We take hot water for granted until we turn on the shower in the morning and out comes cold water. A cold shower is a rude awakening. It also may be a sign you need your hot water heater replaced. Hot water is used for much more than just the shower. We use it for laundry and dishwashing as well. It does not become obvious how essential hot water is – and how major an inconvenience not having it is – until you don’t have it.
How long should my water heater last?
Hot water heaters are relatively long-lasting appliances. But like everything else in your home, they wear out. Most hot water heaters last somewhere between 8 and 12 years. Some routine maintenance may improve your water heater’s lifespan, such as:
- Drain the water heater twice a year to reduce the buildup of sediment.
- When you leave your home for more than five days, turn your temperature knob setting to “vacation” to give your water heater (and your heating bill) a little break.
Replacing your water heater
Inevitably, your water heater will give out. When this happens, it is an inconvenience that requires almost immediate attention. Removing your old water heater and installing a new one is a major project that should be handled by a professional. Eyman Heating, Plumbing and Air offers water heater repair and replacement.
Why call a professional?
1. Your safety
First, your old water heater must be removed. This may sound like an easy task, but it is definitely not easy. In fact, it can be both difficult and dangerous. Removing your old water heater tank is a multi-step process that involves disconnecting gas lines and water lines. Any time you are tampering with gas lines, your risk of injury is increased dramatically.
In addition, old water heaters tend to be heavier than new ones due to built-up sediment. Water heater tanks are large and heavy to begin with, but with extra sediment built up, they can be downright dangerous to move.
Finally, the pressure inside the tank can build up from thermal expansion. This is a serious issue for someone who is not a professional. The pressure inside the tank can cause the flue tube to constrict, which can cause combustion gases and carbon monoxide to back up in the home. It is better to not risk these potential dangers to your family, and instead contact a professional service such as Eyman Heating, Plumbing and Air.
2. To avoid common installation errors
A professional has installed numerous water heaters and is trained to look for potential problems you may not be aware of. Replacing a water heater is an intensive process that involves troubleshooting and testing.
If the installation is not left to a professional, you could end up with more problems in the near future from common mishaps such as dry-firing the elements, damaging delicate parts, cross-threading gas connections, forgetting to elevate the water heater, or a number of other common installation errors.
Some of these errors may be easy to repair later, but others can cause extensive damage to your home, not to mention require you to purchase another expensive water heater, which brings us to our third reason.
If you choose to install your water heater on your own and something does go wrong, your insurance will not cover it. You will end up paying for all of the damage to your property out of pocket. When you hire a professional service such as Eyman Heating, Plumbing and Air, though, the installer will carry insurance to cover any property damage or installation accidents.
4. Faster turnaround
When your hot water heater decides its time is finished, it is not something you should ignore. This is true at any time of year, but it is especially true if winter is in full force and freezing temperatures have set in. At the least, it is a terrible inconvenience. At the worst, it will cause other expensive problems in your home.
Most of us do not have the time to immediately replace our water heaters, especially if we are not trained. It is likely we will have to take time off work or set aside other pressing commitments to complete such a major project. A professional who has replaced water heaters before will complete the project much faster than someone who is still learning – or who has never replaced a water heater.
Doing the project ourselves can also leave lingering issues we will have to address later. Maybe our troubleshooting did not reveal all of the potential problems, or we didn’t seal the joints well enough. This will cost us more time and money, not to mention raise our blood pressure.
If a professional must return to correct their work, it is usually done free of charge. You will also rest easier knowing you don’t have to take more time out of your busy schedule to hassle with a project you thought was finished.
Read more about our Water Heater Repair & Services