It’s your hope that your water heater lasts forever, but don’t count on it happening. The average life span of a water heater is eight to 12 years, so you can probably expect to take on this project at some point as a homeowner.[i]
Of course, you don’t want to assume that a water heater replacement is necessary before you know all the details. If you act too quickly, you could end up replacing a unit that’s able to provide you with many more years of service.
In addition to age, let’s examine some of the signs that a water heater replacement may be necessary:[ii]
Have you come to find rusty water coming from your hot water heater? If so, it’s a telltale sign that the inside of your water heater is rusting, which is likely to cause a leak in the future.
Once the heater rusts all the way through, there’s nothing you can do to repair it. Instead, at that point, you’ll have a clean-up on your hands, as well as a replacement project in the cards.
Tip: depending on the type of plumbing system you have, a rusty water heater may not be the culprit. Some types of pipes, such as galvanized piping, have the potential to rust and cause a similar problem.
Water on the Floor
Every now and again, check the area around your water heater. Is it dry or are you beginning to see some water spots and small leaks?
Any type of moisture is cause for concern, as a small leak has the potential to turn into something much more serious without notice.
While the tank itself may be bad, it’s also possible that a connection from your plumbing system is loose or simply needs replaced. This is often a much cheaper and time efficient repair, so start your search here.
You don’t expect to hear many noises from your water heater, outside of it doing its job when it turns on. So, if you begin to experience strange noises, it’s a sign that something could be going wrong.
Keep your ears open for banging, rumbling, and thuds after the heater turns on. This typically happens when built-up sediment is re-heated.
These strange noises typically result in other concerns, such as small leaks around the base of your unit. If you don’t take action soon, a bigger leak could occur, thus resulting in a rush of water.
It’s better to replace your water heater a little too soon than a little too late. When you take action before serious trouble sets in, you can avoid a mess while also scheduling the replacement around your busy schedule.
Conversely, if you wait too long, you could find yourself with lots of water to clean up, a damaged home, and no hot water for the time being.