By AJ Danboise

How to Know When It’s Time to Replace Your Water Heater

Let’s face it – we would all be lost without water heaters in our homes. Day in and day out, this vital household appliance provides us with hot water at the press of a button. So, the next time you’re taking a hot bath or shower, washing a load of laundry, running the dishwasher, or brushing your teeth, thank the lucky stars you have a water heater that takes care of you and your needs. There will come a time, however, when your water heater will fail. It’s far better to have it replaced before it completely fails so that you don’t have to be without hot water. Here are four signs that your water heater is on the fritz.


The average lifespan of a water heater is between eight and 12 years. If you aren’t sure how old your water heater is, you can find the age by looking up the serial number on the manufacturer’s sticker, which should be located on the upper portion of the appliance, near the warning label. It can be a little tricky determining the age using the serial number. The serial number doesn’t plainly state the date the water heater was manufactured. Instead, it reads more like a code. There are numerous manufacturers, and each of them uses a different format. Check out this article on how to decode a serial number.

If your water heater is within the eight to 12-year age range, it might behoove you to have a licensed professional inspect it. This will give you a better idea of when you need to replace it. If your water heater is 10 years or older, you will most likely need to replace it sooner rather than later due to the potential of it springing a leak.

Rust & Pools of Water

Complete a thorough visual inspection of the outside of your water heater tank. If you come across pools of water, sludge or corrosion, it’s a good indication that there is a leak and that you a replacement is in order. Have a professional come take a look to determine where the leak is coming from. It could be that a leak is coming from the fittings or connections to the tank.

Rust-Colored Water

If your water heater is emitting rust-colored water from the hot side piping in your home, it could mean that the inside of your tank is rusting and could begin to leak. If you have galvanized piping, it could also be your pipes rusting and not your tank. In this case, you will want to schedule an appointment with a trusted plumber as soon as possible so that the issue can be resolved.

Strange Noises

Toward the end of your water heater’s lifespan, sediment will buildup on the bottom of your tank. Eventually, it will harden with continuous reheating. You can tell that this is occurring when you hear a loud rumbling noise. Should this symptom be present, it’s a sign that your tank will need to be replaced soon. When you have sediment buildup, your tank will lose efficiency and begin to leak. Avoid damage to your home by having it replaced in a timely manner. An inefficient water heater only wastes energy, costing you more. In most cases, the cost-effective thing to do is replace rather than repair.

High Energy Bill

Between old age, corrosion and leaks, it’s no wonder your energy bill has seen an increase as of late. As we mentioned earlier, an aging water heater is less efficient, so pay attention to your monthly energy costs. For many homeowners, a hot water account for nearly 25 percent of energy usage. By installing a new water heater, you can expect to see those costs decrease.

If you’re concerned about the state of your water heater, schedule an appointment with AJ Danboise Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Electrical! Our fully trained and certified technicians can inspect your water heater to determine the best course of action. If your tank does need to be replaced, we can help you find the best one for your needs and budget. We can install a variety of makes and models.

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