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Do you need a new water heater? Here are some easy ways to find out. Some only require repairs, but other obvious signs will tell you right away that something has gone wrong and it's time to call U.S. Plumbing and Rooter.

  • The water is discolored, or there's an awful metallic taste. This means the anode has failed and the unit is rusted and likely corroded. 

  • You're only getting warm water, the water is not getting hot enough.

  • Not getting hot at all. While this could mean your pilot needs to be replaced or or the circuit breaker has been tripped, it can also indicate a failure of the whole heating system. Ask an experienced plumber.

  • Loud popping sounds and cracks. These noises indicate that the heating element is failing. It can also be a bit annoying.

  • Water leaking. This is a major sign that your tank is failing internally, shut if off immediately and let it cool down. Then contact a plumber to replace it. If the water is leaking from the bottom of your tank, it's already done. 

  • If your heater is over 10 years old: It’s nearing the end of its life expectancy. If it's been around for a decade, maybe it's time to upgrade.


When it comes time to replace your unit, it’s best to call a professional.

This way you can be sure that everything has been done safely and to code.


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The most common type of water heater for residential homes are storage heaters, which combine a gas burner with an insulated tank to store hot water. A storage heater works by taking your cold water from the water lines in your home and moving it to the bottom of the tank, where it's heated by a gas burner that you can control with a thermostat. Since hot water is lighter than cold, the heated water will rise to the top of the tank where a supply line will send it where it's needed. When the hot water leaves the tank and colder water replaces it back at the bottom, the burner automatically starts up again to heat the new water. The storage water contains a relief valve to protect against pressure building up too high inside of the heater. They're made of steel and come in a variety of sizes. 



The main idea behind a tankless water heater is the unit heats water as you need it, instead of continually heating gallons of stored water in a large tank. Tankless heaters can save you a lot of money on your energy and water bills, they also last about five to 10 years longer than a storage tank heater, take up much less space and provide you with an unlimited amount of hot water. On the downside, a tankless system can cost up to three times as much as a tank heater and often requires costly upgrades to your natural gas line and an expensive venting system.

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