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When to Replace an Old Water Heater: An Interview with Jack Luedtke of Plumbing Pros

By Jack luedtke

Tell us a little bit about your company and the services you offer.

Been in business for 3 years. Owner is very active in all aspects of the company. All technicians are carefully trained to be as safe, efficient, professional, and accountable as possible. No technician will come to your home unless they personally hold a state license. We specialize in residential and commercial remodeling and repairs, but also pursue new homes and multi-family construction projects.

What is the typical lifespan of an old water heater? Are there certain conditions that would shorten or lengthen that?

Average life of a water heater is 8 to 10 years. Without a properly sized and functioning water softener, the life of the water heater can be dramatically reduced.

Can you describe some of the most common signs that a heater needs to be replaced?

Signs of water softener failure are easy to see. A small puddle of water on the floor next to the heater is the most common sign. This means the tank has corroded all the way through and caused a pin hole where the water escapes.

The second sign may be there just isn't enough hot water like there used to be. This is because there is a lime and calcium that has settled in the bottom of the tank, and acts as an insulator when the burner fires up to make more hot water. A water softener will prevent this from ever happening.

What are some of the main differences between old water heaters and the new ones that are available today?

Main difference in the old and new water heaters is the safety features. They feature a sealed burner assembly, and safety sensors that detect flammable vapors of solvents stored near the heater that may suddenly ignite. The new water heaters also possess electronic diagnostic codes that assist with any repairs that are needed. All new heaters have electronic ignition, or have a onboard spark lighter, which saves you from the dangerous act of lighting the pilot with a match

How can getting a new heater affect energy efficiency and long-term homeowner costs?

The new ones are considerably more efficient. With better insulation technology such as spray foam, the heated water can stay at desired temperature for hours longer than older models, thereby saving you money.

Do you have any tips to help homeowners in Wisconsin who need to decide what type of new heater to get?

Models range from electric, tank style gas, tankless electric, and tankless gas. Every application is a little different, and changing style for your specific needs can be very advantageous. We can help you decide.

What's the best way for people to contact you and your company?

Contact us by phone @ 608-669-7473. The web site is plumbingprosmechanical.com. We service all of Madison and surrounding communities. We offer same-day water heater repair/replacement, as well as repairs.

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