Nothing has an infinite lifespan, including your water heater. If well-maintained, a tank-style unit should last around 10 years before needing to be replaced. And as a water heater approaches that mark, it has a significant reduction in efficiency, costs more to operate, and becomes more prone to breakdowns.
But those aren’t the only reasons to consider trading in your old water heater for a new, more energy-efficient model. That old water heater can pose serious dangers to you and your home.
6 Risks of an Old Water Heater
While most of the signs that your water heater is failing are nothing more than a nuisance, ignoring an older water heater can lead to serious risks.
1. Mold Growth
A leaking water heater presents an ideal environment for mold growth. Not only does mold pose a serious health risk, but it can also lead to structural issues in your home. At the first sign of a leak near your water heater, shut it off and contact a licensed plumber right away.
2. Bacteria Growth
If your water smells or tastes odd, there may be bacteria growing inside the tank that can make you sick. An older water heater has a harder time maintaining a hot enough temperature to kill off bacteria. Consuming bacteria-laden water can lead to a variety of health issues, including diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, cramps, headaches, fever, and more.
3. Nesting Critters
Small animals like the warmth of a water heater and will often nest nearby. If your unit is situated in the basement or in an area that is open to the outdoors, the risk becomes greater. Rodents can cause all sorts of damage, including chewed wires and insulation and spreading disease. Make sure to keep the area around your water heater free of debris to prevent critter infestation.
4. Electrical Problems
As an electrical water heater ages, the electrical element becomes more prone to short-circuiting. If you find yourself having to reset the breaker to your water heater more frequently, it’s time to have it inspected so you don’t risk an electrical fire hazard.
5. Blocked Valves
An older water heater might have trouble maintaining adequate water pressure. As sediment and minerals build up in the valves, they become blocked which leads to a loss of water pressure or even a complete loss of hot water.
As a water heater ages, it has to work harder and longer to reach a desired water temperature. When the burners stay on longer, this can lead to higher water temperature which can lead to scalding and even a fire hazard.
Is it time to replace your water heater? Or perhaps you have questions about your current one. Either way, Blau Sudden Service is here to help. Contact us today or anytime for the expert advice and courteous, professional service you deserve.