How do I know if it’s Time for a New Water Heater?

[fa icon="calendar"] January 10, 2020 / by Home Services Expert

water heaterMost people get so used to reliable hot water coming out of their water heater that they don’t think much about it breaking. But if a house is more than 10 years old or it’s been more than 10 years since a water heater was installed, it may be time to consider replacing it.

The main benefit to thinking ahead is to avoid being caught “off guard” and having a water heater break – leaving you cold in the shower or flooding the area around the water heater.

But how do you know if your water heater is going to need replaced soon? According to Angie’s List, there are 4 signs to look for in a failing water heater:


1) The Age of the Water Heater

Angie’s List says “Generally, most water heaters that are more than 10 years old should be considered for replacement. If your water heater is in a location that will not cause damage if there is a leak, you can wait until it develops a leak before replacing it, but that really is not recommended.

If your water heater is in a location that will cause damage to your home, you should strongly consider replacing it after 10 years (or before, if any of the following symptoms occur).”


2) Look for Rust in the Water

“If you discover rusty water coming from your water heater and it only comes from the hot side piping in your home, this can be a sign that your water heater is rusting away on the inside and it may begin to leak soon.

But if you have galvanized piping, you may have rusty pipes. A good test to avoid replacing a functioning water heater is to drain a few five-gallon buckets of hot water out of the water heater. By the third bucket, if the water from your heater is still coming out rusty, then most likely the water heater (not the piping) is at fault.”

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3) Listen for a Rumbling Noise

“As a water heater ages, sediment will build up on the bottom of the tank. As the sediment is heated and reheated, it eventually will harden.

When this happens, you can often hear rumbling or banging sounds coming from the water heater as it is heating up. This is a sign that the water heater is at the end of its useful life.”


4) Look for Water around the Water Heater

“If you notice moisture around your water, you may have a small leak or a fracture in the tank. As the metal heats, it expands and if there are slight fractures, water may leak from the tank. Once the metal has cooled the inner tank will stop leaking.

However, before replacing your water heater, make sure there are no other leaks coming from either the fittings or connections to the tank. Also, make sure the temperature/pressure overflow pipe is not leaking. If all of the connections and fittings are dry, it may be time to replace the water heater.”

To read the full article from Angie’s List click here.

Now you know some signs to look for to determine if your water heater is going to need replaced soon. If your water heater is over 10 years old, or has any symptoms that are concerning you it’s best to call a Chico plumber at Experts In Your Home to inspect it.

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