When to replace the water heater?

A water heater has become an integral part of our daily living. Whether you like hot water shower or use warm water for cooking, dish-washing, or even laundry; the water heater invariably ensures the availability of warm water.

With your water heater being subjected to immense hot water demands on day to day basis; it is likely to show signs of its replacement after serving its lifespan. 

You can extend the life of your water heater with proper care and regular maintenance; however, you need to replace the old tank after its life cycle is completed.

Some of the signs of replacing your water heater include old unit, noise, leaks, rusty water, and not heating water. 

Let’s discuss these signs of replacing the water heater in detail. 

Signs to Replace a Water Heater

Water heater gets too old

The average life span of most of the water heaters varies between 8 to 10 years. 

If you are not aware of the expiration date of your water heater then check the serial number on the manufacturer’s sticker pasted on it and find out the first two numbers that usually represent the year of its manufacturing. 

Find out more about the sticker’s information from your manufacturer’s website.

Replace your water heater once it has served you for 10 years even though it does not show any signs of replacement.

However, you may need to replace your water heater even before its recommended life expectancy, if it shows the symptoms of bad water pump due to rusting, noises, leaks, or failure to heat water.

Rusty water or inlet valve or pipes

Even though your water heater is prepared from high-quality corrosion-resistant steel, it begins to slowly corrode away over the years due to close contact with humid and moisture-filled surroundings.

Look out for the signs of rust on steel tanks and water pipes. It gives you warning signals for preventing the spread of rust within your water heater or pipes that connect to the faucet.

Rusty Water

The appearance of rust in the hot water flowing from the faucet to the sink or bathtub gives a strong indication that your water heater is subjected to corrosion.

It is usually happening in the cases of the water heaters that are too old and used past their life expectancy. However, the water heater may get corroded even before its expiration date. 

Rusty Valve/Inlet

Another place to look for rust is the area surrounding the water inlet or pressure relief valve present on the water heater. 

If you locate the rust around the water inlet, it indicates the spreading of rust inside the tank.  In such cases, you must immediately replace the tank.

Rusty Pipes

Check out the pipes connecting the water heater to the faucet. If your pipes show signs of rust, you could see the rusty tap water in sinks and bathtubs.

In such cases, you need to replace your pipes as they are aged and corroding away.

If you would like to pinpoint the source of rust between water heater and pipes, you should drain many buckets of hot water from the tank. If the hot water remains rusty even after 3 to 4 buckets, then it indicates rusty water heater.

You should immediately replace the rusty water heater with a new one as it would soon start leaking water when rust eats up the steel inside. 

Water Heater makes Rumbling Noises

As your water heater ages, it starts emanating rumbling noises as it heats the water in the tank. These noises get louder and louder as the older water heater gets subjected to an increasing number of water heating tasks.

The major cause of rumbling noise generating from a water heater is the sediment buildup on the bottom of the tank. These sediments get hardened over time and form a thick layer over the tank floor. 

The sediment buildup leads to the inefficiency of the water heater as it now consumes more energy for heating water. 

Moreover, the additional time used by the tank for heating water poses risks of cracks appearing in the water heater which eventually leads to leaks.

Therefore, if your water heater makes rumbling noises, flush your tanks to remove sediments. If the noises persist, check for the leaks and replace your water heater.

Water Heater Leaking

When you see water droplets scattered on the floor around the tank, it may indicate the presence of leaks in your water heater. It usually happens when your water heater gets too old and exposed to thousands of heating cycles.

The water heater with leaks may cause significant property damage if not replaced in time.  

The major cause of leaks is the metal expansions in the tank. It leads to the appearance of fractures or gaps that cause leakage of water droplets. 

In addition to this, the leaks may also occur due to problems related to fittings to the tank or temperature/pressure overflow pipe. Therefore, check for these issues before replacing your water heater. 

Water heater not heating

When your water heater fails to heat water sufficiently, it gives a strong signal for replacing it. This inefficiency of your water heater happens over time due to the buildup of hardened and thick layers of sediments in the tank. 

Apart from this, the three main causes that contribute to loss of heat in your water heater include a misadjusted thermostat, a broken heating element, and a small tank size.

Keep the thermostat settings between 120 and 140 degrees. If the heating element gets broken, get it repaired. 

If your tank size is insufficient to meet the requirements of your extended family, replace and get a new big size heater.


If you observe any of the above-mentioned signs, it’s time to bid goodbye to your old water heater and buy a new geyser that perfectly matches your water heating requirements.

Replacing your old water heater with new ones ensures efficient water heating, safety, and savings of water and electricity. Also, it will lessen your frequent maintenance costs.



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