Determining when to replace a water heater is a fairly straightforward process, and a few preliminary checks can help you determine if your heater requires total replacement or merely some minor repairs. Water heaters can in two different types, and the process of troubleshooting each one is somewhat different.
Gas vs. Electric Heaters
The type of water heating unit you have will most likely be replaced with a similar model. Gas-powered water heaters are installed in homes that are already equipped with gas line systems for stoves and other appliances. An electric water heater can be installed in any kind of building, whether or not the residence is already equipped with gas lines. If you have a growing family or have recently acquired more roommates, you may want to consider upgrading your water heating unit if in fact it does need to be replaced.
What to Look For in a Replacement Heater
If you need a new water heater and want to upgrade your current model, a few pre-purchase considerations include:
– Total gallon capacity
– The average number of gallons heated per hour
– The total measurements needed to fit in the space you have in your home
Before removing your old water heater, check the nameplate on the side of your current unit for important information on the model number and total gallon capacity. The time to replace a water heater largely depends on the age of your old heater, your current budget and the condition of your water heater. A few signs that you need to replace your water heater include:
– Collection of sediment in the tank
– Sizzling or hissing noises from the heater
– Leaking pipes
– Loose pressure valves
If you choose the DIY approach to replacing your water heating unit, mark all installation lines with tape ahead of time to make the job easier. Also check the manufacturer’s manual carefully for instructions on how to loosen and detach each water and electrical line safely. Some tools you’ll need for water heater replacement include pliers, screwdrivers and a good wrench for detaching lines.