Know the Signs of Pending Water Heater Failure

So, it’s getting colder outside and you can’t wait to take a hot shower before you head off to work. But something is wrong. It’s taking longer and longer for you to feel the water heat up, or your hot water runs out halfway through your shower. This is not how you wanted your day to start. Is this something you should worry about? Is your water heater failing?

Here are some key things to look for if you’re worried about your water heater.


Lack of Hot Water

This tends to be one of the more obvious reasons you may be concerned that your water heater isn’t working at peak levels. Either it takes too long for the water to heat up or it feels like there is never enough for you to get through a shower. A 40-50 gallon system should allow for multiple showers back to back. If you and your family don’t have enough hot water to get through your day, having your water heater checked out is a good first step in determining what’s wrong.


It’s Old

Most water heaters are designed to last around 10-15 years. Depending on how old your system is, this can be an easy indicator that it’s time to get a new one. If the only real sign you have is the age of your system, you can also have it inspected to determine its current condition.


Dirty or Murky Water

Over time, rust and other sediments can collect at the bottom of your heater. This can eventually mix with your water, resulting in a rusty/murky appearance. You need to have your heater flushed and drained so the sediment can be removed. As soon as you see murky water, it’s time to take action. At the very least, the sediment needs to be removed from your heater.



Does it sound like your water heater is trying out for a band? It may sound funny, but if you have a failing water heater it can make very weird sounds. These sounds can be anything from a bubbling or popping sound all the way to a banging noise. If you’re hearing strange noises coming from your heater, it’s time to have it inspected. Don’t wait until things get worse before you take action.


Leaks and Rust

When looking at your water heater, pay attention for leaks or for rust. This is a key sign that your water heater is not working optimally and could lead to the other signals we have discussed, like not enough hot water, noises, and sediment in your water.


Your water heater should have regular inspections and maintenance to ensure that it is working at peak levels.