With today's technologies, water heaters rarely fail. Older water heaters fail, and do so at the worst possible time. It might be during a power outage and an electric water heater stops working while every other heat source also stops, or while gas line maintenance is going on down the street if you have a gas fueled water heater. On thing you can expect and rely on is the water heater will fail when you most want a hot shower. Fortunately, there are solutions to such problems so you don't have to take a cold shower if you don't want one.
Bad Weather, Warm House, Cold Shower
Cold showers are great during the summer, you lay out to sunbathe, invite friends over to enjoy time together in the yard, run a hot grill for burgers and steaks. And you get hot and step inside to rinse off in the shower. A colder temperature is acceptable as it helps you rinse off the sweat, but you have some expectation of a warm water flow. When it matters is during the winter time. You've been out for lunch and coffee with friends, maybe a bit of shopping, you're freezing cold when you get home. You beeline to the bath or shower and turn on the water, start stripping off layers of clothes in anticipation of the hot bath... but get nothing but cold water.
Routine Inspection and Maintenance
The way to avoid a situation as described is to have routine inspections conducted to find potential problems with your water heater before it actually breaks down. There are some hints, if the water heater takes hours to provide hot water again after a single shower, there is something wrong. If you have to keep turning up the thermostat in order to maintain your expectation of hot water, again, something is wrong and the heater isn't working properly. What you don't realize is you're paying a huge power bill to run electricity which isn't performing a useful function by heating your water.
When to Replace the Water Heater
When to replace a water heater is up to your contractor - you can trust a heating specialist to provide good advice. He'll take care of your interests by repairing the water heater if possible or replacing it if that's going to save you money in the long run.
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