There’s a handful of signs that it’s time to replace your hot water heater. Start by checking the age of your tank. If it’s beyond the warrantied age and you’re seeing other indicators then it’s probably time to start shopping for a new unit.
Hot Water Duration
How long is your hot water lasting? Are you befuddled because you used to be able to take long hot steamy showers and now you’re getting caught with soapy hair and chilly water? If you’re running out of hot water a lot sooner than you used to then you probably have a problem and it’s time to look into replacing your hot water heater.
Puddles and Leaks
Get in there and take a good look at your water heater. Do you see any puddles on the ground or any standing water? If you have puddles or a trickle of water coming from your tank then there is quite likely a big problem that needs to be addressed.
Overall, if you’re finding some water at the base of your water heater it’s not necessarily a problem. This could be a condensation issue. Blot up the water and check on it over the next few days. You might want to lay some paper towels down because you’ll be able to tell if there was additional water that may have drained or evaporated in between your checks. If you think you have a greater problem you can have a technician come out to investigate.
If you’ve finished looking for leaks and you haven’t found any obvious puddles are signs that there’s trouble it’s time to investigate deeper. Check out your plumbing fittings and connections. You’re looking for signs of corrosion, rust, or sludge. If you find anything like this then at the very least it’s time to call in a technician to appraise your situation.
Take a listen to your hot water heater. If you’re hearing clanging noises, such as banging or clanging noises then you probably have an issue with the actual hardware and you’ll need to get shopping.
Hot Water Heater Failure
Most water heater failure occurs when the water heater has reached its life expectancy and the tank begins to rust and corrode. Water heater failures are one of the top five sources of residential water losses. Staying on top of the situation before it becomes a major problem is key. Don’t let your hot water heater burst or cause water damage to your home from a sustained leak.