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6 Warning Signs Your Water Heater Needs to Be Replaced

If your water heater fails, you could be dealing with a lot more than the unpleasant experience of being without hot water. A broken water heater could result in extensive damage caused by a leak, especially if the unit is near hardwood or laminate flooring.

Avoid the possibility of extensive repair costs by keeping an eye out for these 6 warning signs that your water heater needs to be replaced.

1. Unusual sounds. If your water heater suddenly has uncharacteristic sounds – other than the hums you’ve become accustomed to, it’s possible that the unit is overheating as a result of a buildup of mineral deposits. If you’re hearing loud banging or popping noises, have the unit inspected by a certified professional serviceman. A flush and thorough cleaning could solve the problem. It’s also may be possible that the unit is no longer functioning at an optimal level and it needs to be replaced.

2. An aging system. With the average water heater lasting between 10 to 15 years, it simply may be time to replace it. If you live in an older home you may need to check how old your unit is. Determine the age of your heater by reviewing the serial number and manufacturer. If you have a hard time finding the age from the code, contact the manufacturer for clarification.

3. Leakage. Your water heater could be leaking without being detected, especially if it’s located in an area of the home that’s isolated. Regularly check around the area for moisture. If water is seeping out from beneath the unit, it’s possible that the tank is rusting or fractured and needs to be replaced. A professional plumber will be able to determine if the water is escaping from the tank or connecting pipes.

4. Orange, strange looking water. If the water flowing from your hot water faucet has an orange tint or seems muddy, you water heater system could be breaking down. A build-up of sediment or deterioration of the water heater caused by rusting could contribute to these problems.

5. Higher utility bills. It may not be obvious at first, but if you notice that your gas or electrici bills for water are getting higher, you water heater may be working less efficiently to get the job done. Have a plumber inspect your unit for the problems that could be causing your system to underperform.

6. Inconsistent hot water. If you’re not getting hot water when you think you should – first thing in the morning before anyone has taken a shower – the heating elements in your water heater could be in need of repair. Again, in this case, it could be caused by a buildup of mineral deposits that are preventing your system from performing. Your water heater may need to be repaired or replaced.

Whether your water heater is only a year old or nearing 10 years old, it’s important to schedule it for regular inspections and maintenance, including having the unit flushed once a year. By taking these preventative steps, you can extend the life of your water heater.