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The plumbing system in your house requires regular maintenance—you must have heard that one several times by now. However, the water heaters installed in your house are rarely ever the center of attention unless they stop working all of a sudden.

Your water heater usually sits quietly for years, working away in your basement without attracting much attention. Then, one day, you wake up to find out that you won’t be able to take that warm morning shower anymore. To avoid facing a scenario like that, it is best that you keep an eye out for any signs of your water heaters acting up. Usually, most water heaters will last for 10 years. So, if your heating system is nearing that age, you should be extra vigilant. Below, we have put together some of the important signs that will tell you that your water heater requires a replacement.

The Water Temperature Is Inconsistent

You’re enjoying your daily warm water bath when suddenly the cold water hits you; the hot water tap starts gushing out freezing cold water in one of those winter months and force you to quickly step out of the shower. If you are experiencing such cold water surprises constantly, it’s probably time to replace your water heater. Depending on whether it’s an electric run or a gas operated water heater, the problem could likely be a malfunctioning heating element or a busted gas thermocouple. Get your plumber to look into the matter immediately and ask them to advise the next move.

The Water Is Not Hot Enough

You may notice the water in not as warm as it used to be. Although the ideal water temperature depends on your preferences, most people prefer water that’s between 120 and 140 degrees. However, if you feel that your hot water tap is not gushing out water that is hot enough for you or if you feel like it’s lukewarm, this could be due to a malfunctioning heating element. This calls for an immediate inspection by a professional and could potentially even require a replacement down the road.

It’s Making a lot of Noises

A malfunctioning heater can get noisy, so it’s important to be attentive to any weird sounds. That ghost inside the walls at night may just be your water heater screaming for a replacement. The noise is usually caused by sediment build up in the water heater’s tank. As this sediment and the heating element make contact, the sediment is burned away creating that noise. In case of a gas heater, sediment build up will to create hot spots which will go on to damage the entire tank. This could even make the entire water heater fail eventually. If the sediment build up is not the cause of the weird noises that your heater has been making lately, it could be that the heating element itself that is burning out. In any case, an inspection and a subsequent replacement is the easiest fix to the dreaded sounds.


Many a times, a leak will indicate that there are issues with your water heater. There may be puddles around the heater or water streams running from its tank into the drain. These are obvious signs of a leak in the water heater. At other times, leaks may not be this obvious, so keep an observant eye around the heater’s connections and fittings for minor puddles and signs of leaks. If they are left unattended, it can go on to cause water damage to your property too. Acquire the services of a professional plumber at the slightest signs of leaks in the heater.

It’s Getting Old

How old is the water heating system installed at your place?  Usually water heaters have a lifespan of 10 years old. Many would even go on to live past that 10 year mark, but you will have to be cautious and vigilant once your heater has crossed that age. Knowing just how old your water heater is is imperative for this very reason. Look for the serial number which is printed on the manufacture’s sticker. The sticker usually lies on the tank’s upper half.  After it has been over 10 years, the heater will start to show signs that call for a replacement. Besides, once the heater has already crossed the 10 year mark, it is better to replace your heater altogether since repairs and fixes will cost you more than a replacement would. Furthermore, the latest models incorporate more efficient designs that will cost you less in bills over time.

Rusty Water

If the water coming out of your hot water taps seems rusty or muddy, there are probably issues with your water heater. Rusty water is often a tell tale sign of a failing water heater. It points to an impending leak in your heater and should be taken seriously. This simply means that the rust is eating away the inside of the heater and there is not much that you can do to repair or fix it. The best course of action to take at this point is to the replace the old water heater. Rust is usually just a sign of an aging water heating system. If you start to notice rust around the time when your water heater has lived past 8 or 10 years, it is definitely time to replace it. Call in a professional and find out what to do.

Keep a watchful eye out for all the above signs that will indicate if your water heater requires a replacement. If you come across any of the above signs or require any help with any other plumbing related issues around your house, call our dedicated plumbing services to take care of all your plumbing needs.

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