An annoying but inescapable fact of homeownership is that equipment and appliances breakdown at inopportune times. Often, these breakdowns are simply inconvenient. That’s certainly the case if you’re suddenly without your television or cooking range. It’s aggravating, but your life won’t grind to a halt.
Water heaters are another matter altogether. We count on hot water to bathe, clean our clothes, wash our dishes, and for many other basic daily needs. If your water heater suddenly fails, you’ll be without hot water until we can repair or replace it.
Since 1924, LG Jordan Oil Co. has helped families in Wake, Chatham, Harnett and nearby counties stay comfortable and safe. We’ve handled our fair share of water heater replacements in that time, and we know what to look for in a water heater that’s struggling and nearing retirement. We’ll give you a quick primer to help you out:
How long your heater lasts depends on the kind of unit you have. A conventional storage tank water heater lasts for around eight to 10 years.
The primary cause of failure in these appliances is corrosion from particles in the water tank. Water heater manufacturers slow corrosion by installing an anode rod in the tank, which draws these particles away from the tank lining. Once this rod becomes completely corroded, the tank starts deteriorating. Flushing the tank of water once a year can help extend the unit’s life.
Tankless propane water heaters are compact, super-efficient systems that generate virtually unlimited hot water on demand. They also have longer lifespans because they have less exposure to corrosive particles. A tankless water heater can last up to 20 years before needing to be replaced.
If you’ve recently moved into your home and don’t know how old your water heater is, you can generally figure it out by looking at the serial number.
If your water heater’s serial number is composed of a letter and a series of numbers, the letter normally indicates the month it was made (“A” for January, “B” for February, etc.), and the first two numbers after the letter indicate the year. So, a water heater serial number beginning D20 was made in April 2020.
If your serial number begins with just numbers, the first four numbers are often a Month/Year combination. For example, a number starting 0715 would mean a July 2015 manufacture date.
Others have a Year/Week format. In that case, a number beginning 1526 would mean the 26th week of 2015.
When in doubt, look up the manufacturer’s website to learn their numbering convention!
It’s not easy to tell just by looking at your water heater how close it is to retirement. If your water isn’t lasting as long as it used to, your energy usage is increasing unexpectedly, or you’re noticing brown or rusty water from the tap, it could be time to replace your water heater.
The LG Jordan team can help you make the determination, and we’re always available to help. We can handle both propane or natural gas-powered units and installations!