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How Do I Know When to Replace My Propane Water Heater?

Posted: November 19, 2018

Water heater technician

If you’ve been using a propane water for years now, good for you! This is one of the best ways to ensure you’ll always have a plentiful supply of hot water at the ready. But unfortunately, propane hot water heaters won’t last forever. Like any type of mechanical equipment that is pretty much in constant use, it is bound to eventually wear out.

Here is another sure thing: the last thing you will want to do is to wait until you have water leaking out of a failed water heating unit. Once this has already occurred, you will have fewer options, not to mention a big mess and terrible inconvenience. Worst of all, it will be even more costly to resolve the problem than it would be if you were simply to replace the hot water heater before it fails.

If you live in North Carolina, be aware of these signs, as they can be clear indications that your water heater is wearing out:

Life expectancy of water heaters

The life expectancy of an average tank water heater ranges, but in general we say it should last up to 13 years. If you live in North Carolina and have a propane water heater, it could last significantly longer. If your tank water heater is 10 years old or more, our advice is not to wait until it breaks! Start researching your replacement options now.

To help you to make the right choice, take this interactive quiz. This handy tool will help you narrow your options and find the perfect propane water heater for you and your family.

Your energy bills are on the rise

If your energy bills keep going up and up, even though not much has changed in your household, your unit is probably overworked or being pushed beyond its capacity to perform. The resulting inefficiency can create problems that result in higher energy bills.

You have rusty, brown hot water

If the water runs clear from your cold water tap but looks rusty and brown when it comes out of the hot water tap, it usually means the inner layer of your tank is starting to corrode. If you see rust beginning to form on the outside of the tank, it’s a clear indication that there is no time to spare. Time for a new unit right away!

You notice hard water stains on dishes, utensils, clothing

Stains on your dishes and cutlery are typical signs of hard water – that is, water that contains excess minerals. You may also notice that your skin is dry or your sheets may pick up rusty stains in the wash. The problem could be that your water supply is high in minerals, or it could be the result of excess lime in your water heater tank. Either way, these problems will reduce the efficiency and significantly reduce the life of your water heater.

You notice “unusual” noises coming from your tank

If you notice any unusual noises coming from your storage tank (often described as growling), it is usually an indication of sediment in the tank. This is an issue that almost always leads to repairs or even a replacement if the issue is not dealt with in a timely manner.

If you have noticed any of these warning signs and you think that the time has come to replace your water heater, contact your local propane company for advice.