Traditional storage water heaters typically last 10 years. Tankless water heaters may continue working for up to two decades.
Some of the most common water heater problems include no hot water, leaks, discolored or smelly water, strange noises, and power issues.
The flame should glow steady and blue. If it flickers or looks yellowish-orange, you could have a carbon monoxide leak. Turn off the water heater and call us right away!
Tankless water heaters generally end up needing less professional attention over their total life span, because they don’t have to hold large amounts of water and don’t run heating components nonstop. Any time you’re heating something, you’re going to have some amount of wear and tear, so it shouldn’t be surprising that storage tank water heaters, like furnaces, end up taking quite a beating compared to some other appliances.
It depends on a number of different factors. If your repair is expensive enough, replacement might be the only reasonable option. If your unit is old enough, you’ll probably save money by upgrading instead, because you’ll have more repairs in the future, your efficiency won’t be as good, etc. Finally, you might upgrade instead of repairing if you want to change what sort of water heater you have, increase size, or otherwise improve or change the features you have.
Many repairs can be avoided entirely by keeping up with your regular maintenance. That means professional attention once a year for most storage tank units and might mean more attention from you or your plumber if you have hard water with no effective softening solution in place.
There may be a few minor user-serviceable components on your water heater, but for the most part, you’ll find it easier and more reliable to leave it to a professional. After all, you’re dealing with two or three components that could cause big trouble if something went wrong: large amounts of water, electricity, and potentially gas/fire. Any one of these can create a lot of damage if something goes awry, so think carefully before you commit to DIY if you don’t have working knowledge of water heaters.
Hard water without proper maintenance can do quite a lot of damage to anything it passes through by leaving deposits of calcium and magnesium where it doesn’t belong. Most cities in the state have water that ranges from hard to very hard, so this can be something to worry about in many areas—but those of you getting water from the Minneapolis municipal water supply won’t, thanks to the work of our city water softening plant.