Is your hot water heater still under warranty? If your tank is over five years old, there is a chance you may be out of warranty. Leaking water heaters can cause significant damage, especially if in the attic. You need to know when it’s time to replace it.
Look at the panel on the side of your water heater. The date is not clearly marked but is incorporated in the serial number. If you provide this number to your plumber, he will be able to check for you to find out if it is still under warranty. Next, look at the seams, particularly near the bottom to see if there is any evidence that water is or has been leaking. Evidence is rust or damage either on the tank or near it, like on the wall.
If your water heater is no longer producing hot water, or if the tank is leaking, you need to take care of it right away.
What if your water heater warranty is still good?
Considering the benefit of a warranty replacement when the water heater is 4-5 years old with a 6 yr. warranty, the customer should really consider if this is a wise choice or if at that point, they should simply purchase a new water heater and obtain the full warranty protection of the new water heater.
Warranties are easy to validate. Just note the date, brand, model, whether it’s electric or gas, and the size of the tank. Simply call your local plumber with that information, and they will make the arrangements and find out the details for you. Then they’ll get you on the schedule as soon as possible so that you’re not out of hot water long.
Your warranty covers the replacement of the original tank with a new tank. Not all warranties are the same. Rheem, for instance, will replace the unit but the warranty on it will only run for the length of the original warranty. The company doing the replacement will have to bring in the proof of warranty, either the tank itself or the label from it showing the dates in order to get the new tank. This requires an initial trip to your home for these items before the replacement tank can be picked up. So there is more time, travel and labor involved.
What should you do if your tank is outside of your warranty period?
If you are outside of your warranty, do your homework. Often, the best performing models with the best warranties are purchased and handled exclusively by your plumbing company. Your plumbing company should take out the necessary permit and handle scheduling the city inspection always required.
An inspection will ensure that the water heater was installed correctly, and the proper precautions were taken when it comes to the area surrounding your new hot water heater. Inspections don’t take long, and are usually completed within 48 hours of the time of installation, but you or someone 18 or older must be there to let the inspector gain entrance. You have the opportunity to call the inspector yourself, in most cities, to schedule a window of time so you don’t need to wait all day.