As the temperatures drop and as the winter approaches, homeowners start to think about winter-proofing their home. When it comes to winterizing the plumbing, one of the first things that we think about is our hot water heater.
Hot water is nice; while earlier generations considered it a luxury, during the fall and winter it’s viewed as a necessity nowadays. We need hot water for showers, bathing our children, for sanitizing dishes and washing soiled laundry, and sometimes we don’t realize how precious it is until the water heater unexpectedly fails.
The last thing you want is for your water heater to call it quits when you have family over for the holidays, or the kids are home on winter break. If your water heater is past its expected lifetime, you may be wondering if you should immediately replace it, or if you should just wait until the unit fails – that’s a good question!
You Can Usually Wait It Out
As a general rule, there’s no need to spend money on a new unit if your older one is working fine. Most water heaters last 10 to 15 years, but occasionally they can last longer, especially if you have a smaller family or are frequently out of town, thereby using yours less than the average household.
However, there is one exception: If you are eager to upgrade your water heater to a more energy-efficient model, then you can replace your older one at any time. By upgrading to a more energy-efficient water heater, you’ll save money over the long haul on energy costs.
If you’re considering replacing an expired unit that still works, consider the following:
- How well have you maintained your current unit?
- Where is it located? If it’s located on the main or upper floor and there isn’t a drain nearby, beware, it could leak. However, if it’s in the basement and near a drain, there’s less cause for concern.
- How much does your household use the water heater?
- Do you have poor water quality? If so, more sediment may have built up, thereby, shortening its lifespan.
If you are thinking about keeping your older, but the operable unit, consider having an Austin plumber from Excalibur Plumbing perform a complete inspection and routine maintenance. In that case, we would check for rust, sediment, and make sure that the connections, gas valve, pan and burner chamber are in good working order.
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