There are times when a water heater simply cannot be repaired and must be replaced. The following are warning signs that indicate that you may need to consider replacing your water heater.

  • Your hot water is rust or mud-colored instead of clear. Rusty water is a tell-tale sign that the inside of your tank is corroded. The most common places for rust to develop are the seams, temperature valve, and pressure relief valve. Muddy water indicates that sediment has collected at the bottom of your tank.
  • Your water heater makes loud, rumbling noises. This is the result of hardened scale and mineral deposits coming into contact with the heating element.
  • Leaks or standing water around your water heater indicate a failure inside the unit. In most cases, these issues are not easily fixed, and the unit must be replaced to prevent flooding and serious damage to your floors and walls.
  • Most water heaters have about a 10-year service life. If yours is more than a decade old, you should anticipate purchasing a new one in the not too distant future.

When choosing a new water heater, you need to consider size, energy efficiency, cost, and the type of fuel that it will use.

When it comes to the fuel source, gas, propane, or electricity are the easiest and most common options; however, water heaters are also available that run off solar or geothermal energy. You should consider the availability and cost of the different fuel types in your area as well as what you use to power most of your other appliances.

Whether you choose a conventional water heater or a tankless model depends on your budget as well as your family’s needs. Conventional water heaters store preheated water in a tank and replenish the supply as the water is used. They are less expensive to install. The downside is that they cost more to operate, and your hot water supply is limited by the size of the tank. Tankless water heaters only heat the water as it is needed, so there is no holding tank. They are more expensive to install but cost less to operate. They also provide an endless supply of hot water, so you never have to worry about your shower suddenly turning cold. Hybrid water heaters typically generate heat using both electricity and a heat pump. The heat pump pulls in heat from the surroundings, which reduces the amount of electricity needed to heat the water.

The size of the space where you plan to install your water heater is also an important consideration. Conventional water heaters are bulky, and the size of your tank will be limited by the size of the space available. Tankless water heaters are more compact and can be installed in very small spaces. Hybrid water heaters are also well suited to small spaces and are easy to install. Many hybrid models also come with touch pads, which makes it easy to adjust the water temperature as needed.

A professional water heater installation service can help you determine the most appropriate type of water heater based on your budget and family needs.