5 Signs Your Water Heater Needs to Be Replaced

Although water heater technology has come a long way in the past few decades, even the best models have a limited shelf life. Unless your water heater suffers a catastrophic failure, it can sometimes be tough to know when you should replace your current unit. Fortunately, there are several telltale signs that it’s time to upgrade your old water heater.

Rusty Water from Unfiltered Taps

One of the most obvious signs that a water heater is on its last legs that many homeowners overlook is rusty water. Even slightly rusty water emanating from unfiltered taps such as the bathtub faucet probably means that your heater is going down the tubes. Obviously, tankless water heaters are generally immune to such problems.

Water That Tastes or Smells Foul

Another strong indicator of a water heater that’s on its way out is that it smells funky or tastes metallic. Since most homes feature under-sink water filters, you should sample water from the shower to see if it smells off. Water with a distinct odor that’s somewhat to fairly cloudy is a definite red flag.

Unusually Noisy Operation

Thermal expansion and contraction is bound to cause low-level noise to reverberate from even relatively new water heaters. Excessive noise, on the other hand, can indicate that your tank is on the verge of failure. If you need to buy some time while selecting a new model, turn your heater’s thermostat down to 120 °F or lower.

Inefficient Heating

Over time, any tank-based water heater will gradually lose its ability to effectively heat water. If your water heater has trouble getting the temperature of your hot water up to the appropriate level, it could be time to replace it. Before you ditch your old model, ensure that the thermostat is properly calibrated and measure your water’s temperature.

High Power Consumption

A water heater that’s nearing the end of its useful life will probably consume an unusually high amount of energy. If your electricity bill is higher than it should be, the water heater could be the culprit. Eliminate other likely suspects, like older refrigerators, figure out roughly how much juice your heater should be consuming and go from there.

Making a Smart Upgrade

If it’s time to replace your water heater, you should mull your upgrade options carefully. You may want to consider tankless water heaters as an alternative to traditional models. They’re efficient, quiet and provide excellent value over the long haul. Regardless of which water heater you select, thoroughly research your choices before you buy.
Payless Water Heaters offers upgrade, repair and maintenance tips on the Payless Water Heaters Blog.