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How Do You Know If Your Hot Water Heater Needs Replacement?

  • It’s over 10 years old
  • The water heater is leaking
  • You don’t have enough hot water
  • Hot water from your tap is rusty, cloudy, or sandy
  • There are strange noises coming from the unit

What To Look For:


If your water heater is leaking, it must be replaced immediately. Leaks are usually the result of pressure
buildup inside the tank. This happens when the water pressure or temperature is too high, or when the unit’s relief
valve is not working properly. Neglecting a leak can lead to a tank explosion. Signs of leaks include moisture or
puddles around the water heater’s base and water corrosion on the side of your tank.

Knocking Noises

Loud noises are an indication of sediment buildup. As sediment hardens, it can move around the
tank and cause knocking, rumbling and gurgling sounds. To preserve your water heater and prevent unnecessary
wear and tear, have it flushed regularly to remove any deposits from the tank’s heating elements.

Rusty Water

Water discoloration is a clear sign your unit is underperforming. Rust-colored water or water with a
metallic odor can mean a few things. Either the sacrificial anode rod needs to be replaced or the tank itself is
beginning to rust, often due to corrosion at the steel lining. A corroded tank must be replaced as soon as possible.

Cloudy Water

When you see cloudy water, it may indicate you have a sediment buildup in your water heater.

Cold Water

If your water remains cold even after you turn on the hot water tap, or you run out of hot water quickly.

Replacing a water heater that is over 10 years old is a preventive measure to help reduce the risk of leaks or potential floods from a burst water heater.

Even if none of the above problems are occurring, if a water heater is over 10 years old, the homeowner should have it inspected. It’s best to hire a professional plumber who can let you know if there are any issues with the heater and give their professional opinion about when they should replace it. From leaks to a lack of hot water, there are several clear signs that your hot water heater is no longer working properly. Some issues can be repaired. Other problems indicate a need for replacement. Water damage consistently ranks among the most common causes of home insurance claims. As your water heater ages, the risk of water damage increases.

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