Do you have a hot water heater that is not working right, and you're wondering if you need to replace it completely? Here are some signs that replacement is the best option.

The Hot Water Heater Is Old

If something breaks down on your hot water heater, you definitely need to consider the age of the appliance to decide if it is worth fixing. If the hot water heater is between 8-12 years old, then the repair might not be worth having done. You may run into another problem with the hot water heater soon after that requires replacement, and that repair cost could have gone to replacing the appliance with the latest model.

The Tank Has Rust

One problem that is incredibly tough to deal with is when the outer shell of a hot water heater has rust. Rust is not a problem you can fix, and it is only going to get bigger over time. Once that hole completely goes through the side of the tank, you run the risk of many gallons of water dumping out onto your floor. Take rust seriously when you see it because it can catch you by surprise when it causes the entire hot water tank to fail.

If you do notice water leaking out from a hole in the tank, know that the water heater is already compromised. That small leak can easily turn into a big leak, and you may not be home to catch the big leak when it happens.

The Heating Element Needs Replacement

One very expensive and complicated part of a hot water heater to replace is the heating element, which is true for both gas and electric hot water heaters. You may notice that the hot water heater as a whole has a very slow recovery time, where it is struggling to create new hot water after you've used up the majority of it. This can cause the hot water to run out quickly again, even after you gave it time to heat up more hot water. 

It is also possible that water in the tank never gets as hot as it could. Even if you turn the thermostat up, the hot water remains warm rather than hot. This is not normal and it is an indication that the heating element is dying. 

Reach out to a plumber for their help with water heater system repair or installation services.