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Water Heater on the Fritz Lately?


If your water heater is more than 10 years old, if you’re noticing leaks or corrosion around the base of the tank, or if it doesn’t consistently heat your water to the temperature you want (or doesn’t heat your water at all – BRR!), it’s probably time to replace your water heater. We can help with troubleshooting and let you know whether the problem can be repaired.

Regular maintenance will extend the life of your water heater, and some repairs, such as replacing a pressure-relief valve or heating element are pretty simple. However, if you have a leak, if your water heater is more than 10 years old, or you just wish to upgrade and cut your energy expense, it might be time to replace your water heater. These tips will help you troubleshoot your gas or electric water heater.

The life expectancy of a water heater is about 8 to 12 years. That can vary based on the water heater itself, where it was installed, how well it was installed,  how well it has been maintained, and even the quality of the water in your home.


The problem we see the most often is that the water that isn’t as hot as you want it to be. This can be caused by a faulty thermostat or a defective heating element. Check the following when your water is not hot enough:

Electric water heater

  • Make sure that the power is connected. Reset the thermostat.
  • Flush the heater to remove sediment from the tank.
  • Insulate the hot water pipes.
  • 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.
  • Flush the heater to remove sediment from the tank.
  • Insulate the hot water pipes.
  • Clean the gas burner and replace the thermocouple (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

  • Hissing or sizzling noises: Sediment may have collected in the tank.
  • Leaking pressure-relief valve: Leaky valves have to be replaced!
  • Leaking water supply pipes: Fittings might be loose or need replacement

Rocket Rooter can help determine exactly what is wrong with your water heater and make sure that you don’t replace a water heater that can be repaired!


Today’s water heaters are manufactured to require little or no maintenance, but these maintenance tips could prolong the life of your water heater:

  • Drain the water heater twice a year to rid it of collected sediment that causes corrosion. This also increases efficiency.
  • Test the pressure-relief valve by lifting and releasing the valve’s handle. If water is not released into the overflow drainpipe, the valve will need to be replaced.
  • Don’t set your water heater any higher than 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Not only is it dangerous to have your water heater set too high, it can also reduce the lifespan of your water heater significantly.

Most of these steps are fairly simple, but if you want to be sure the job is done right, contact Rocket Rooter!


If you’re replacing a water heater, you can always replace it with one of the same type and capacity, and most new water heaters are more efficient and use less energy than older water heaters. You should also consider whether you need a larger water heater, whether you’d like to change the fuel source (electric/gas), and whether a tankless, or on-demand water heater might be the best choice.

When looking for a water heater, consider these features:

  • Gallon capacity (40-gallon and 50-gallon heaters are the most common)
  • Recovery rate (the number of gallons the heater will heat in an hour)
  • Dimensions (width and height — physical space may limit your ability to upgrade your unit’s capacity; will the heater fit in the space you have for it?)
  • Energy efficiency ratings (a sticker on the side should list the estimated annual cost of operation for the unit)

Before making repairs or purchasing a new water heater, check the nameplate on the side of your current unit. Here you will find helpful information including the tank capacity, insulation R-value, installation guidelines, working pressure, model and serial number. If you have an electric water heater, the nameplate will also list the wattage capacity and voltage of the heating elements.

Rocket Rooter provides a complete selection of electric, gas, and tankless/instant water heaters of all sizes. Call us now and we’ll help you pick the right one!


There are a lot of advantages to a tankless or instant water heater.

Instant Hot Water
As long as your tankless system has the capacity, you’ll never run out of hot water! Water is heated as it is supplied to your sink, shower, or dishwasher, and the amount of hot water isn’t limited to the size of the tank!

Lower Energy Bills
A traditional water heater keeps the entire tank of water hot, all day, every day. By only heating water when it is going to be used, you can save up to 40% off the money you pay to heat your water.

Since there is no water tank, there is no water tank to corrode! This gives tankless water heaters up to double the lifespan of regular water heaters – sometimes as much as 20 years!

Space Savings
No tank = less space! Tankless water heaters are about the size of a small suitcase, which means that the big tank will be gone, out of your way, and you can recapture some of the space it took up!

Clean, Fresh Water
Traditional water heaters often build up rust, scale, and sediment, which can cause your water to take on funky tastes or odors – with a tankless water heater, you’re always heating fresh water.


Rocket Rooter is ready to help you with the repair and replacement of your water heater, and to help you make the best choice – make, model, capacity, efficiency, durability, warranty – you name it! All our work is performed by certified professional plumbers and your satisfaction is guaranteed.