Before prices go up under the new standards, you may want to consider replacing your water heater. We recommend replacing old or ineffective heaters now. Getting a jump on the deadline will save you money and take something off your to-do list for a good 10 years. To help you gauge whether this is something to worry about, we’ve put together some information about what to consider.
Do You Know How Old Your Water Heater Is?
Age is the most direct indicator, and 10 years tends to be the retirement age for most water heaters manufactured within the last 25 years. Most of us don’t have that information readily available. Fortunately you can easily check the manufacturer tag on the side of your water heater, where the date will usually be listed. In some cases, the date is buried in the serial number, but you can still identify the manufacturer date if you know what to look for. The date is usually printed in an “MMYY…” format, with the first two numbers indicating the month and the next two numbers listing the year. For example, a serial number beginning “1291” means the heater was made in December of 1991.
Diagnosing Your Water Heater’s Health
In general, you’ll want to keep an eye out for signs that your water heater is no longer functioning well. There are several symptoms that are easy to identify with simple observation. Over the next few days, pay a visit to your water heater and ask yourself the following questions:
- Is there a gas smell near the water heater? (This is an emergency situation. You should immediately shut off the heater and call for a replacement.)
- Have you noticed any water leaking from the heater?
- Can you only get one hot shower within a few hours? (Note: We mean a normal shower, not the 45-minute one your teenager takes.)
- Do you have to wait several hours to get hot water again?
- Is your water heater noisy or do you hear banging in the pipes?
- Do you notice any rust or gritty buildup in your water?
If you answered yes to any of these, consider replacing your water heater.
Call Us with Questions
If you’re struggling to decode a serial number, or you don’t know how “noisy” a water heater should be, we’re happy to talk you through it. Please contact us with questions at (314) 965-9377 or firstname.lastname@example.org.