Signs You Need to Replace Your Water Heater

Water heaters can last anywhere from 5 to 15 years. Depending on their brand and model, knowing how long yours has been working is important. Before it reaches its end of life, however, there are some signs you should know about so you can replace it before it breaks down and becomes an even bigger hassle than it already will be when that happens. Check out these signs to look out for and see whether you need to contact heating companies to replace your water heater.

Water Heater is Over a Decade Old

If your water heater is over ten years old, chances are it’s time to look at replacing it. Sudden leaks, cracks and failures usually happen after ten years of use. The heater’s water must work through the metal inside and out of the tank. Then, to the outside of your home. That metal can expand and contract over time which can cause leaks and other problems that can lead to serious damage. Water heaters work best when they’re filled with water, so if yours is only half full, it’s more likely that it’s due for a replacement.

Rusty Colored Water

If your water is rusty or brown, it’s a good sign that your heater needs to be replaced. Rust, especially if it’s pink or red, indicates iron or other minerals in the water. It can show up after you install new pipes or fixtures, so it’s important to be on the lookout for discoloured water, even if you haven’t done much work around the house recently.

Sediment at the Bottom of Your Water Heater

Sediment is tiny bits of dirt or other particles floating around in your water. It’s usually fixed by installing a sediment filter, but if there’s too much sediment, it can cause clogs and other problems that mean your heater needs to be replaced.

Low Water Flow

If the water flowing out of the shower is lower than normal, especially in winter, it’s a good sign that your water heater needs to be replaced. Water flow should be at least 60 degrees, even if your shower head has a too strong spray or you have an old faucet that cannot adjust to the pressure your water heater produces.

Yellow-ish Discoloration Around Your Water Heater

During the summertime, the hot water serves as an instant dehumidifier, drawing out moisture from the air and keeping it in your hot water heater tank. If your heater isn’t rust-proof, this can cause a yellow or orange discoloration around the outside of the tank.

Odd Noises

If your water tank is starting to make odd noises, like squealing or hissing, it’s a good sign that you need to replace it. It can signify a clog, but if it’s not too bad, you could probably fix the issue by cleaning the tank and flushing out the pipes. But if you keep hearing the same noise repeatedly, it’s probably time for a replacement.


If you find water outside your home near your water heater, it’s likely leaking. Water heaters are designed to last for decades, but they can start to fall apart after so much use. If your water heater is leaking, even if it’s just a little bit each month, you need to replace it as soon as possible.

High Energy Costs & Usage Rates

It’s easy to blame high energy bills on your water heater, especially if it’s in a poorly ventilated area or has suffered some damage. You can watch out for some signs that indicate your water heater needs to be replaced. The first one is a high energy bill, especially if it’s a spike in your usage rates. Water heaters that have been around for ten years or more tend to suck up a lot of energy, so if yours is at least that old, it’s probably time to replace it.

There are many reasons why you should replace your water heater before it breaks down and causes more damage than it already will. It saves you money in the long run, but replacing it before the repairs are too big to handle can change your life for the better.