4 Signs Your Water Heater Needs to be Replaced!


1. Rust drip marks running down your water heater, or rust colored water

Most all of the water heater out there have a steel outer casing, and that is the part we see. If this gets wet at any point it will create rust marks running down the side of your water heater. If you see them, that is a sign that your water heater is leaking. Sometimes the water can come from an outside source like the AC unit above the water heater dripping down onto the water heater and causing the rust drips. Either way, the leak should be addressed.

As the water heater ages, sediment and rust will build up in the bottom of the water heater. If your hot water starts turning rust colored, that is a sign that it should be replaced in the near future. If you flush your water heater once or twice a year, it will help you avoid this kind of buildup.

2. If it is older than 10 years…

In almost all circumstances it is a good idea to replace your water heater at 10 years old. If you want to push things you can wait until 12 years, but what I have found is that people who replace them at 10 years, almost never have any problems with them leaking or bursting. Those that wait longer increase the risk dramatically each year that goes by. If you live high in a multistory building, it becomes even more important to replace the water heater when it reaches 10 years old.


3. Puddles around tank on floor or leaks directly from tank

Water on the floor is the most pressing sign of them all (as long as it is not from a spill or the AC unit). Once the water heater starts leaking it can get really bad really quickly. It is best at this point to shut the water off to relieve the pressure on the tank. Then call a plumber to help you find the right model to replace it. Once you see water don’t wait. A small leak can turn into a bigger one in a hurry.

4. Strange noises (clanking, rumbling, cracking) coming from water heater

Some water heaters can make loud popping or crackling noises. This is most common as the water heater ages, and where there is no filtration on the water. The sounds are from the buildup of minerals that come from the water and attach themselves to the elements that heat the water. When the element heats up the mineral deposits crack and pop under the pressure from expansion caused by the heat. While this does not necessarily mean that you have an emergency on your hands, it is a sign of the condition of the inside of the water heater. The more buildup of minerals that deposit onto the element, the higher the chances that those minerals will short the element out and cause you to wake up to cold water one day. As the minerals continue to build up, the collect on the bottom of the water heater which decreases the amount of available hot water due to the displacement caused by those minerals, and it also creates a stagnate water area in the tank that can lead to other problems.

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