Is it Time to Break Up With That Old Water Heater?

Signs to Part Ways With the Old Water Heater 

Breaking up is never easy––especially when breaking up with the water heater. That’s why some homeowners keep their water heaters around long after they should. However, homeowners could experience a complete breakdown, higher-than-average water bills, cold showers, and many other inconveniences when that happens. 

Instead, homeowners should learn warning signs that indicate it’s time for a water heater replacement or repair so they don’t have to get stuck without hot water. Some signs include: 


corrosionMany plumbers recommend a total replacement if a water heater has corrosion on its tank. Homeowners can find corrosion visually or by a common sign of corrosion in the hot water tank: discolored water. Some reasons why a water heater may have corrosion include: 

  • Sediment build-up: Sentiment build-up inside the water heater can cause rust and corrosion. Sediment and minerals build up in the water heater but get flushed out during routine water heater maintenance.  
  • Lack of maintenance: Homeowners should routinely consult professionals for water heater maintenance. During maintenance, plumbers will flush the tank and replace the anode rod as needed. When these vital maintenance tasks are ignored, sediment and minerals will build up and cause corrosion. 
  • Chronic leaks: Water is supposed to be housed inside the water heater––not outside of it. When a water heater leaks, it can lead to corrosion, rust, and other issues. 

If the corrosion on a water heater tank is minor, a professional may remove it using a chemical solution or employ specialized equipment, like a rust vacuum, to remove it. However, once too much corrosion has occurred, a replacement is a must.

Hot Water Runs Out Quicker Than it Used To 

Some ask, “how long does it take for a water heater to run out of hot water?” It depends on the tank size—however, one thing is for sure. The hot water should last long enough for a shower. If the hot water only lasts a few minutes or runs out quicker than it used to, this indicates that a water heater needs replacement or repair. 

The water heater can be running out of hot water for several reasons. The heating element or another internal component may be faulty and need replacing. Or the water heater may just be too old. Water heaters generally last 10 to 15 years, but appliances naturally decrease in efficiency over time, affecting the water heater's performance. Sediment buildup also causes a decrease in efficiency that affects the unit's performance. 

Higher Energy Bills 

Unusually high energy bills often indicate a loss of efficiency in the water heater. This could mean it's time to consider replacing the unit, as inefficient water heating costs homeowners more money. With an inefficient water heater, homeowners are essentially throwing cash down the drain.

If homeowners notice any of these signs, they should contact a technician to inspect the unit as soon as possible. Doing so can help prevent further damage and ensure the home runs efficiently. A professional can also advise homeowners on choosing a new water heater that meets their needs and fits their budget. Replacing an old or inefficient water heater can save money in the long run and keep the home running smoothly.

About G.F. Bowman, Inc. 

G.F. Bowman, Inc. has more than 55 years of experience serving the Harrisburg, PA, community and the surrounding areas. They offer upfront pricing, on-time arrivals, and financing. Call them today for water heater maintenance, repair, and replacement services in Harrisburg, PA.

Heater Troubles? Don't Turn to DIY Tricks

These DIY Pitfalls Could Make a Small Inconvenience into a Huge Issue 

When faced with a heater problem in the digital age, it's so easy to punch the problem into Google and go from there. But actually, if one doesn't have specialized knowledge of heaters and how they work, a seemingly easy fix can turn into a huge problem. 

If one notices that their heater, furnace, or another appliance isn't working properly, they should contact a professional heating technician. Their years of experience and insight can address the problem without endangering the home's integrity. 

Here are some reasons to consider professional help.

One Could Misdiagnose the Issue

Misdiagnosing an appliance's problem can create two issues: 

  • The initial problem goes unaddressed: Some problems need immediate attention – or else they risk endangering both the home and its residents. Consider this scenario. Suppose that one uses a boiler that converts water into steam to heat the home. Yet, one of the pipes might be frozen. If left unaddressed, the pipe could burst, leading to flooding damage, mold growth, and inconvenience. 
  • The DIY measures are done incorrectly: One may perform the repairs incorrectly in trying to fix the problem. For instance, they might strip a bolt, making it difficult to remove, or they can accidentally sever a wire. This can create problems upon problems. 

Heating professionals require years of training to get certified. When a heating professional inspects a home's heater for problems, they will apply the latest techniques to correct the issue. One can rest assured that they will employ repairs based on research––and not what a random person on Google suggested. 

The DIY Repair Could Take Much Longer Than Expected 

tools When the home's heater stops working, residents want the issue fixed as quickly as possible. Yet, DIY heater repair measures could take a simple fix into a day-long endeavor. Consider this scenario. 
  • A heater isn't functioning properly because of a leaking pipe. 
  • A homeowner identifies the leak as being caused by a loose nut.
  • The homeowner goes to the store and gets a wrench to tighten the nut. 
  • The wrench isn't the right size and strips the bolt. 
  • The homeowner goes back to the hardware store and gets another wrench. 
  • The nut is stripped, however, making tightening impossible. 

Now, the system needs more extensive repairs than it initially required––and while this is all happening, the home's temperature is dropping. When a furnace repair technician steps onto a scene, they have all the tools to get the job done. What's more, they can easily identify a problem and work on it as soon as possible. 



Homeowners’ Insurance Does Not Cover DIY-Related Issues

The Pennsylvania Insurance Department notes that while homeowners don't have to have insurance, most banks and lenders will require insurance before they issue a loan. A homeowner’s insurance usually applies to "covered perils," like snowstorms and other natural disasters. 

Homeowner's insurance does not cover issues arising from a homeowner's negligence – including faulty DIY repairs. This could lead to one paying hundreds of dollars out of pocket to remedy a once easy fix. 

About G.F. Bowman Inc. 

G.F. Bowman, Inc. takes a firm stance against DIY repair methods for one reason; it compromises a furnace's safety. They are a family-owned and operated business that provides honest, reliable services to those living in both Cleona and Harrisburg, PA. Call today for expert heater repair services in Harrisburg, PA

Don't Let a Faulty Water Heater Ruin the Holiday Season

Common Water Heater Repair Signals 

The last thing any homeowner wants during the excitement of the holiday season is a water heater emergency. Especially with the temperature dropping, warm water is essential this time of year. Here are the telltale signs that a gas water heater needs repairs or replacement so that homeowners can enter this time of year fully prepared for colder temperatures. 

How To Tell if a Water Heater Needs Repair

There are a few ways to learn if a water heater needs repair or professional inspection. 

  • Change in warm water: If a homeowner notices that the warm water does not get as hot as it typically does, or if the hot water does not last as long, there are a few things they can check to determine if the water heater needs to repair. First, they should check the water heater's temperature settings to make sure it was not accidentally changed. They should also determine if they have been using more hot water than normal. If neither of these seems to be the issue, it is likely a water heater problem.
  • Rusty water: While rusty water can be a sign of pipe problems, it can also be a sign that the water heater itself is damaged and rusting. In this case, it is best to have a professional take a look. 
  • Odd noises: If homeowners start hearing clanking or other odd noises coming from the water heater, it is most likely from sediment build up. Water heaters make a normal amount of noise on their own, but if homeowners notice a change such as popping or banging, they should have it inspected.
  • Leaks: If homeowners notice a change in their hot water and a pool of water forming below their water heater, it is likely caused by a leak and is a sign that the water heater must be repaired. 

What Causes Faulty Water Heaters?


There are a few reasons water heaters can become faulty, including: 

  • Age: The average lifespan of a water heater is around 10 years. If it starts becoming faulty around that age, it will most likely need to be replaced.
  • Rust: If the water heater starts to rust, it can start to cause issues such as the aforementioned rusty water and, if not treated, may cause irreversible damage. 
  • Sediment: Sediment buildup is cause for not only pipe issues but also water heater issues. When the water is heated, sediment can settle in the tank, leading to issues.

If these issues sound familiar, homeowners should likely reach out to their local plumbing companies to schedule an inspection. 

When Should Water Heaters Be Replaced?


If water heaters start to act faulty or reach the age of 10 years, it may be time to replace them. While there are a few ways mentioned above to determine if a water heater needs to be repaired, it is best to have a professional look to determine if those repairs are manageable or if the water heater needs to be replaced. 

About G.F. Bowman, Inc.

With more than 50 years of experience, the G.F. Bowman, Inc. team not only has a thorough background but is constantly learning the newest technologies in their field. Dedicated to quality service so that their customers can have peace of mind knowing they are in the right hands. Call now for quality water heater services!