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Is It Time to Replace Your Water Heater?


How do You Know It’s Time to Replace Your Water Heater?

Do you have a feeling your water heater might be on the fritz, but aren’t exactly sure how to tell? For most people, a conventional water heater will last between eight and ten years. However, if you live in a region where hard water is an issue, it may not last quite so long.

There are a few warning signs that will help you determine whether it is time for a new water heater. You just have to know what to look for.

Not Heating Water Properly

The earliest sign of water heater failure is an easy one to spot. You’ll notice that the hot water doesn’t last as long when you shower or do the dishes. You may also notice that the water doesn’t get as warm as it used to. When this is the case, it could very well be time to invest in a new water heater.

Is Your Water Heater Noisy?

A water heater that’s on the way out might start making some weird noises. This may include rumbling, knocking or even some whistling noises, like a tea kettle. If your water heater is making strange noises, it could be on borrowed time. The last thing you want at this point is a full tank failure, which could lead to some flooding.

Do You See Rust in the Water?

When rusty water starts coming out of your water heater, it’s time to get it replaced right away. Call your local plumbing companyto have them switch it out. Rust is a sign that your tank is cording and will rust through completely in the near future. This is not a problem you want to ignore.

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Is Moisture Gathering Around Your Water Heater?

If it looks like moisture is gathering around the area of your water heater, it is most likely a sign that something is wrong. A small leak could cause water to start gathering on the floor around the water heater. Don’t wait for the leak to grow. It will only get bigger.

Once a tank forms a leak, there’s no way to repair the leak. The whole water heater must be replaced. Call your local plumbing contractor and schedule an appointment to have your water heater replaced as soon as possible if you have a leak.

Is Your Water Heater Running Less Efficiently

This one could be hard to accurately quantify, but a water heater that’s on the way out will not run as efficiently as it used to. If you notice a spike in your energy or gas bill, your water heater could be the culprit.

When Can You Repair a Water Heater?

In some circumstances, a water heater can be repaired instead of replaced. The most important decision you’ll want to weigh is whether it is worth the cost to repair your water heater, or if you should replace it.

If the issue is a leaking or worn out hose or pipe, it’s probably worth the cost to have it repaired instead of replaced, assuming the heater is not more than a few years old.


If you stay aware of the warning signs, you’ll be able to replace your water heater at the right time before it causes larger and more costly issues. If your water heater is more than a few years old, keep your eyes and ears open for the warning signs.

About the Author

Jim Cote enjoys writing about all things home improvement. While he will try to take on most projects, he knows when to admit defeat and call in a local plumbing contractor.

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