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3 Warning Signs You Need a New Water Heater

3 Warning Signs You Need a New Water Heater

Generally, the lack of hot water in the cold season will expose you and other household members to untold hardship. It will not only interrupt your daily routines, but also leave you feeling frustrated and uncomfortable. Troubleshooting is necessary for ensuring the continued supply of hot water. It may involve inspecting the heating system, checking its parts, and repairing problems as they arise.

Easy access to hot water should not be a luxury; it is a necessity in homes, especially during the winter. It is why there is a need for the water heater to keep working for activities like showering, washing dishes, cleaning, and laundry. Unfortunately, the water heater cannot keep working forever.

There are specific warning signs to look out for that you need a new water heater. It is often convenient not to pay attention to the home unit until it starts giving you failing signs especially when you need it urgently. Being proactive about the condition of the water heater is an essential part of a stress-free, happy life. A smaller issue with a water heater not properly managed or diagnosed can lead to a huge debt from bigger problems.

Here’s what to look out for…

Multiple Leaks

Repairing a single leak on the water heater shouldn’t be a problem. It is more problematic when the leak occurs in multiple places. When it happens, you should get a new water heater unit. One best way to know when there is a leak is the presence of water puddles around the unit. It is prone to a tank burst from fracture when its metal tank expands and contracts with the heat. You should contact an expert to look into it to avoid wasting water and spike in utility bills. When the water coming from the tap appears sandy, murky, or muddy, it is a warning sign of a sentiment build-up somewhere around the base of the tank. The corrosion from this will expose the tank to leakage.


When there is condensation and moisture outside the water heater tank, it indicates a slow leak. The water may begin to find its way out of the wrong channel due to expansion caused by the heated metal. The leakage from the inner tank will halt when the metal cools down. Always inspect the tank to be sure of any cracks around fittings to the tank. As times go on, major leaks will cause cracks in the tank.

Proper connections

Make sure the hot water out pipes and inlet pipes are connected properly. The condensation might be the problem when the water is leaking from underneath the tank. You can solve this quickly by turning up the thermostat. When water is spilling from the pressure relief valve, you should consider getting a new water heater.

Failure to produce hot water

The disappointment that comes with not finding hot water when turning on the shower is expectedly high. While it might take the water heater some time to produce hot water during winter, you need a replacement when it fails to produce it at all. When it doesn’t produce hot water after waiting for a long time in the shower, it is a sign of a more serious issue than you imagined. If the water heater is powered by electricity, the electric connection might have been altered. It could also mean a failure with the heating elements.

Check the breaker box

Since you are experiencing this issue with a new heater, you might want to check the breaker box in case the water heater circuit is tripped. A water heater running on gas might fail to produce hot water when there is a faulty gas connection or bad pilot light. The solution here might not be a replacement but getting the burner repaired.

Lukewarm water

Getting lukewarm water after waiting for a long time might be an indication that the heating mechanism in the unit is broken. Before you panic, get a professional to inspect it to be sure whether it is a minor fix or replacement. You should pay attention to the water pressure, which could be a sign that the water heater needs replacing. There is also a possibility that you just need a bigger tank to supply the whole household.

However, taking too long to reheat simply means it cannot serve such a home. In some cases, you might not need a replacement. All you need to do is clean the dirty vent flue or dirty burner especially when it is powered by gas.

Check the thermostat

The thermostat is possibly the culprit when there are inconsistencies in the water that comes out of the tap. Diagnosing a bad water heater thermostat should be handled by an expert.

Aging water heater

Like humans, home appliances also age as we use them. Over time, the efficiency of the water heater will drop. If you have used your water heater for 15 years, you should consider saving up for a new one since you might need to install a newer and more powerful home unit anytime soon.

How old is the water heater?

Probably, you might not know how old the water heater is. It happens a lot to people moving from different houses. To be certain that it hasn’t passed its age mark of at least 15 years, find and inspect the serial number. The serial number when inserted into the manufacturer’s website can be used to find the year of production of that home unit. One of the likeliest places to find the serial number is on top of the unit on a sticker. The serial number usually begins with a letter, followed by numbers. The first two digits show the manufacture year.

Strange noises

Aside from the year of purchase, other signs indicate that the water heater is getting to the end of its lifespan. One of them is strange and unusual noises coming from the water heater unit. There is a buildup of sediments at the base of the unit over time. It gets hardened when you heat the water. As a result, it begins to make loud, rumbling noises from inside the water heater.

Rusty water

Another aging warning sign is when rusty water is coming out of the tap. When the anode rod is exhausted, the water will come in contact with corrosion, leading to rusty water. The rust is sometimes visible by the dark red or organ rust in the water around the tank. You can also find out when you perceive a metallic smell when you are about the use the water heater.

When the hot water is insufficient or fails to last as it used to, it is a clear sign of an aging water heater unit. Ideally, as the operational lifespan of the unit nears its end, its efficiency at heating the water drops gradually. The water heater will begin to lose its functionality when the devices and mechanisms on the inside have broken r worn out. It is why you need to consider getting a new water heater when the issue of lack of hot water is becoming a recurring problem in your home. The issue with an aging water heater is that it keeps developing faults.

If you are not careful, you will end up spending all your savings on repairs. While a simple fix can sort some of the minor issues out, it is better to replace an aging unit with a better one.

Final word

The warning signs that you need to change the water heater could be as bad as getting an eggy smell in the water. It is not too good a thing to experience when you are just starting your day. Sometimes, the issues with the water heater resulting in replacement when the house owners fail to pay proper attention to them. Whether you are using a gas-powered or electric water heater, persistent breaking down of the aged water is a clear indication to go for a new one.

They could just be simple fixes that shouldn’t incur much financial burden of a new one on you. While you can extend the lifespan of the water heater with professional inspection and annual maintenance, the age of the tank and usage strain could be the reason why you are opting for replacement.

John, Larry, Mike, owners of Western Rooter & Plumbing

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