Common Water Heater Problems and Signs You Might Need a New Unit

Other than a fire, nothing causes more damage to the inside of a property than leaking water. Like any appliance, water heaters break down over a period of time.  No one enjoys taking a cold shower, so ideally you’d like to be able replace your water heater before it completely stops working.  If you wait too long it may lead to bigger problems as well, such as large leaks and water damage to your home. So how do you know when it’s time for a replacement? Here are a few signs:


The older a water heater gets, the more likely it’s about to break down. Electric water heaters generally last 8-10 years, while gas water heaters may only be good for 6-8 years. If your water heater is any older than this, it may be time to check for some of the symptoms below.
Rust and corrosion
Check your tank for any rust or corrosion, particularly the area around the temperature and pressure relief valve and the inlet and outlet connections. Also check your water to see if it’s turning a rusty color, which could mean there’s rust inside the tank. Unfortunately, rust and corrosion can’t be fixed. Once it starts it’s only a matter of time before the tank is leaking and needs to be replaced.
Unable to drain water through the drain valve
Over time, sediment builds up inside a water heater. Flushing your water heater once a year will help solve this and extend the life of your water heater. However, if this task isn't performed for an extended period of time then the sediment build-up will eventually reach a point where it can no longer be resolved. At this point a water heater replacement will be necessary.
Your hot water tank is leaking
A leak from your hot water tank is usually caused by an internal problem and is rarely fixable. If you spot a leak anywhere on your water heater it’s quite likely your water heater needs to be replaced.
Your water is lukewarm or cold
If your water isn't as hot as it used to be, or isn't hot at all, then there is likely something wrong with your water heater.
Check for any of the symptoms above. If you find any of them then it is likely your water heater is beyond repair and will need to be replaced.