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6 Warning Signs You Need a New Hot Water Heater

With more than 7.8 million water heaters replaced every year, you may be wondering if it’s time to replace or to repair your water heater? We’re here to break down the top six warning signs that your hot water heater will display when it’s time for a replacement.

Keep reading to learn more!

1. Outdated Unit

One of the biggest signs that you need a new hot water heater is that you’ve got an outdated system on your hands. The older that your hot water heater is, the more likely there’s going to be a chance where you have a major malfunction in the operation of your hot water heater.

You can identify your hot water heater’s age by finding the manufacturer’s sticker on the system. The first two numbers in the serial number for the hot water heater should identify the year that the system was made.

However, this information will vary for each hot water heater manufacturer. Instead, you should look up the website that the manufacturer has to identify the information you need to see how old your system is.

If you find out that your hot water heater is more than ten years old, it’s time for you to get a new system. While you need to practice basic maintenance on your system every year, replacing your hot water heater every ten years is essential. This is because it will ensure that there isn’t as high of a possibility of your system failing because of the water heater’s age.

2. Noisy When in Use

Another telltale sign that your hot water heater has to be replaced soon is that it’s noisy when it’s in use. If you’re finding that your hot water heater is making a lot of rumbling noises, it’s time to seek out a replacement.

A hot water heater will start making a lot of noise when there has been a sediment collection located at the bottom of the water tank. Over time, this collection of sediment will begin to harden up, wasting the energy that your hot water heater has to use to heat up the water inside of the tank.

You may also identify a banging noise coming from your water heater. This is also common, so be sure to contact your local plumber to get a hot water heater replacement in your home.

3. Leaking

When the metal in your water heater heats up, it’ll begin to expand. Over time, there will be small cracks and fractures that develop in the water heater. This can result in leaks developing throughout the entirety of your hot water heater.

While a small leak may be hard to detect, over time, there’s a chance that this leak will turn into a bigger problem for you. A medium-sized or large leak can cause your home to flood, causing you thousands of dollars in expensive repairs.

Before you call a plumber to have your hot water heater replaced, make sure that the tanks’ fittings and connections are tightly on. Also, be sure to take a look at the pressure overflow pipe to make sure that this isn’t where the hot water heater leak is coming from.

If you do end up finding a leak in your hot water heater, please contact your local plumber immediately.

4. Discolored Water

Does your water turn a rusty color when you turn the hot water on? If you’re finding that when your hot water is on in your sinks or showers, it’s a sign that you’ve got a problem with your hot water heater. Make sure to run a test, by turning on only the hot water in your sink or shower to be confident that you have discolored hot water.

Another sign that you should be aware of is the water having a metallic taste or looking muddy. These are signs that there’s a sediment collection in your hot water heater, which means that you should get your system replaced immediately.

5. Running Out of Hot Water

Are you finding it impossible to run the dishwasher and a shower simultaneously because there just isn’t enough hot water?

If you said “yes” to this question, it’s time for you to call up your local plumber and have your hot water heater replaced. Since sediment is building up on the bottom of your hot water heater, there will be less space for the water to stay inside of the tank. Over a collection of many years, a large amount of sediment can leave your tank with very little room for any hot water.

6. Too Many Repairs

If you’re calling your plumber several times a year to come to take a look at your hot water heater, it may be another sign that you need to have your hot water heater replaced. Keeping track of how often you’re having repairs performed on your water heater will give you a better understanding of if your current system has reached the end of its life.

You shouldn’t have your hot water heater fixed more than once or twice a year. Instead of investing your money into having your current water heater repaired, you could take the same resources and have the entire system replaced.

If you’re unsure if you should get your hot water heater replaced or keep moving forward with their repairs, talk to your local plumber. They’ll be able to best direct you on whether or not you should have your system replaced.


By understanding what the telltale signs of your system needing hot water heater repairs or replacements, you can prevent your existing unit from causing catastrophic damage to your home. Depending on your unique situation, working with your plumber will help you to get an idea of if your system needs a few repairs or if you should invest in a replacement.