Homeowners often overlook one crucial appliance until they’re in the midst of a cold shower: the water heater. Much like any other home equipment, water heaters have a lifespan, and it’s essential to recognize the signs of a dying unit before it’s too late. As professional local plumbers we believe in keeping our clients informed, so here are seven telltale signs that indicate it might be time to replace your water heater.

1. Age of the Water Heater

The typical lifespan of a water heater is 8-12 years. If yours is pushing that decade mark or has crossed it, it’s time to consider a replacement, even if it seems to be working fine. Aging units can have hidden issues or become less energy efficient over time.

2. Rusty Water

If your hot water is coming out with a reddish-brown tint, it might be a sign of rust in the water heater. Over time, the inside of the tank can corrode, leading to rusty water. This not only impacts the quality of your water but also signifies that a leak might soon follow.

3. Frequent Repairs

Much like an old car that needs constant repairs, if you find yourself frequently calling for water heater repairs, it might be more cost-effective in the long run to replace the unit altogether.

4. Noises and Rumbles

As water heaters age, sediment builds up at the bottom of the tank. This sediment gets heated and reheated, leading to hard layers. When water underneath this layer gets heated, it leads to rumbling noises. This means the unit is nearing the end of its operational life and may become less efficient.

5. Insufficient Hot Water

Finding yourself consistently running out of hot water faster than before? This could be a sign that your water heater is losing its efficiency. As the unit ages, it can’t produce the same amount of hot water as it used to.

6. Water Around the Heater

If you notice moisture or puddles around the base of your water heater, there might be a small leak or fracture in the tank. As metal heats, it expands, and if there are slight fractures, water can leak when the tank is hot.

7. Increased Energy Bills

If your energy bills have spiked without a notable increase in usage, it might be due to the water heater working overtime to maintain the same performance. This is a subtle sign, but it can be a clear indication of a unit losing its efficiency.


Recognizing the signs of an aging or malfunctioning water heater can save you from unexpected disruptions and potential damage. At Make It Drain Plumbing & Rooter, our Plumbers are committed to ensuring your home runs smoothly with top-notch plumbing solutions. If you’ve noticed any of the above signs or are unsure about the health of your water heater, give us a call. We’re here to help!

Remember, an investment in a new water heater not only provides peace of mind but also can offer more energy-efficient solutions that can save money in the long run. Don’t wait until the cold shower takes you by surprise!

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