4 Tell-Tale Signs it’s Time to Replace a Water Heater

When a tank water heater dies, it’s usually a surprise – and not a good one. Since you can’t see inside the unit, you don’t exactly know what’s happening inside the tank. However, you don’t have to wait until the unit completely fails, leaving you with cold showers and potentially a giant mess to clean up. 

Common warning signs that a tank water heater needs to be replaced are leaks, poor performance, banging or rumbling sounds, and rust-colored water.

How long does a water heater last?

The service life of water heaters can vary based on brand, type of unit (gas or electric), and maintenance schedule. All that being said, if you take good care of your tank water heater, it should last about 8-12 years. If you’re not sure how old your water heater is, look for the sticker with the serial number. Typically, the first two numbers indicate the year the unit was manufactured. 

Common signs it’s time to replace your water heater

  1. Leaks – The most obvious and serious sign that your tank water heater is near the end of its life is water leaking out the bottom of the tank. This is usually caused by mineral deposits corroding the inside of the tank. Other parts that can leak include fittings, connections, and the relief valve. No matter where the water is coming from, you’ll want a professional plumber to look at it right away. 
  2. Lack of hot water – Before a water heater dies, it may struggle to produce enough hot water for your household. If the water isn’t getting hot enough or you routinely run out of hot water, it’s a sign that your unit is struggling and may need to be replaced. 
  3. Strange sounds – Have you noticed a banging or rumbling noise coming from your water heater? Often, these sounds are caused by sediment that has collected and hardened together. So, when water cycles through the water heater, these particles can rattle around the tank. If left unchecked, this situation will likely result in a leak that we discussed in #1.
  4. Rust-colored water – Red or brownish water can come from a few different sources, including old pipes or your water heater. An easy way to tell if your old water heater is to blame is by filling a bucket with water from a cold faucet. Then repeat the process with a hot faucet. If only the hot water is rusty, you know the tank’s interior is rusting, and the unit needs to be replaced. 

Water heater replacement in the Fredericksburg area

Do any of the warning signs sound familiar? It’s always better to replace your water heater a little too early than too late. If your old water heater ends up leaking, it can cause significant property damage and cause harmful mold growth.

When it’s time to replace your water heater, Robert B. Payne, Inc. a call. We can help you determine the best system for your needs and budget. To get started, dial (540) 373-5876 to schedule an appointment today.