Thursday, October 3, 2013

How to know when your hot water heater needs replacing....

Yesterday, we got a new hot water heater. No simple feat, even for plumbers.....
Our hot water heater is in a cupboard, inside the house, in the hall, where those lovely new wood floors are. I am very careful and check it at least quarterly.

Day before yesterday, I noticed it took a longer time than usual to get hot water.
Symptom #1: delay in hot water
Pay attention to the rhythm of your home. If it takes longer than usual to get the hot water, then check it. Perhaps the pilot light is out, but check it.
Symptom #2: dried water streaks....

Symptom #3 evidence of water that has come from pipes, green tinge on pipes and dried water on top from that water....

Symptom #4: water, in any's time!
Now, we had no active water coming out. We wouldn't want that, not with wood floors below. We are grateful that we checked the heater when it was slow getting warm. What apparently sped up its demise
was the fact that the water main had been shutoff several times in the last couple of weeks to fix sprinkler issues. However, the result is the same. The hot water heater was a little over 10 years old, and the dried water that wasn't there a month ago, (yes, I really do check it), made a quick decision to call the plumber. The plumber was just a short matter of time before it would flood everything.
The plumber was very careful about draining the tank to outside and removing it. I had a plan in place to drain out the bathroom door to outside into a drain we have. My recommendation, have a plan in place before you need it. Old hot water heaters need to be drained before removal ( unless of course they drain all over your house). Also, know which path they should take it out of the house.
Now, I realize some of you will wonder why we haven't ever moved the hot water heater out of the house.
First, it is very expensive to move it. Pipes have to be moved.
Second, there isn't a good place to put it other than here.
Third, we considered a tankless, but again cost, cost, cost. That is a different bird altogether in pipes and they have a shorter life span than tanks.
Moral: pay attention, regardless of where your hot water heater is, for changes. Know where shutoff is both for gas, and water.
Our story ended happily. No flood  and nice hot water.
Just thought I would share with you what we have learned.

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