Does My Water Heater Need Replacement?

Having hot water in your home is always vital, but especially as the cooler months approach. Between hot showers, dishwashing, and laundry, you probably don’t even realize how often you use it! The constant demand for hot water in your home is sooner or later going to catch up with your water heater and cause some inevitable wear and tear. If you think it may be time for a new water heater, check out these signs that may indicate it is time for a replacement.


Typically, water heaters last about 10 years before they need replacement. The age of the water heater can be determined by decoding the serial number on the manufacturer’s sticker. You’ll find a long code on the upper part of your water heater that looks like “C051052638.” The first letter represents the month. So, in this case, since “C” is the third letter of the alphabet, March is the month. The next two digits, 05, represent the year. Therefore this water heater was manufactured in March 2005. Some water heaters may vary, so you should check the manufacturer’s website to determine their exact coding.

Rusty Water:

Although steel is a strong material, it is still vulnerable to corrosion. When rust begins to appear in the water, this is usually a warning sign of oncoming leaks. However, it can be difficult to determine if the rust is coming from the water heater itself or the pipes. To determine where the rust is originating, you can do a test to find out. Drain a few five-gallon buckets of hot water out of the heater. If you are seeing rust in the water by the third bucket of water, it is most likely an issue with your water heater.

Unusual Noise:

As your water heater ages, you may notice a rumbling noise that has gotten louder over the years. This is typically a result of sediment buildup on the bottom of the tank. Over time, sediment hardens and grows thicker on the bottom of the tank, which can quickly wear out the water heater and cause inefficiency or accelerated damage. Noise caused by sediment is usually an indicator of leaks.

Water Around Heater:

If you’re finding water around your water heater, this is usually a clear sign of leaks. Water leaks are a result of expansions of the metal in the tank occur over time, as the tank incurs thousands of heating cycles. As your water heater ages, it is likely that it has experienced these expansions. Any sort of water leaks can cause major damage to your home, and should be addressed immediately.

Water Is Not Getting Hot Enough:

One of the most obvious signs that you will notice, without even having to take a trip into your basement, is that the water simply is not getting hot. Sometimes, this can be fixed by adjusting the thermostat. However, it may also be a broken heating element in your water heater. In this case, you’ll want to contact your local plumber to determine if you need a replacement.

Contact Al Terry Plumbing & Heating

If you need maintenance, repairs or installation of a new water heater in the New Hampshire area, you can count on the experts at Al Terry! Contact us today to schedule an appointment!

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