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SHOULD YOU REPLACE YOUR WATER HEATER

An average hot water heater will have a quite worktime in most of the homes it gets used in. Based on manufacturer's suggested service life, the life expectancy of a water heater is about 8 to 12 years. This can obviously changed based on the severity of local weater, design of the unit, quality of the installation and the amount of maintenance one puts in into the unit. If your water heater is more than 10 years old, leaks around the base of the tank, and / or works erratically or not at all, it probably needs to be replaced. But before you decide to go ahead and starting looking for replacement, there is few things you should look into such as electrical issues due to faulty wiring and more.

Common Problems
One of the most common problem that people have with a rinnai water heater is the fact that the heater is not heating the water to required temperature. Now when this happens, it might be that the heater has a faulty thermostat or heating element. There are few basic steps you could take to ensure that you water is not broken beyond replacement.

Here are some basic steps to follow when your water is not hot enough:

Electric water heater

Make sure that the power is connected. Reset the thermostat.
Flushing the water heater for sediments is a must even when you do not have a problem. Hence when a problem arises, you have to do the flushing to make sure its not the culprit.
Try and insulate your hot water pipe to ensure no loss of heat to the surrounding.
Replace the heating element or thermostat.
Raise the temperature setting on the thermostat.

Gas water heater
Make sure that the gas is connected and the pilot light is lit.
Flushing the water heater for sediments is a must even when you do not have a problem. Hence when a problem arises, you have to do the flushing to make sure its not the culprit.
Try and insulate your hot water pipe to ensure no loss of heat to the surrounding.
Clean the gas burner and replace the thermocoupler (a safety device that shuts off the gas automatically if the pilot flame goes out).
Raise the temperature setting on the thermostat.

Other common problems and possible solutions

There might be cases when you water heater starts making hissing or sizzing noises: Sediment may have collected in the tank. Drain the tank until the water clears. Soak elements in vinegar and scrape collected scale.
In case you have a leaking pressure-relief valve: Replace valve.
Leaking water supply pipes: Tighten the fittings. If that doesn't work, shut off the water and replace the fittings.

Over time, water minerals react with steel, corroding water heater tanks. When water heaters spring a leak, repair isn’t an option. On the bright side, modern water heaters are far more energy-efficient than older models. Manufacturers now inject foam insulation between the tank and its outer shell, resulting in higher heat retention. New glass liners make tanks less prone to corrosion. You’ll pay $500 to $1,500 to purchase and install a new conventional storage unit. A high-efficiency model that meets Energy Star standards saves up to 20% in energy costs. Tankless, heat pump, and solar water heaters offer even bigger savings and also qualify forfederal tax credits. Some credits expire at the end of 2011 but others run to 2016.  These products cost three to five times more to buy and install, so consider payback carefully.