Rheem water heaters

Some Rheem tank water heaters.

It’s Sunday morning and you’ve rolled out of bed. You’ve finished a strong cup of coffee, checked your social media, and are getting ready to face the day. You head into the bathroom, turn on the shower, but wait… it’s cold. It’s really cold.

Unfortunately, this scenario is not as far-fetched as most of us would like. Hot water is something most Americans have grown accustomed to. It’s a large commodity that we often take for granted. That is, until it’s not there any more. When your water heater is broken, you want it fixed fast. But before you replace that old tank water heater with another one, there’s lots to consider; especially in this day and age when there are more efficient ways of heating water. It’s time to think about “going tankless.”

When should I replace my water heater?

When to replace a water heater has many variables. Typically, if your water heater is leaking from the tank, it’s time to replace it. Leaking means water dripping out the bottom, or from the connections at the top. Keep in mind that if your tank has water on the top of it, you’ll want to make sure it is not just a faulty connection to the plumbing, particularly if you have a newer water heater or if you recently replaced it. Most folks tend to wait until their old water heater is dead, and then swap it out with a new one. I subscribe to the saying, “if it is not broken, don’t fix it.” Other people like to be proactive about replacing their water heater, before it breaks, so you don’t have that -very cold- Sunday morning wake up. Typically, tank water heaters can last anywhere between 10 and 20 years. For one poor soul, her tank water heater went south at almost exactly 6 years and 1 month (1 month past the warranty of the unit.) However, in the mid-2010’s, I pulled a water heater out of a San Rafael office building that was from the 60’s. There really is no way for certain to say how long your water heater will last.

For more information on choosing the right water heater, head on over to my Water Heaters page!