Water heaters are designed to produce a specific amount of hot water over a period of time. They are built to last for years if properly maintained and utilized under the right conditions. But numerous unforeseen factors can shorten the usefulness of a particular unit. Consider these four reasons to contact a hot water heater professional at Delta Mechanical about whether it’s time to replace yours.
- pH Levels Shorten Life Expectancy
- Insufficient Hot Water Means Cold Showers
While the average water heater enjoys a life expectancy of 7-10 years, there are factors that can significantly impact its viability.
The pH or “potential hydrogen” levels of your water can damage your water heater and plumbing. When pH levels run around 6.5 they are considered low or acidic. As you might expect from the term “acidic,” it will eat away at the internal components of your water heater.
When the pH levels are around 8.5, they are considered high and many people refer to this as “hard water.” Hard water generally has high concentrations of minerals, such as calcium and magnesium. These tend to build up in the bottom of your water heater and play havoc with its proper functions. It also tends to clog up pipes and inhibit water flow.
Beyond the problems with pH levels, water heaters have numerous moving parts that are susceptible to the immediate environment, power surges and many other complications. If your water is in a neutral pH range and nothing impacts the water heater, it will still need replacement every 7-10 years.
It’s important to understand that water heaters are not necessarily measured over and against the size of a home. They are best considered in terms of how many people occupy the space. That being said, meeting the hot water needs of a family means doing a little plumbing math. Consider these numbers.
- A shower requires 6.5-9.5 gallons of hot water per person.
- A washing machine requires 10.5 gallons of hot water for a family of four.
- Washing dishes requires 5.5 gallons of hot water for a family of four.
If you add this all up, your water heater should be able to handle more than 25 gallons of hot water every day. Another way to look at it is that if you are running out when taking a shower or doing dishes, you’re coming up short. It’s time for a new hot water heater.
It’s somewhat surprising to find units tucked away behind cabinets, in overhead storage areas or in closets. However, it’s quite common.
The major problem with these locations stems from even minor leaks. Once moisture gets into these dark places that are warmed by ambient heat, they become a breeding ground for dangerous molds. We’ve all heard the horror stories about hazardous molds making entire families sick. If your unit leaks even a tiny bit, it’s time to replace your water heater.
If your water suffers a brown tint, it may be caused by either sediment buildup or rust. Well owners without filtration systems are accustomed to some turbidity. It may not be a health hazard, but it can damage whites and linens in the washing machine. Rust tends to be unhealthy to drink and may be traced back to acidic water eating away at the insides of your unit. If your water appears discolored, have it tested and work with a Delta Mechanical specialist to make an informed decision about replacing your hot water heater.
Contact A Hot Water Heater Replacement Professional
There are likely to be telltale signs that your unit has past its prime or doesn’t meet your current needs. If you are considering a new hot water heater, consult with an experienced plumbing outfit to have the right unit professional installed. Delta Mechanical technicians have the expertise to install your next hot water heater.