The last thing anybody wants to deal with is a water heater that has gone bad for them. Hot water is a major part of daily life, whether it be taking a shower or simply cleaning dishes by hand. This means that learning the common signs a water heater is going bad is one of the best ways to get ahead of the total failure of the system.
How Long Does a Water Heater Last?
While tankless water heaters typically last 20-30 years, there are a variety of factors which can influence this timeline. For example, if a water heater has had a history of issues in the past and wasn’t installed correctly in the first place, the timeline may be shortened. Additionally, a traditional water heater, as opposed to tankless, will typically last around 10 to 15 years before the first signs of aging appear.
5 Signs Your Water Heater Has Expired
The best way to stay on top of the maintenance for your water heater is to learn how to recognize the signs that your water heater is about to go bad. The following five signs are the most prominent to keep an eye out for:
- There is a shortage of hot water
Perhaps one of the easiest ways to learn whether or not your water heater is going bad is if you suddenly have a shortage of hot water. This symptom will likely start with the water taking longer to heat, before intermittently going cold before returning to warmth shortly after. Should this issue be allowed to persist long enough, the water may stop heating up completely.
- Continuous leaking from your heater
Another major sign that your water heater may be about to go bad is if you notice leaking coming from it. This leaking will occur directly under the unit, which is why it’s importance to know where your unit sits. Leaks may start as just small amounts of perspiration before eventually evolving into a serious leak.
- Inconsistent water temperature
As mentioned, when the shortage of hot water begins you may also notice inconsistent water temperatures. When trying to only use hot water, you may receive lukewarm water or vice versa. This inconsistent water temperature could be an indicator that the heater isn’t working as well as it should be. Use this as reason to inspect the heater itself to notice if there are any noticeable issues that could be easily fixed.
- Odd sounds coming from the water heater
Odd sounds coming from your water heater are another major indicator that the heater may be going bad. Generally, these noises are stemming from an excessive amount of sediment build up that has occurred. This causes it to react with the heating element in the system and causes tiny little explosions that result in the noise you hear from the heater. Noises can also be caused by mechanical breakdowns which occur and by parts spinning around where they shouldn’t be.
- The water pressure has become poor
Finally, another major indicator that a water heater has gone bad is water pressure that has become poor. This may start as a low amount of pressure loss in the shower, before escalating to serious pressure loss in the sinks or when washing clothes. Don’t ignore the situation when you see the water pressure decreasing. Instead, choose to call in support to diagnose the problem before it becomes worse and unmanageable.
Why Replacing Your Water Heater Matters
The biggest reason for why replacing your water heater matters is due to the fact that if it stops operating, your home will be left without warm water until it is fixed. This means cold showers and cold water all-around until it is repaired. Therefore, there will be no dishwashing, clothes washing with hot water, and more. Don’t hesitate to get this fixed by reaching out to certified professionals as soon as possible.
The Bottom Line
While being preemptive and watching for the signs that a water heater is failing is always a smart idea, it’s impossible to completely predict when a water heater is going to fail. Mechanical issues can arise at any time which shut down your system, which is why seeking out water heater repair as soon as possible should always be at the top of mind in this situation. Don’t settle for cold water when certified professionals can take care of the matter on your behalf.