Your water heater is a crucial appliance in your home, providing you with warm water for bathing, cooking, and cleaning. However, like all appliances, water heaters have a limited lifespan and can develop problems over time. Recognizing the signs of a failing water heater can help you avoid unexpected cold showers and potential water damage. Here are six common signs that indicate your water heater may be on the verge of failing.

  1. Age of the Water Heater

The age of your water heater is a significant factor in determining its potential for failure. Most conventional water heaters have a lifespan of about 8 to 12 years. If your water heater is approaching or has exceeded this age range, it’s wise to start considering a replacement. Aging water heaters are more likely to develop issues such as leaks, corrosion, or a decline in heating efficiency.

  1. Rusty or Discolored Water

If you notice rusty or discolored water coming from your taps, it’s a clear indication that your water heater might be deteriorating from the inside. Over time, sediment and rust can accumulate at the bottom of the tank, causing the water to appear brown or rusty. This can also result in a metallic taste or unpleasant odor. Regular maintenance and flushing of the tank can help prevent this issue, but if you still encounter discolored water, it’s a sign that your water heater could be failing soon.


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  1. Strange Noises

Unusual noises emanating from your water heater can be a red flag for impending failure. As sediment and minerals build up inside the tank, they harden and cause popping, rumbling, or banging sounds during the heating process. These noises indicate that your water heater is working harder than it should to heat the water, possibly due to the accumulation of deposits. If left unaddressed, this can lead to reduced efficiency and eventually a complete breakdown of the system.

  1. Leaking or Moisture Around the Heater

Visible water leaks or signs of moisture around the base of your water heater are clear indicators of a problem. Over time, the tank can develop cracks or fissures, leading to leaks. A leaking water heater can cause water damage to the surrounding area and weaken the structural integrity of the unit. Ignoring a leak can result in extensive damage to your property and could necessitate an emergency replacement. If you notice any signs of leakage, it’s essential to address the issue promptly.

  1. Inconsistent Water Temperature

If you experience fluctuating water temperatures or find that your water is not heating up as effectively as it used to, your water heater might be on the brink of failure. The heating element or thermostat within the water heater may be malfunctioning, resulting in inconsistent or insufficient heating. In such cases, a professional inspection and potential replacement of the heating elements or thermostat may be necessary.

  1. Frequent Repairs

If you find yourself frequently calling for repairs on your water heater, it could be a strong indication that the unit is approaching the end of its lifespan. As water heaters age, they become more prone to breakdowns and malfunctions. Constant repairs can be costly and inconvenient. Assess the frequency and cost of repairs and weigh it against the cost of a new, more efficient water heater.

Keeping an eye out for these signs can help you catch water heater issues early, preventing potential damage and ensuring that you have a reliable supply of hot water. Regular maintenance and timely replacement when needed will not only save you from unexpected cold showers but also increase the energy efficiency of your home, ultimately saving you money in the long run. If you suspect any problems with your water heater, consult a professional to assess the situation and recommend the best course of action.


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Any home would experience great inconvenience from a broken water heater. The majority of families use hot water daily for showers, hand cleaning, and dishwashing, not to mention the sporadic loads of laundry or other water-related chores. It can be shocking to just receive icy cold water from your pipes because it isn’t something that is frequently used straight from the faucet. You need quick fixes when your hot water heater is malfunctioning or nearing the end of its useful life to avoid being left without hot water for days or even weeks.

An electrical problem with a water heater can occur occasionally, but it can also be brought on by other factors. The most frequent problems that a water heater may encounter are discussed below, along with whether it is necessary to repair or replace your hot water heater at this time.

Problem 1: Water Quickly Turns Cold

You might notice a problem straight quickly, such as a shortage of hot water. When you try to wash dishes, the water never gets hot enough. Or, when you wash your hands in the sink, you get a cold.

Problem 2: Loud Noises from the Heater

If you notice strange or loud noises coming from your tank, this could indicate an issue that requires action sooner rather than later. Knocking, clanging, or rumbling noises may mean that there is sediment accumulating at the bottom of your unit, making it difficult for the hot water heater to efficiently run.

Problem 3: Water is leaking from the Unit

A water tank’s contents are expected to remain there. If water is collecting around the tank or the pipes going to the tank, there is unquestionably a problem that has to be fixed right away. Normally, leaks don’t stop on their own. They can also result in considerable property damage if neglected. You could have to deal with invasive mold in addition to dealing with wet walls, rugs, furniture, and other possessions. A hot water tank leak should be fixed as quickly as possible.

Problem 4: Rust is Forming On and Inside the Unit

Rust is a blatant indicator of corrosion and may be a clue that a leak is about to occur. Rust formation on the inside of the tank is frequently indicated by the presence of rust on the exterior of your appliance near the water inlet. Since there is no permanent solution for rust, you will probably need to replace your unit soon or risk significant water damage from a leak.


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When to Repair Vs Replace Your Hot Water Heater

Most of the time, homeowners want to attempt repairs before completely replacing their hot water heaters. A brand-new hot water heater might cost you a huge amount, not counting installation. Therefore, it often makes sense to pursue repair rather than replacement. However, this might not always be possible depending on the issue. Before choosing to fix or replace your hot water heater, you may want to take into account the following aspects.

Age of the Hot Water Heater

Hot water heaters typically run on gas or electricity for 8 to 12 years before they need to be replaced. If maintained properly, tankless and solar hot water heaters can last up to 20 years.

You might want to consider the age of your hot water heater when determining whether to repair it or replace it. Ones that are towards the end of their regular lifespan might not be worth repairing because issues will probably recur as it is utilized more. It can be more cost-effective to replace it and have the piece of mind that comes with a new unit rather than spending money on pricey repairs.

However, if your unit is under five years old, a repair can be less expensive than a complete replacement. This old of a unit may still be covered by warranty, so depending on the problem, a repair may be free. To maintain the warranty advantages, keep in mind that most manufacturers demand routine maintenance inspections from a qualified expert. Most manufacturers should be satisfied with an annual maintenance check, but to be sure, you may want to double-check the documentation or business policies for your specific model.

The Issue at Hand

Not all problems with your hot water heater will set you back a lot of money. In reality, some can be resolved for relatively little money. For instance, damaged heating elements, pressure relief valves, thermostats, and other minor components are simply replaceable and do not require the tank to be thrown out.

You should probably replace your device if there is rust, damage, or leaks. If you are still unsure of how to handle the problem, a professional should be able to provide you a price on the projected cost of repair versus replacement.

Your Plan to Stay in Your Home

Repair may be preferable than replacement if it can keep the hot water heater in operation for at least a few more years and you are about to move. However, if you intend to stay in your house for a long time, you should compare the expenses of replacement with those of short-term repairs.

It may be less expensive in the long run to replace your water heater if your unit is approaching the 10-year mark and you know you will eventually need to do so. Additionally, you won’t have to worry about an outdated unit leaking heavily and severely damaging your house and possessions.

If a replacement is necessary for your water heater, a professional can assess your home, what it is already wired for, and present you with options to satisfy the needs of your household and budget.


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We use hot water frequently every day. Having hot water is essential to our everyday lives because we wash our dishes and clothes in it, take hot showers, and bathe in it. You probably don’t think about how much of your daily activities rely on your water heater. But how frequently do you check the water heater in your house? It important to maintain and check water heater on a daily basis.

Ignoring water heater can have serious consequences. Here are a few typical warning signs that your water heater may be neglected and need repair:

Rough Water

There is a good possibility that your water heater is internally rusting if the water looks discolored. This could lead to a leak and tainted water.

The water heater is making noises

If your water heater is making knocking or thundering noises, there may be debris accumulating on the system’s base. The outcome will be higher heating costs because your water heating system will be less effective and use more gas or electricity to heat your water. Additionally, the extra work required to heat your water could cause fractures and leaks in your system, causing further harm.


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A Prominent Leak

A leak from the tank is the most frequent reason for domestic water heater failure. If water is visible around your tank, you likely have a breach. The risk of catastrophic damage also increases if your water heater is located in your attic or on a level above the ground floor. As soon as you discover a malfunction in your water heater, contact the pros. Even a small leak can quickly spread and cost your house expensive damage.

There isn’t enough hot water on hand

The pilot light on your water heater device may be the cause of zero or very little hot water coming out of your faucet. Call in the professionals to handle the issue if you’re unsure how to examine the pilot light.

Too Hot or Too Cold Water

There is a good possibility that your water heater is the wrong size for your living space and the number of people who depend on hot water in your home if your running water is either too hot or too cold. A gas water heater’s breakdown time will be accelerated if it is insufficient.

Your water heater’s age

Residential water heaters typically last ten to fifteen years if they receive the appropriate maintenance. A water heater that is ten years old or older has a higher risk of developing a leak that will cause water damage to your house, even if there are no obvious symptoms of a problem. Ageing water heaters should not be treated casually.


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Homeowners can pick between tank water heaters and tankless water heaters when they require dependable hot water. The greatest water heater for your home depends on a number of factors unique to your household and your needs for hot water delivery; there is no one ideal option.

Tank Water Heaters: Tank storage water heaters are a common option in homes, they are the type of water heater that homeowners are most likely to be familiar with. A tank-style heaters that heat water and then store it for later use.

Both electric and natural gas-powered tank water heaters are available. Your home’s tank water heater consumes energy constantly. These heaters maintain the temperature of the water inside the tank constantly so that it is ready for use when the taps are turned on.

Tankless Water Heater: As an energy-efficient replacement for tank water heaters and the issues they have with dormant heat loss, tankless water heaters are a more recent development in the water heating industry.

Unlike tank-style water heaters, tankless heaters only heat water when your hot water tap and other appliances actually need it. When a hot water tap activates and indicates that hot water is required, the tankless water heater heats water to the desired temperature and sends it to the selected outlet.


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Differences between Tank and Tankless Water Heater

Initial Investment:

Since they are more expensive to install than tank-style water heaters, on-demand water heaters have higher installation expenses. A natural gas model will likely cost more than an electric model on both sides. When replacing a tank storage water heater with a tankless hot water heater, there are extra steps required.

Therefore, a tankless water heater will be more expensive up front than a tank model.

Power Savings

Tankless water heaters are more expensive up front, but because of the energy savings they produce, many homeowners choose for this technology. Over time, the savings you create help you recoup the cost of the purchase.

In a typical home, water heaters consume the third most energy.

That is not to say that energy-efficient storage tank water heaters are not conceivable. Due to typically lower natural gas prices, gas is usually more affordable to operate than electricity.

Overall, tankless water heaters save you money since they use less energy and have reduced operational costs, which reduces the cost of your utility bills.

Product Life

The typical lifespan of a tank water heater is between 10 and 15 years. While it comes to equipment failure, there are some harm hazards when using a heater in the tank design.

In contrary, tankless water heaters have a lifespan of 20 to 30 years. Water hardness and maintenance techniques have an impact on the equipment’s service life.

Restrictions on Installation

Tank water heaters demand significantly more installation area than tankless models due to their storage tank. You give up precious space that could be utilized for other purposes in order to make room for a big water storage tank.

Tankless water heaters are the best option for installation in confined spaces. They are easily able to fit in small locations and may be mounted on walls, which is beneficial in smaller households.


Tankless water heaters dominate in almost all categories when compared to storage tank water heaters. However, the tankless water heater will cost more to buy and install.

If your family frequently requires hot water at the same time, compare the cost of installing two tankless heaters to meet the demand with that of building a larger storage tank water heater. If you choose a storage tank model, find out the cost of replacing the anode rods and when it needs to be done before purchase and installation to increase the tank’s lifespan.


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What is Solar Water heater?

A cost-effective approach to produce hot water for your home is with solar water heaters, often known as solar domestic hot water systems. Solar water heater is a device that helps in heating water by using sunlight and energy of sun, to collect the energy of sun solar thermal collector is being used. This energy is totally free. Solar energy (sun rays) is used for heating water. Water is easily heated to a temperature of 60-80o C.

How does solar water heater work?

Solar water heater is a device that helps in heating water by using sunlight and energy of sun, to collect the energy of sun solar thermal collector is being used. The solar thermal collector panel receives sunlight. The solar radiation is absorbed by a black surface inside the collectors, which then distributes the heat energy to the water running through it.

In order to prevent heat loss, heated water is collected in an insulated tank. The thermal siphon system ensures that the automatic flow of water from the tank via the collectors and back to the tank is maintained. Solar water heaters come in two different varieties depending on the collector system: A solar water heater is made up of an insulated storage tank for hot water and a collector for gathering solar energy. You can always use the heated water that has been kept.


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What are some advantages of a solar water heater?

Solar water heater also offer numerous other advantages in a cost-effective manner:

  • Cost Saving and Reliability : After installing a solar water heater on your property, you can anticipate seeing a change in your energy expenditures immediately away. The solar water heater uses energy from the sun. This indicates we do not have to pay a single amount of money to the power grid for using electricity. Being a renewable source of energy, it is completely free and available everyday except rainy day. But it also can be solved by figuring how to fine-tune our panel to optimize the performance in cloudy weather. Because it is costly and frequently unavailable owing to power outages, electricity cannot be used to heat water. A solar water heater can be up to 85 percent more efficient than a traditional water heater. Depending on how much hot water is consumed, a solar water heating system with a capacity of 100 liters per day that is suited for 3–4 people can save up to 1500 units of electricity annually.
  • Less area: Compared to photovoltaic panels, solar thermal panels often require less space. When compared to an array that is utilized to generate enough power for a residence, fewer are needed to heat water.
  • Low maintenance: After installation, solar water heaters require little upkeep and can last up to 20 years.
  • Reduced carbon footprint and Efficiency: Using renewable energy may be eligible for tax advantages, making a home more environmentally friendly. Efficiency here means the solar panels convert almost up to 80% radiation into the heat energy without making use of any external fuels.

Are solar Water heaters worth the investment?

Installing solar water heater is worth the investment. As it uses renewable energy, environment friendly, reduced carbon emission and also the lifespan of solar panel is quite good it is worth the investment.


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Tankless Water Heater

What is a tankless water heater?

A tankless water heater can be defined as demand-type, expeditious or instantaneous, providing water whenever needed. Hot water is necessary during a bath or shower, and a water heater is compulsory to provide hot water. The old-school tank water heater can take up to 17 square feet of space in a house, is not very efficient for saving energy or cost, and only stores water from 7.5 to 15.5 liters. Whether a tankless water heater is more energy-efficient, cost-effective, long-lasting, dependable, does not take up a lot of space and is expeditious, as it does not store water.

How does it work?

A tankless water heater heats water without storing water in a water tank. When someone opens a tap, the water which flows through the tap comes in touch with a heat exchanger in the unit. A natural gas burner or an electric element heats the heat exchanger, and as a result, a tankless water heater provides a constant hot water supply.

Usually, a tankless water heater provides 7.5 to 15.5 liters of water in a minute, which is supposedly 2 to 5 gallons. An electric tankless water heater cannot fulfill a large family’s need for hot water, whether a gas-burner tankless water heater can. However, sometimes it can not provide enough hot water if a family is using too much water simultaneously; for instance, taking a shower and doing household chores at the same time that need water. In that case, installing more than one water heater in separate places like the kitchen and bathroom where water usage is higher can be beneficial. However, it can cost more and may not be worth it.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Tankless water heaters are cost-effective and energy effective. They provide instant hot water whenever needed. They can save from 24% to 34% energy for a family that uses 40 or fewer gallons of water and 8% to 12% for a family that uses hot water like 80 gallons. Most tankless water heaters can last for 20 years in contrast to storage water heaters, which last for 10 to 15 years. These heaters save space and can weigh between 70 to 80 pounds, installable on the wall, which means more floor space remains. These heaters are sustainable and environmentally friendly as they prevent greenhouse gas releases.

However, these can cause some problems like mineral build-up, system overload, sudden provision of cold water, blocked air supply, ignition failure, flame failure, etc., depending on the water usage in a family. These problems are readily soluble.

To conclude, a tankless water heater is an excellent investment for a place where hot water is needed immediately. It is highly efficient, low-maintenance, saves money and energy, is environmentally friendly, and the problems are readily soluble.



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Choosing and Installing a Tankless Water Heater

Are you interested in installing a tankless water heater in your home? If so, you’ll want to know the requirements for tankless water heaters, installation tips, and the benefits of tankless water heaters before making your decision.

Benefits of Tankless Water Heaters

Tankless water heaters are more energy-efficient than their counterparts. This is because they don’t have to store heated water and reheat it when needed. They provide hot water on demand! They also save you money by being able to use cold water to generate hot water on a whim – no need to run gallons of tap water through a hot-water tank waiting for it to reach the desired temperature. And when used in combination with solar panels, they’re even more energy efficient!

Installation Tips

Tankless water heaters are very simple to install. This is perfect for do-it-yourself enthusiasts who love tackling projects from start to finish. Installation usually takes no more than an hour or two and can be done on your own with simple tools like a wrench and an open flame source such as a propane torch or welding equipment.


Choosing the right tankless water heater

Finding a reliable and dependable water heater is crucial, that’s why at Fox Valley Plumbing, we specialize in tankless water heaters. We offer a wide range of options to fit any home.

Tankless water heater installation

At Fox Valley Plumbing, we take pride in our workmanship. We will make sure to install your new tankless water heater correctly to ensure it’s long-lasting and dependable.

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Your old gas or electric water heater is not heating like it’s supposed to.If you’ve ever been in a cold shower against your will then you know there are not many more stressful situations, or annoying than wanting to take a hot shower and learning you have no hot water.

What! Really! No one wants a cold shower in the dead of winter. (Except maybe…. never mind). Trust, here at Fox Valley Plumbing and backflow we understand. That is why we are here to help. Fox Valley Plumbing would like to serve you with all your water heater service needs!

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Your old gas or electric water heater is not heating like it’s supposed to. Maybe it’s leaking or too hot? Fox Valley Plumbing and Backflow in Barrington, Illinois and surrounding areas are here to help. We’ve got everything you need to keep your baths hot but not too hot. So you can enjoy long showers if you so desire.

Our professional plumbers are experienced and capable of taking care of all brands of water heaters, electric and gas. We service commercial water heaters for your business and for your home. We use Bradford White water heaters for all our standard installs.

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Fox Valley Plumbing uses high-quality, high-efficiency contractor-grade units with reliable warranties. We work with all-size electric and gas water heaters. Federal regulations have changed many of the options for larger (60, 75, and 80-gallon tanks) so we would be happy to talk to you about your options.

Electric Hybrid heaters and tankless water heaters have become the favorite upgrade for those oversized tank heaters of the past. Several commercial settings are moving to tankless water heaters as well, both for efficiency and extra space.

And guess what? “It doesn’t have to be expensive.” Trust and believe we get it. After all, Fox Valley Plumbing and Backflow has been owned and operated by an Elgin, Illinois family, just like yours, for nearly 20 years. That’s why here at Fox Valley Plumbing and Backflow, we’re doing everything we can to make sure that you are completely satisfied with your new Gas, Electric, or Tankless water heater, and to keep the price as low as we can.

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As you know, all of our units come with a manufacturer warranty, to make sure that our work and your new water heater are in top working condition for as long as we can reasonably expect them to.

Our plumbers are trained and extremely skilled and educated, ensuring that you are getting precisely what you want out of your gas or electric water heater.

Are you the one that took a bath this morning and were upset to learn that you can’t even fill your tub before the faucet spits out all of Antarctica? Or possibly you’re the last one to take a shower while your family was visiting for the weekend and let’s just say it wasn’t hot.

Whatever the reason, and whatever the need, Fox Valley Plumbing and Backflow wants to be your water heater service provider. We will make your showers and baths Hot again!

Call Us at (847) 624-3872

Call Us At (847) 624-3872