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Water Heater Information for New Homeowners

A Water Heater
A water heater is a standard part of any modern home, but for new homebuyers, taking care of a water heater may be an unfamiliar concept. If you've just recently bought your first home, then now is the time to learn about water heaters and water heater maintenance.

This guide describes the signs of distress in a water heater, the expected service life of a water heater, how to maintain a water heater, and other useful pieces of information. 

How Long Do Water Heaters Last?

Water heaters typically last between 8 and 12 years. Some water heaters can last longer, but homeowners who continue to use heaters that are older than this are almost guaranteeing that their water heater will break. 

What Should You Do to Maintain Your Water Heater?

Maintaining your water heater is relatively simple. Drain your water heater on an annual basis or once every two years, depending on the type of heater. Your plumber can show you how to turn off the water heater, how to hook up a hose to the spigot, and how to go through the process of draining the water. Talk to your plumber to get a short tutorial, or check out our blog post from earlier this year.

What Are the Signs That Your Water Heater Is Nearing the End of Its Service Life?

Water heaters usually don't give a lot of indication that they're nearing the end of their service life. Sometimes water heaters will feature rust or corrosion on the outside of the tank. However, more often water heaters that are just about to break down will look the same as they always did.

When water heaters finally break, they usually start with a leak. Some water heaters release a flood of water into the home, other water heaters slowly leak. Either way, a leaking water heater is usually not something that can be fixed. When this happens, the entire unit must be replaced. 

What Does It Mean If Your Water Heater Is Making Popping Noises?

Typically, when a water heater makes popping noises, it is because of sediment buildup in the bottom of the tank. Sediment builds up in water heaters over many years. When the sediment becomes very thick, it blocks the heating elements in the bottom of the tank and prevents water in the top from mingling with water in the bottom.

This causes the water in the bottom of the tank to overheat. As the water in the bottom of the tank boils, the sediment will start to move around, causing knocking noises. If you're hearing noises in your tank, then drain your water heater to stop the activity.  

What's the Difference Between a Tankless Water Heater and a Tank Water Heater?

There are many differences between tankless water heaters and storage tank water heaters. Tankless water heaters are much smaller than storage tank-style water heaters; in addition, tankless water heaters cannot run out of water, while storage tank-style water heaters can. 

Tankless water heaters are typically more efficient than storage-tank style water heaters. They're also not as common as storage tank water heaters, so not all plumbers feel comfortable installing and servicing these units.

Tankless water heaters cost more to install, but these units also last longer than storage tank water heaters. In fact, tankless water heaters can last up to 20 years. If you're a homeowner who is thinking about getting a tankless water heater, then contact a reputable plumber today.  

At Dave-Co Plumbing, we're happy to answer any of your questions and give you more information about your water heater. For more information, contact us today.