Like all our household appliances and units, hot water heaters eventually breakdown. Most people don’t see their hot water heater on a daily basis, therefore it can easily be overlooked and often the signs of a failing unit are missed. One of the worst things that can happen during the winter is having to live without hot water. To avoid boiling water and pouring it into the bathtub, make sure you know the signs of a failing hot water heater.
You have had your hot water heater for more than 10-15 years. The life span of most hot water heaters is about 10-15 years. When you know you are reaching the 10-year mark, it’s time to start thinking about purchasing a replacement. If you don’t know how old your hot water heater is, look for the serial number. You should be able to look up on the manufacture’s website to find out how old it is.
You can see water around the unit. If your hot water heater is leaking, you need to call a professional to replace it as soon as possible to avoid flooding and damage to your home. If you want to replace it yourself, make sure you disconnect any electricity and turn off the gas to allow the water to cool.
If you turn on your hot water and it tastes and/or smells metallic. This is a sign that grit and flakes from the tank are combing with your water.
You can hear it. Loud cracks or pops tell you that there is a mineral build up in the tank interacting with the heating element. This is an early sign that you may need to replace your water heater One way to help your hot water heater last longer is draining it every now and then. This cleans out the minerals that build up over time.
Rusty water. Rusty water tells you that the inside of your tank has begun to corrode creating rust.