When is it time to get a new water heater?

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When is it time to get a new water heater?

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Anyone who’s had hot, running water in his or her household probably can’t imagine living without it. The modern household runs on heated water at various temperatures for various things; showering, washing dishes, cooking, any and everything that you could think of. Needless to say, the constant shift between accessing varying temperatures of water can put tremendous stress on a water heater, possibly shortening its already short lifespan. Knowing when it’s time to change your water heater can be challenging, especially if you have no experience with them. However, there are a few basic signs which you can use to tell whether it’s your water heater is calling it quits.


This is the most obvious indication that you should change your water heater. The average life span of a water heater is between eight to ten years. Obviously, if your water heater is approaching it’s eight year, you should already be on alert that you will have to change it sooner rather than later. Having said that, some water heaters may begin to show signs of malfunctioning even before the eighth-year mark. What is certain, irrespective of whether a water heater may or may not show signs of inefficiency after its twelfth-year, it is imperative to change it as soon as possible.

Metallic-Tasting Water

One sure way to determine whether it’s time to change your water heater is whether you find traces of rust in your water. One way to tell is to taste your water. If, by change, you taste rust in your water, your water heater is beginning to rust. Having said that, the source of the rust may differ. On one hand, it may be the actual water heater itself which may be rusting internally. This is primarily caused due to it being too old. One the other hand, it may be as a result of rusting pipes in your piping system. If you have a galvanized piping system in your home and it is old, the pipes may begin to rust internally. As water flows through the pipes, the rust particles travel, eventually exiting at your faucets and shower-heads. To verify that it’s really your water heater that’s the source of the rust and not possible internal rusting in your piping system, empty several buckets of hot water from your tank. If the presence of rust is still found after your third bucket-full, it is undoubtedly a problem with your tank and not your pipes.

Strange Noises

Another sign that your water heater needs changing is if it begins to make abnormal sounds. As your water heating system ages, it will begin to make some off-putting noises as it heats water. These noises may be attributed to a number of root issues. The first of these is the buildup of sediments along the base of your tank floor. With time, these sediments thicken and harden, and eventually weaken the efficiency of your water heating device by causing it to use more energy than necessary.


Leaks are the most direct way to tell whether your water heater needs to be replaced. They also happen to be the easiest to find. If you spot water around your water heater without any plausible cause, it’s probably a leak. These tend to crop up as your water heater approaches the end of its expected life span. They occur due to expansions of metals in the tank. Sometimes, however, they might be the cause of a faulty tank-fittings, in which case, a plumber should be called to inspect the tank. If, however, your tank itself has a leak, it is best to get rid of it as soon as possible. Leaks can lead to damaged flooring, destroyed carpeting, and other structural issues in your home.

Water Isn’t Being Heated Properly

Another obvious sign that you water heater isn’t functioning as it should can be spotted by simply recognizing whether your water is being heated as it should be. Should you notice that there be a change in your water heating, be the length of time it takes to get hot, or whether you find that it’s not getting hot enough, something is clearly amiss. The most common reason for which water heaters lose their efficiency is also the simplest – age. As they get older, they tend to not work as well. In that case, you should begin to consider whether it’s time to throw out old faithful and purchase a new water heating system.






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