Is It Time To Replace Your Hot Water Tank?

hot_shower/hot water tanks /

“Hot Water” …it’s one of those luxuries of life that we don’t think about much, until we don’t have it. Even our furnace requires us to change the filter every 3 months…but our hot water heater can go many years without touching or servicing.



  1. Age of Your Hot Water Heater: If your Hot water tank is more than 10 years old, there is two good reasons to start considering a replacement. Firstly, over time sediment builds up inside your hot water tank, slowly reducing its efficiency and increasing your energy costs, and secondly, older tanks are more susceptible to leaks which could cause significant damage and repair costs to your basement and belongings.
  2. Discolored Water: As the that sediment build up in the tank, inevitably more and more ends up coming out of your taps.
  3. A loud “gurgling” sound from inside your hot water tank: That “gurgling” sound is cause by large clumps of sediment bouncing around in the boiling water. These clumps reduce the energy efficiency of your hot water heater and create stress on the tank resulting in potential cracks and leaks.
  4. Water or dampness around the tank: Water or dampness around your hot water tank could be caused by a small leak in the tank. Over time, small leaks become big leaks which can create significant damage to your basement and possessions.
  5. You feel your utility bills are too high: Water heating amounts to nearly 20% of most homes energy costs. Not only is your old water heater far less efficient then when it was new, but higher efficiency standards mean today's water heaters are far more efficient then yours was when it was new. Installing a new water heater could provide significant energy savings. Your local Utility Providers should be regularly evaluating and reporting your energy consumption compared to other similar house in your area…if your usage is too high, maybe it is time to change your hot water heater.
Hot Water


Storage Tank Water Heaters: These are the most common type of water heaters. In these units, the water is heated and then stored in an insulated tank until needed.The water is heated using either electric, natural gas or propane. While natural gas hot water tanks cost more upfront, the energy cost to operate is about half compared to electric hot water heaters.

Hot Water

Tankless or On-Demand Water Heaters: These units heat the water as you use it, eliminating the storage of hot water. Tankless water heaters are more efficient than storage tank water heaters, saving you significant energy costs.

Heat Pump (Hybrid) Water Heaters: These units are a more energy efficient option for homes that rely on electricity as their energy source. These units capture heat from the air and transfer it the water, reducing the energy required to creating hot water.


This is a debate that has no winner, meaning the right answer is based on personal preference and habit.

Some people prefer renting their hot water tank. They know they are paying more overall, but the easy monthly payments, no upfront costs, and the “no hassle” service and maintenance is worth the extra cost.

Other people prefer buying their hot water tank. They would rather save money and avoid complex lease agreements, even if it means paying more upfront and paying for service, maintenance and possibly replacement.

Many people decide to purchase their hot water tank, so they could upgrade their equipment improving their home’s energy efficiency and lower their energy costs. Until recently, most rental options only offered storage tank water heaters.


When comparing the benefits tankless water heaters offer compared to storage tank water heaters, it is easy to understand why tankless water heaters are becoming so popular:they offer better efficiency creating significant energy savings

  • They provide endless hot water
  • They require less space
  • They are quieter
  • They produce significantly less CO2 emissions
  • They are better for our environment.

However, before you jump on the band wagon, there are a few things you should know about Tankless Water Heaters:

  1. It is not as easy as installing a new washing. You may require upgrades to your gas pipes, meter and gas line to handle the additional gas requirements. Many tankless units vent differently than traditional water heaters. It is important that you consult a local professional to ensure your new water heater is installed properly. An improperly installed water heat can pose significant risk to your home and family.
  2. Tankless water heater provide an endless supply of hot water, however if your family is using hot water faster than your tankless water heater can produce it…you can still run out of hot water. For this reason, it is important that your new tankless water heater is the right size. If the unit is too small…it will not be able to handle your demands resulting in cool water. If it is too big, you will be spending more than you need to.
  3. Tankless water heater provide an endless supply of hot water…but not necessarily faster. Many people have the expectation that a tankless water heater will provide “instant” hot when the tap is turned on, but this is not the case. A tankless water heater is simply taking the place of your old water, usually in the same location. The cold water you feel when you turn on the tap is simply the hot water that was sitting in the pipes since you last used the hot water. A tankless water heater will not eliminate this problem…only a circulation system will provide “instant” hot water from your taps.
  4. Installing a tankless hot water tank is not a DYI project. It usually involves significant gas modifications, electrical work, and very specific venting requirements. For the safety of your family and your home, hire a reputable and licensed professional to install your tankless water heater; ensure they get all the required permits, and notify your insurance company of any changes to your home.


It is normal  to want to get every bit of mileage from your existing hot water tank before replacing it.  That may be alright if you are renting, as most rental companies can have a replacement tank installed within a day or two.  

However, if your intention is to purchase a new hot water may want to have it replaced before your tank gives up the fight.  Most families can survive going for a day without hot water...going a week or two without hot water is a totally different challenge.  

Quick service is the main reason many families end up renting their hot water tank.

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