It’s easy to forget about your water heater, as it is often tucked away in your garage or a closet. However, your water heater does need maintenance and repair just like any other appliance in your home. Eventually, it will need replacing, too, so keep an eye out for these signs that you need a new water heater.
Do you hear a rumbling or popping sound from your water heater? Any other weird noises? Your water heater should operate with little to no sound, so unusual noises are a definite problem. This frequently indicates that the water in the tank is boiling or sediment is being burned off. Both are bad problems that may require repair or replacement. Check to make sure the thermostat is set properly before calling a plumber for help, and remember to use extreme caution around the hot water.
If you turn on the hot tap in your kitchen or bathroom and see a red or orange tinge to the water, it could be a sign of rust in the tank. Once this happens, you will need to replace your water heater. However, if you drain and inspect the tank and find no problems, you could have a rusted pipe. Consult a professional plumber if you ever see rust-colored water in your home!
Once your water heater starts leaking, it is on its way out. While some leaks can be repaired, most stem from age and deterioration that requires replacement. Most tank-style water heaters last 8-12 years, so if yours is nearing the end of its lifespan, keep an eye out for problems.