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Four Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Water Heater

by VitalStorm Content on February 23, 2018


Four Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Hot Water Heater

If you’ve ever had a hot water heater malfunction or fail, then you know that it’s not an issue that goes unnoticed, and that’s especially true during our winters in the Seattle area.

Lack of warm water, it seems, is something few of us will suffer quietly. Often times, a quick repair or tune-up will have the hot water heater back on track, but that’s not always the case. How do you know if it needs to be replaced?


It’s Not Getting the Job Done

It’s difficult to provide rigid circumstances under which you should replace your water heater, but there are a few questions you should ask yourself if you’re considering kicking the old one to the curb. The most important thing to consider is whether or not it’s working. If it’s just not cranking out the volume of hot water you need, or if it’s racked up more than its fair share of downtime recently, it’s probably time to get a unit that can handle the job.


Long Past Its Prime

It’s possible that a water heater can handle its workload without much issue, but still need to be replaced for financial reasons. If your unit is more than 20 years old, it’s likely that you’re paying too much to keep it going. As a hot water heater ages, its efficiency diminishes. For tank-style water heaters, this could mean that the unit is using extra fuel to keep up with your demands. Meanwhile, new technology and manufacturing techniques mean more efficient water heaters are hitting the market each year. By cutting out the added expense of an old unit and adding a modern, more efficient model, it’s likely that a new hot water heater would pay for itself in energy savings.


You’ve Outgrown the Old One

Some of you may have noticed that as your family grows your showers get shorter. While there are several reasons for why this might be true, it’s probably due to the fact that there just isn’t enough hot water for everyone during peak usage times. Each member of your family adds additional consumption of hot water.


In this case, you may not need to replace your unit. You may want to install a second water heater to pick up some of the burden, depending on how old your current system is. A certified professional can help analyze the situation and provide data for your decision.


Precious Joules

For some of us, the age and functionality of the hot water heater aren’t the question. The issue is how much (and what type) of energy is used? In these cases, take an assessment of your peak usage. Estimate the gallons of hot water used in an hour during the busiest time of day in your home. To make this more accurate, average a week’s worth of numbers to get your peak hot water demand. This number will help you determine which hot water heater model fits your needs. In many cases, a switch from tank to tankless models will eventually provide a return-on-investment. The return is smaller with larger units.


Also consider the type of energy being used to heat your water. If your water heater operates on electricity but natural gas has become more viable since it was installed, a switch might make sense.


While this is not an exhaustive list, each of the above can be boiled down to one piece of advice: follow the money. If you’re not sure if it’s time to get a new hot water heater, look at the costs of your current model and factor in what you’d save with a new one. When you have that information, making this decision is a no-brainer. Our team of expert heating and plumbing professionals is happy to assist along the way by providing the data you need, materials or craftsmanship to get the job done. Give the professionals at Blue Flame Heating & Air Conditioning a call at 206-388-5667 and get informed.