A: Well, that all depends. The first thing you should check is the manufacture date on the side of the water heater. It should be a small metal plate with the part number, and it usually displays the month and year of manufacture. Compare that to the warranty of the water heater, which is typically 7 to 10 years.
If you know the last time it was changed, use that as your date. Add the water heater's warranty period to that to see how long it has been operating. Other things to check are the inlet and outlet points on top of the water heater — are they severely corroded? If so, you may want to change your water heater and avert other serious issues, like leakage.
A: One common sign of leakage is the sound of water running in the tank, as though it is refilling. This can cost you 20 to 300 gallons of water lost a month, depending on how often the water is running. You can get dye tablets from your local water provider, typically free, to check this. This kind of issue doesn't always mean you need a new toilet. It usually can be fixed by replacing the internal parts of the tank, which is a much more cost-effective solution.
A: Do you ever hear that thump or bang when your clothes washer turns on, or when your sprinkler system shuts off? This could be a sign of a failing pressure regulator. It's important that your water is supplied at an appropriate pressure. Too much or too little pressure can cause fixtures and appliances to malfunction.
A: This can be crucial information if you have a water main break. If you don't know, give us a call and we'll be glad to show you. We also inspect your household plumbing and tell you what we find free of charge.