1. When there is no more hot water coming from the water heater. This can happen suddenly. Overnight the old heater stops working and in the morning the water is cold. No one can shower. Or, the problem could come on gradually with a slow reduction of water temperature or widely fluctuating temperatures ranging from barely warm to scalding hot. Although the problem may be upper and lower heating elements or the thermostat that regulates the unit’s water temperature, these units have a life expectancy of only 13 years. Replacing older units instead of repairing them is a wise financial decision.
2. When the hot water heater is leaking. The unit corrodes and begins to drip water. The pressure release valve begins to malfunction. Lucky homeowners discover the problem when they notice a slow drip or a small puddle of water, while unlucky homeowners discover flooded basements or hallways and have to deal with water cleanup.
3. When the hot water heater begins to rust. The normally clean, cool clear water begins to look, smell or taste funny from the hot water tap. Internal problems cause the metal inside of the tank to rust. The water coming from the heating unit is discolored and stains fabrics, plastics and sinks.
4. When the homeowner’s water needs change. As families expand, more hot water is needed for morning showers, personal hygiene, laundry and dishwashing. A larger tank lets everyone bathe in comfort. And when the last child has left for college, water usage will obviously go down. Replacing a large, older water heater with a smaller size saves money.
5. When homeowners are concerned with energy efficiency. According to Energy Star, the energy used in a typical home by the water heater energy is only exceeded by the heating and cooling. A more efficient unit reduces energy costs every month. There are two costs to consider: the purchase price and the utility bill. Comparing energy demands between an older inefficient model and a new energy smart heater shows homeowners how much money they can save a year by switching to a new model.