When to replace a hot water heater

Replacing your water heater can be both stressful and a financial burden. You may be asking yourself, 
"How do I know when to replace my water heater?" 

Below are common signs that replacing your water heater may be in your best interest.

*Age. How long have you had your current water heater? A gas hot water heater should last 8-12 years; while an electric water has a longer lifespan of 10-15 years. Tankless water heaters have a longer life expectancy but since they are so new replacing your tankless water heater as of 2010 should not be a consideration.

*Rust colored hot water - If you are getting tinted water when you open up the hot water tap you need to change your water heater immediately!

*Hot water is not as hot or you run out of hot water under normal circumstances. Servicing your water heater may resolve this problem. Please contact your plumbing experts at Shamrock Heating & Cooling so that we can resolve your hot water problem as soon as possible.

*Moisture around the base may signal a slow leak.

*An ice cold shower.

*A flood in the area around the water heater.


What type of hot water heater is best for me?

Once you have determined that replacing your water heater is inevitable, selecting the perfect unit for your needs may seem confusing because there are so many types and sizes. For example - how many gallons do you need? Do you want a tankless water heater or conventional? Gas or electric? What about solar?

Sometimes the more research you do the worse it gets! First things first, how much hot water do you need? To effectively figure what size you need you have to figure what is called your family's peak usage. This means that you have to figure how much hot water your household will use at the most in any particular hour. This is accomplished by answering the following questions. (The number following the activities refer to the gallons used for each activity.):

How many times in the peak hour of your family's day do you?

*Showering - 20

*Bathing - 20

*Shaving - 2

*Washing hands and face - 2 Hand dishwashing - 4

*Automatic dishwashing - 10

*Preparing food - 5

*Automatic clothes washing - 32

So if you use the most water at 6 p.m. when the dishwasher is running, there is a load of clothes in the wash, and two people will take showers then your peak water use is 82 gallons per hour. You need a tank with at least 82 gallon FHR, or first hour rating. This number does not account for low flow shower heads and faucet aerators. Many 40-50 gallon water heaters come close to this but you may need something a little bigger.