While it is important to properly maintain your water heater, sometimes it has simply outlived its useful years and must be replaced. Here are five solid symptoms of a water heater nearing its end.

1. Age

Any water heater over 10 years old will likely need to be replaced very soon. If you didn’t purchase the heater yourself, it can be difficult to determine whether it still has a valid warranty or even how old it is. Every manufacturer encodes the month and year of your water heater’s birth into the serial number on the manufacturer’s sticker near the top of the heater. Most of the time the first few letters or numbers in the serial number represent the month and year, but because the date coding varies between the different companies, it is important that you look on the manufacturer’s website for specific encoding directions.

2. Temperature Issues

A water heater is failing to perform and should be replaced when water is inconsistently hot, not hot enough, gets cold quickly or is cold despite coming from hot water piping.

As a water heater ages, sediment increases and hardens at the bottom of the tank which reduces the amount of potential hot water because of the space it takes up. The heating element can also malfunction causing poor temperature.

3. Noise

If you hear rumbling, banging, cracks and pops, the sediment build-up has reached the point of no return.Minerals are left behind when water is heated and reheated repeatedly over the years, and with each use it collects, creating the sediment that eventually takes down the heater. Rattling and banging in the tank means it is working hard and is likely on its last legs.

4. Leaks

The inner tank of a water heater is designed to withstand years of expanding and contracting as it heats and cools. The metal will still generate fractures that leak water when it’s hot. Although it stops leaking when it cools down, the inner tank will continue to develop cracks which can abruptly expand into large fissures. If you see water leaking from the water heater or on the floor near it, it may be a sign the tank is near its breaking point.

5. Poor Quality Water

If your hot water is rust-colored, muddy, sandy, or smells and tastes metallic, the sediment may be affecting the quality of water you’re receiving. The pipes or other causes could be involved, but one possibility is that your water heater isn’t giving you clean water anymore and may need to be replaced.

Keep a watchful eye out for any of the above symptoms of a water heating that may need to replaced and give us a call when you spot one. PlumbV services Durham, Chapel Hill, Raleigh, Cary, and the entire surrounding area of the Research Triangle. When it’s time for a new water heater, we’ll be ready to take help. Call us at (919) 932-0081.