiling hot then back to normal in a matter of about 3 seconds. While this is a common side effect of someone flushing the toilet or turning on a faucet too high while you’re using the shower, this is also a common water heater problem known as “cold water sandwich.” This becomes a more common issue as a water heater ages due to reduced ability to consistently feed water out at a constant pressure. Water heaters that have clogged or partially blocked output line may also experience this problem. If you’re tired of random spurts of cold water and would like showers that are at one consistent temperature, consider having your water heater replaced.

Inexplicable Rising Energy Costs

Everyone dreads opening their energy bill each month, and this gets no better when an aging water heater is burning through a ton of extra energy for reasons you can’t really explain. If you find that your energy bills are much higher than normal and you can’t really figure out why, your water heater could be the cause. Older or inefficient burners use far more gas than usual to get your water up to temperature. Electric water heaters with dying heating elements will struggle to get your water up to temperature and burn a ton of energy while trying. While in some cases these problems can be repaired, there may come a time where replacement is the best option.

Reduced Hot Water Capacity

Does it seem like you’re running out of hot water far faster than you normally would? Are you finding that the hot water supply runs out after just one or two showers as opposed to supplying the water for your whole family like it did before? Reduced capacity is a sign of significant wear and tear, and likewise could indicate that your water heater is wearing out and needs replaced. When you find that your water heater has reduced capacity, one of the largest culprits is a dying heating element or thermostat (or both). When the water in your tank simply isn’t as hot, you have to use more of it to keep your temperature at your ideal comfort. This means you’ll run out faster and it’ll seem like your tank isn’t holding as much as it used to. Replacing your water heater entirely can solve this problem.

Advancing Water Heater Age

Printed on every water heater is a label with a lot of technical facts, including things like capacity, inspector, and other manufacturing details. Among these details is the date your water heater was manufactured. If this date is eight years or more in the past, there’s a chance your water heater may be approaching the end of its life fairly quickly. While most water heaters aren’t installed the day they roll off the line, your water heater was more than likely installed roughly a month or two after this date. If you know this date is coming close, start paying closer attention to your heater and keeping an eye out for some of these other problems; the time to replace your heater could very well be coming soon.

A Slow Drip Leak

Water heater leaks are not always big, obvious, and downright devastating. In fact, the vast majority of leaks start out small—really small. If you check your drain pan and notice a small amount of water in it, then you should keep an eye on it for a day or two to see if the water goes away. If the water stays or the puddle gets bigger, then you have a leak that needs to be urgently addressed. The longer you go without having a leaking tank replaced, the more danger your home could be in. Call a professional right away and have a new water heater installed.

Whether you need a simple repair or a complete water heater replacement, turn to the pros at All Pro Plumbing, Heating, Air & Mechanical. Give us a call at (909) 500-8193 today to request a quote.