Hot water heaters put up with a lot of abuse throughout their years of operation. Hot water heaters last for years, they’re designed to have a long service life, actually. If you think about how many times a day, every day, you make use of hot water in your home, you’ll realize that your water heater works incredibly hard 24/7 and most homeowners do not think about it until it’s time for a hot water heater replacement.

Even if you take perfect care of your water heater needs, though, with consistent regular maintenance and prompt repairs, you know that eventually you will have to replace your current water heater with a new unit, whether that’s with an electric water heater, gas water heater, or even a tankless water heater. When it comes time to replace your old water heater, hiring a professional plumber to perform the water heater installation is always recommended, and some offer a warranty on their water heater installation

The following are a few signs that you should look for in your water heater, indicating that maybe it’s time to have a professional replace it for you.

1. Difficulty Providing Hot Water

We think everyone will agree that a hot water heater that can’t get the water temperature up doesn’t have much of a purpose and is a sign it’s time to look at water heater replacement. If you put enough demand on your water heater over a long enough period of time, you can eventually overwhelm it and run out of hot water. However, what we’re talking about here is if the system is having trouble providing any kind of hot water at all, or having issues maintaining the water temperature called for by the thermostat on your water heater tank.

If your water heater is having issues generating enough hot water supply to meet even a moderate amount of demand, then this lack of hot water is a warning sign it may be getting close to the end of its life. This often happens when the wear and tear on the water heater and components such as the heating element, has reached a point that it begins to dramatically impact the efficiency of the system. The only way to remedy this is to replace the water heater entirely.

2. Constant Repair Issues

Water heaters are designed to cope with a lot of demand, but they are not invincible. It’s not unusual to have to repair your hot water heater a few times over the course of its life expectancy. But, those times should be few and far between during a normal service life. If you need to call a plumber often to have your water heater repaired, it’s time to talk to a professional about replacing it. That level of degradation in the system tends to indicate that parts are beginning to fail en masse due to wear and tear. Anode rod, heating elements, pilot lights, pressure relief valves, fracturing bottom of the tank and more can all be failing. You can keep replacing the water heater one part at a time if you want, but it would almost certainly save you money in the long run to just install a new water heater.

3. Old Age

The average lifespan of most water heaters falls between 10-20 years. That varies pretty wildly based on individual circumstances of course, but mostly it stays within that range. If your water heater is older than a decade, it might be a good idea to have a professional examine it to determine if it needs to be replaced. Older water heaters tend to cost more to operate, and are much less efficient at providing hot water. You might be able to get a few more years of use out of it, but you might actually be better off just installing a new system

4. Strange Noises

Homeowners can get used to many odd sounds in their home, but when your water heater is making strange noises it could mean a few things. It could be from sediment buildup, which is flung around the bottom of the tank during its operation. It could be from corrosion from rusting, which also presents as rusty water, but can cause strange noises. If the bottom of the tank has too much rusting and corrosion, it can leak, leading to water damage, increased utility bills, and if your water heater is near your HVAC system it can cause massive water damage to those components. If you hear strange noises then you can take those as signs it’s time to consider a new water heater.

Water heater maintenance is important, as regular maintenance is for all of the items in your home. However eventually every homeowner will need to get a new water heater. A new water heater doesn’t just mean you’ll have a hot water supply at your home’s faucets, but it also lowers your energy bills because of how energy efficient today’s electric and gas water heaters, or even new tankless water heater systems. 


Climate Control Heating & Cooling installs and services water heaters in Kansas City, MO. If you need a new water heater installed in your home, contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our technicians.