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6 Telling Signs of a Dying Water Heater

Water heaters serve a vital role in our homes. We can clean our houses, maintain personal hygiene, and create comfortable living conditions. If your water heater dies, it can be disruptive to your life. Don’t just wait for your system to fail. You can take a proactive stance and be on the lookout for wear and tear to your water heater.

Additionally, a broken water heater could also lead to damages to your home. Water heaters can explode or crack and leak water all over your house, requiring extensive repairs. You can be on the lookout for the following signs that your system is dying and should be replaced.

  1. Wet Floors: If the area around your water heater is wet, it can mean that you have a slow-flowing leak. Your water heater is always warming the water inside its tank. As the tank warms to heat the water, it expands, and if it’s old, it can crack. These cracks can lead to leaks from your tank. The leak will be most evident when the tank is warm. Inspect your tank when it’s warm for cracks around its fittings and connectors.
  1. Your Tank is Rusted: If you notice red or orange rust around your tank, it’s a sign of corrosion. Another sign is a metallic smell coming from your tank. Your tank could be rusted both inside and out. You will want to plan to replace your water heater if you notice internal or external rusting of your tank.
  1. Loud Noises: Most appliances are not designed to operate noisily. If your water heater is making strange noises or you hear clanking coming from inside the tank, it could be from the heating elements interacting with debris. Eventually, if you have hard water, mineral deposits can accumulate in the bottom of your tank and solidify. You may be able to flush these hardened mineral deposits out and clean your system. If flushing your system doesn’t work, then you may need a new unit.
  1. Limited Hot Water Production: A hot water heater that produces a limited amount of hot water is pretty useless. This is likely one of the most obvious signs that your system is declining or close to failing. If your water heater is producing less hot water or lukewarm water, it could mean the internal mechanisms are failing. It shouldn’t take long periods of time for your water heater to heat your water.
  1. Cloudy or Discolored Water: The water from your water heater shouldn’t be discolored or cloudy. If your water exhibits any signs of discoloration, it’s a sign of mineral buildup. If your water shows either of these signs, you can start to inspect your water heater tank for signs of a leak. Mineral buildup can cause your tank to corrode and leak.
  1. Older System: If your system is more than ten years old, it’s working on borrowed time. The average lifespan of a water heater is about ten years, so anything over that is a gift. That’s not to say you should automatically replace your water heater if it’s working well. Operating an older water heater means you should be vigilant about maintenance and inspections, so you aren’t caught off guard by sudden breakdowns.

If you notice it’s working inconsistently, you can choose to replace your unit before it breaks down when you need it most. If you are experiencing problems with your water heater and you’ve noticed any of these signs, you should consider installing a replacement unit.

Hot Water Heater Problems Symptoms

Maintaining a functioning water heater is crucial for the smooth operation of our daily lives and the integrity of our homes. By recognizing the warning signs of a failing water heater, such as wet floors, rust, loud noises, limited hot water production, cloudy or discolored water, and an aging system, we can take proactive steps to address potential issues before they escalate. 

Neglecting these signs can not only disrupt our routines but also lead to significant damages to our homes. Whether through regular maintenance or timely replacement, staying vigilant about our water heater's condition ensures uninterrupted access to hot water and prevents costly repairs. 
Don't wait until it's too late; prioritize the health of your water heater to maintain comfort and safety in your home.

Contact Wallner Plumbing Heating and Air for expert water heater professionals, we’re available at (530) 223-5622 to schedule an appointment or inspection.