Water heaters, unfortunately do not last forever. Generally speaking, if your water heater is 10 years old or more, then chances are that it may need to be replaced.

But there are other signs that can indicate that it’s time to replace that water heater in your home.

6 Signs That Your Water Heater Needs To Be Replaced

  1. You notice rusty or brown water coming out of your faucets when you open the hot water knob.
  2. You notice a foul smell when you run hot water from your faucets.
  3. You aren’t getting as much hot water as you used to or none at all.
  4. Your water heater is more than 10 years old.
  5. Your water heater is leaking.
  6. Your water heater is suddently making sounds.

If you notice any of these signs we recommend you contact a professional plumber right away.

Let’s go over each of these signs with some more detail.

1. Rusty Brown Water

The majority of hot water heaters are constructed of steel. And, as you may or may not know, steel is mostly iron which tends to rust. Water heaters have a built in safeguard called an anode rod. The rod is screwed into the top of your water heater and protects your water heater from rusting.

Typically, an anode rod lasts about 4 to 5 years. Of course this depends on how much water is being processed through your water heater.

2. Rotten Egg Smell

If you notice a smell similar to “rotten eggs” coming out of your water faucets – this could be an indication that there is sulfate bacteria in your water heater tank.

3. Less Or No Hot Water

There are multiple reasons as to why you may not be getting as much hot water (or none at all) and we recommend that you contact a professional plumber to assess the situation.

But generally, the reasons do include any of these:

  • water heater has reached the end of it’s life span
  • a problem with a component such as the pilot light, the thermostat or other part
  • unit hasn’t been maintained and there’s too much sediment at the bottom of the unit

4. Age Plays A Factor

No appliance lasts forever and water heaters do have a limit. Some can last for many, many years but the average lifespan of a water heater is 10 years.

So, if your unit is 10 or more years old – and you are having problems with it – your plumber may recommend to get a new heater vs. putting money into an old one to get it fixed.

5. Leaks

Water heaters can certainly leak – due to a number of reasons.

  • A loose or leaky pipe
  • A corroded anode rod
  • A problem with the cold water inlet valve
  • Or a problem with the tank itself

Leaks can come from the top, from the bottom or from somewhere in the tank itself.

6. Unusual Sounds

If you hear sounds like crackling, sizzling, popping or a high pitch whistling – these are all indications that there may be a problem with the hot water heater.

For all of these issues – we do recommend that you contact a plumber to assess your specific water heater and make recommendations on if it’s time to replace it or not.

If you have any questions about water heater problems, call Atlantis Plumbing today at 770-443-8229. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.