How to Know if Your Water Heater Is About to Fail

You know your water heater is getting older. Some days you stand in the shower and you wonder if it’s as hot as it used to be. You keep a nervous eye on it, wondering if one day you’ll find it has quit working altogether. With the holidays approaching, you don’t want to chance failure when you’re at the season’s busy peak. Here are signs you might need to start thinking about a replacement.


If you don’t know your water heater’s age, find the manufacturer’s sticker near the top of the tank. It contains a code, but the code doesn’t look like a date. It might say something like, “A034427683.” The letter stands for the month in which it was manufactured, and the next two digits correspond to the year. In this instance, 03 means 2003.

Most water heaters last about ten years. If your water heater is older than that, it’s just a matter of time before it will fail. Consider replacing it before a leak floods your home or you’re stranded without hot water.


If you turn on the tap and rusty water comes out, see if it originates from the hot side. When rust corrodes the inside of the tank, it often isn’t long before it starts to leak.


When your water heater starts to make strange noises as it warms water, that indicates a problem. Sediment builds up at the bottom of the tank throughout your unit’s lifespan. If you live in an area with hard water, that accumulation happens even faster. As the sediment builds up, it decreases your water heater’s efficiency and wears on the inside of your tank. The rumbling comes from a struggling water that heater sediment has damaged.

Take action before your water heater has a chance to fail. Hawk Plumbing can help you replace your current unit with one that is much more energy efficient, and we have financing options for any budget. Contact us today.

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