5 Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Water Heater

by Aug 29, 2022blog, energy efficiency, plumbing

All good things have to come to an end eventually, and unfortunately, that includes water heaters. Out of all the appliances in the house, a water heater is most likely to be forgotten…until something goes wrong and you no longer have hot water.

Today’s water heaters are generally built to last a 10 – 15 years. It’s a good idea to know the signs of a failing water heater if yours is getting up there in age. Here are five things to look for that indicate it’s time for a new water heater.

Inconsistent or No Hot Water

The most obvious sign that your water heater might need replacing is a lack of hot water. It might be cold or warm, but not hot.

Now, not having hot water in and of itself may not be cause for alarm. It could just mean that your unit lost power or its pilot light went out. Your water heater’s thermostat could also be broken.

But barring those, it could just be that your water heater no longer works properly and the cost of fixing it will be greater than replacing it.

Signs of Rust

It’s a good idea to visually inspect your water heater at least once per year. If you see signs of rust on the outside, there’s a good chance the storage tank is wearing out. And you’ll probably be very sorry if you don’t address it soon, as a rusted water heater can leak and eventually flood. There are very few circumstances where a rusty water heater is salvageable.

Similarly, if the water coming out of your water is red or brown, there’s a good chance that the water heater is rusting from the inside.

Strange or Unexpected Noises

Water heaters are generally quiet, even when they’re running. So if it makes any unusual sounds will indicate there’s likely a larger problem with it. These include knocking, pinging, or even whistling. These types of noises are often caused by build up of sediment, which sometimes trap air and forces them to rise up and pop inside the heater’s tank when it’s in use.

Lots of Leaks

Another clear sign that your water heater is passed its prime is if it regularly leaks. That said, a leak isn’t always an indication it needs to be replaced. It could just be a faulty valve or gasket somewhere. In this case, it’s best to get your water heater checked by a professional residential plumber who can identify the issue and recommend an appropriate course of action.

Too Many Repairs

There’s such a thing as throwing good money after bad when it comes to water heaters. Many of the issues we described above can have short-term fixes. But when it all adds up in terms of cost, you might find that it’s more cost effective to simply replace the unit altogether.

If you think it’s time to replace your hot water heater, give us a call. We’re happy to come out and assess any issues you may be having, as well as make a recommendation for a replacement unit if that’s an appropriate solution.

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