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Is it Time for Water Heater Service or Replacement?

Today, My Plumber Heating & Cooling received an email from a customer in Fairfax asking if it was time to get her water heater service or if she needed to replace her existing water heater. In the email correspondence, we asked her the following questions to get to the heart of the matter.

  • Has it been over one year since you’ve had a water heater service completed? This is important because water main lines in Arlington, Fairfax, and surrounding areas in Virginia have a high mineral content, which causes build up in the water heater over time, and will reduce the capacity significantly.
  • Is there enough hot water to do the dishes, run the washing machine, and take a bath at the same time? If you have not adjusted the temperature regulator recently, it may be a sign of a malfunction.
  • Does the water appear rusty? This means that corrosion is happening inside the tank or that the sacrificial anode rod is failing. The anode rod is beneficial in keeping the lining of your tank secure.
  • Is there condensation around the tank? Possible causes for this include faulty temperature relief valve or a leaking water tank where corrosion is imminent.
  • Is there crackling in the water heater? Are the pipes banging? Often times, this designates an excessive buildup of sediment in the bottom of the tank which causes boiling water and makes a noise.
  • Does it smell like rotten eggs? This indicates there may be bacteria in the tank sediment.

Water heaters last on average 6-8 years. If you get the water heater service done annually, as the manufacturer recommends, and you don’t have hard water, you may be able to extend the length of time before having to pay for water heater replacement. In any case, if you notice any of the tell-tale signs mentioned above, it is important to get your Fairfax water heater repair service completed quickly before it turns into a big problem. My Plumber Heating and Cooling can repair or replace any brand of water heater, whether is gas or electric, tankless or traditional, usually the same day.

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