Signs A Water Heater Is Going Bad: Top 10 Reasons

We’ve listed the top 10 signs that your water heater may need to be repaired or replaced

We’re often asked what are the top signs a water heater is going bad are. We’ve compiled a list below of the top 10 reasons.

Hot water is necessary for homes across the country. Whether it’s for a bath or to clean dishes, people rely on hot water to complete daily tasks. This means that your water heater is used every day and, over time, it may start to show signs that it needs to be repaired or replaced.

1. It’s Over 10 Years Old

Water heaters are designed to be tough and durable. But just because your water heater continues to work doesn’t mean it is in good shape.

Generally, water heaters last around a decade before needing replacement. The installation of a new water heater saves energy costs, and you can save even more by avoiding unnecessary repairs.

2. No Hot Water

One of the most obvious signs a water heater is going bad is water isn’t hot. This is generally caused by corrosion that builds up on internal components.

This causes the electrical elements and the dip tube to become over-coated. As a result, the unit will not heat up properly. There is no workaround for this, and replacement is your only option.

In contrast, if water is still coming out warm but not hot, a simple repair may fix the problem. If your water heater is gas, it may be a faulty burner. If your water heater is electric, it may be a faulty heating element.

You’ll need to call an expert in water heater repair to have your water heater properly evaluated.

3. Strange Noises

The older the water heater, the more sediment will form at the bottom of the tank. The sediment will become increasingly hardened as a result of continuous and repetitive heating.

When this happens, you will often hear a roar or a thundering noise coming from the water heater. This signifies that the water heater is at the end of its use and should be replaced soon.

4. Increased Power Consumption

Are you spending more on your utility bill? This is a clear sign that your water heater is going bad. Since there is a buildup of corrosion on internal heating components, water will take more time to heat, leading to an increased bill.

This is a clear indication that you need to replace your water heater. And depending on how old your current water heater is, a new water heater may save you money on your utility bill! This calculator on Energy.gov can give you a good idea of how much more energy efficient a new water heater could be.

5. Brown Water

Again, this is caused by the accumulation of sediment inside the tank. A water heater can be rinsed once a year to reduce the likelihood of this happening.

Unfortunately, once the unit has reached a point with significant accumulation, it cannot be reversed. Your only option will be to replace the tank completely.

6. Leaks

Leaks are generally caused by the expansion of metal in the tank, and as the water heater ages, a fracture can occur. Small amounts of water will begin to seep through these gaps as the water continues to heat up with each cycle. If you notice your water heater’s tank is leaking, then it is time to replace it as soon as possible.

7. Corrosion

Corrosion appears on a water heater when it’s extremely old. If you happen to see it on your water heater, it is un-repairable. You’ll need to replace your water heater as soon as possible to keep hot water flowing throughout your home.

In addition, if you see rusty water coming from a water heater, this is a sign that your water heater is corroding and needs immediate replacement.

8. Metallic Smell and Taste

If you notice the water in your home has a metallic smell or taste, this may indicate that your water heater is starting to fail. In this case, the metallic quality of the water comes from a defective internal water tank.

9. Continuous Repairs

If you have a habit of requesting repairs for the water heater more than two times a year, it is a sign your water heater has a problem.

Instead of continuing to waste more money repairing it, it’s better to organize a new replacement.

10. Reduced Hot Water Volume

Another sign that clearly indicates when to replace the water heater is a low volume of hot water. Are you starting to see less hot water than before?

As the water heater continues to worsen, different parts become clogged, causing a reduced water volume. This is a warning sign that the water heater is in decline and should be replaced with a new one.

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