4 Signs You Should Buy a New Water Heater

Every day, we depend on our water heaters for so many things. From washing our clothes and dishes to providing a relaxing hot shower at the end of a long day, we expect a lot from our water heaters. Unfortunately, many homeowners take their heaters for granted and don’t give them much thought until they stop working completely.

At Larry & Sons, we’re here to help when you’re experiencing water heater problems, and we can help you determine whether you should repair or replace your system.

While water heater repair is an effective solution in some cases, in many others, it’s best to invest in a replacement. If you think it might be time to replace your water heater, here are a few things to keep in mind.

Signs You Should Get a New Water Heater

Water Heater Replacement
Do you need a new water heater? Here are a few signs!
  • Your water heater is old. Even if you purchased a top-of-the-line water heater, it won’t last forever. In fact, tankless water heaters are only built to last 20 years at most, while conventional heaters with storage tanks only last eight to 12. If your water heater is nearing the end of it’s expected lifespan, you may want to consider buying a new one.
  • You’re noticing higher energy bills. As your water heater ages, it becomes less efficient. If your energy bills have been climbing and you have an older water heater, up to 25 percent of your bill could be related to the cost of heating your water. Upgrading to a newer unit could save you a bundle.
  • You’re running out of hot water faster than you used to. Sediment builds up in water heaters over time, decreasing the amount of water they can heat and store. If your showers are being cut short because you’re running out of hot water, it’s time for a new heater.
  • Your heater has visible signs of damage. Leaks below your water heater and rust are definite signs that your system is nearing the end of its life. Inspect your heater regularly, and if you notice either of these things, you might want to consider buying a new unit before yours fails. You may also want to consider upgrading if you’ve been having problems and needing frequent water heater repair.

New Water Heater in Hagerstown

If you need a new water heater in Hagerstown or the surrounding areas, count on Larry & Sons. Our certified plumbers are here to help you choose the heater that best suits your family’s needs, and they’ll install it promptly at a time that fits your schedule. For professional water heater replacement, call Larry & Sons now at 301-733-5428.

New Water Heater Regulations for April 2015

The U.S. Department of Energy’s new water heater regulations go into effect this April 16, 2015!

U.S. DOE Water Heater Regulations 2015

What this means for you depends, but we do know that after April 16th, water heater manufacturer prices will increase $100-$200 and the stricter installation requirements will increase your upfront costs even more.

The graph below shows us that the new water heater regulations will mostly affect larger gas and electric models. If you already have a solar, tankless, or small water heater, these new regulations won’t affect you as much. In fact, your water heater might already meet these new standards.

Water Heater Regulation Energy Efficiency

Source: mechanical-hub.com

The larger gas and electric water heaters (greater than 55 gallons) will need to significantly increase their Energy Factor (EF) in order to comply with the U.S. DOE’s Final Rule.

Starting April 16th, all new water heaters will need to be made more efficient and installed in a specific way. Manufacturer prices could increase upwards of 30%, raising the cost of your new, larger, energy efficient water heater over $200.

New requirements, such as vent piping and possible relocating, will also increase installation and maintenance costs on the new system.

Basically, the new water heater regulations will increase your home energy efficient (remember, water heating accounts for about 20% of your home’s total energy uses), but the larger upfront costs may offset the savings. Basically, do you want $100 now or 27¢ every day for a year?

So you have two choices:

  • Buy an older, smaller water heater now and save on all the new, higher upfront costs and avoid having to find a new home for your water heater.
  • Wait until after April 16th and purchase a larger, more energy efficient water heater and reap the energy efficiency savings over the period of your water heater’s lifespan.

Our recommendation is that if your water heater needs to be replaced soon, save on the upfront costs of the new models and install an older, but still energy efficient model now.

Here are some signs that you water heater needs replacing, courtesy of AngiesList.com:

1. How old is your water heater?

It’s crucial to know the age of your water heater. Find the age by looking for the serial number on the manufacturer’s sticker on the upper portion of the water heater. Generally, most water heaters that are more than 10 years old should be considered for replacement.

2. Rusty water

If you discover rusty water coming from your water heater and it only comes from the hot side piping in your home, this can be a sign that your water heater is rusting away on the inside and it may begin to leak soon.

3. Rumbling and noise

As a water heater ages, sediment will build up on the bottom of the tank. As the sediment is heated and reheated, it eventually will harden. When this happens, you can often hear rumbling or banging sounds coming from the water heater as it is heating up. This is a sign that the water heater is at the end of its useful life.

4. Water around the water heater

If you notice moisture around your water, you may have a small leak or a fracture in the tank. If your water heater is in a location that will not cause damage if there is a leak, you can wait until it develops a leak before replacing it, but that really is not recommended.

If you do install an older, less energy efficient model, there are some things you can do to increase its energy efficiency, such as lowering the temperature and installing and insulation blanket.

Consider Tankless

A tankless water heater only operates when water is turned on so that it’s not using any energy when not in use, but just on standby waiting for you to turn on a faucet. The natural or LP tankless heater has up to a 15 year warranty with enough capacity to supply any hot water demand and any size home with proper professional sizing of the tankless unit.

If your Hagerstown water heater is nearing the end of its life expectancy period, you can consider replacing it with a new one, so that you can stop wasting money on your energy bill every month.

Call Larry & Sons Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning today to learn about our Hagerstown water heater replacement services!

If you are having trouble figuring out how old your water heater is or if it is need of service or replacement, give Larry & Sons a call at 301-733-5428. We’d be more than happy to help!

Check out our maintenance plan; we provide fall and spring HVAC tune-ups, provide 15 % off all repairs, and much more!

Follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Google+ for more useful information and how-to’s.

Hagerstown Plumber’s Guide: Problems with Older Water Heaters

A water heater is an important appliance in any Hagerstown home. It makes it possible for you to take a hot shower or bath and use your washing machine or dishwasher. However, like any other home appliance, a water heater also starts to develop problems over time.

Problems with Older Water Heaters

  • Reduced Performance due to Hard Water Contaminants Build Up

Contaminants from hard water accumulate over time on the bottom of your water heater tank. This affects the performance of the heater and reduces its lifespan. You can avoid this problem by having a professional remove these deposits periodically.

  • Not Sufficient Water

This is one of the common problems in older water heater. If your water heater does not heat enough water, you can contact a professional to check the thermostat and heating element. If they are not working properly, they should be replaced with new ones.

  • Not Sufficiently Hot Water

If your older water heater does not heat the water sufficiently, the problem may be in the thermostats or heating elements. Adjusting the thermostat settings or replacing the thermostat can help you solve this problem.

  • Dirty or Discolored Water

Over time, the tank in the water heater becomes rusty. Dirt accumulates on the tank, causing problems. Draining and flushing the tank on a regular basis can help increase the lifespan of the heater. If the tank is rusty, you need to replace the water heater.

  • Strange Noises

If you hear a strange noise whenever you turn on the water heater, it could mean that the tank has lots of buildup in the bottom. The buildup reduces the ability of the tank to keep the water hot for a long period, and so the burner turns on often to keep the water hot. In such cases, you need to hire an experienced professional to fix the problem.

  • Pilot Light Problem

If the pilot light on the heater does not remain lit, the problem may be in the thermocouple. Replacing it can help you get rid of this problem.

If your Hagerstown water heater is nearing the end of its life expectancy period, you can consider replacing it with a new one, so that you can stop wasting money on your energy bill every month. Call Larry & Sons Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning today to learn about our Hagerstown water heater replacement services!