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Heating & Air Conditioning

Water Heater Failure: 5 Signs You May Need to Call a Professional

A water heater is an appliance you don’t normally think about until it stops working and you experience the inconvenience of having no hot water. Fortunately, water heater failure doesn’t usually happen out of the blue.

Here are 5 signs your water heater may need to be replaced or repaired.

No Hot Water

A clear sign of a hot water heater failure is a change in the water temperature.

A broken water heater will gradually stop heating your water until it runs cold all the time. In terms of water heater failure, not having any hot water is usually caused by a buildup of sediment, which separates the water from the heat source.

On the other hand, a water heater overheating will cause too much hot water, due to a buildup of sediment on the heating elements that leads to overheating on the bottom of the tank.

Are you experiencing no hot water? Contact us about our emergency plumbing services!

Rusty Water

One of the common signs of water heater failure is rusty hot water.

Rust-colored water is an indication that your water heater tank is corroded and rusting from the inside. The corrosion will eventually lead to a water heater leak and all of the problems that come with it.


A leaky water heater is a sign that you may have a corroded tank or loose fittings, connections or elements.

If you see puddles of water around the bottom of your tank, you’ll need to call a professional right away to deal with the problem. Left untreated, a leaky water heater can cause water damage to your utility closet or basement, flooding if the tank breaks, and mold growth.

Strange Noises

If you are hearing strange noises from your water heater, like rumbling, popping, loud cracks or a high-pitched whine, your water heater likely needs to be repaired or replaced.

Over time, sediment builds up and hardens in the tank, causing small cracks and holes in the metal and making the water heater run less efficiently. Your water heater should run silently so when you hear loud and strange noises, it’s an indication of a problem caused by the sediment buildup.


Many water heater failures are simply due to the age of the unit. The average water heater lasts for about 8-10 years.

To find out the age of your water heater, look at the serial number on the manufacture label. The serial number begins with a letter from A to L, to represent the month the water heater was manufactured. The next 2 numbers are the year the water heater was manufactured. For example, L16 would be December 2016.

If your appliance is near the end of its life, it might be best to replace instead of repair.

Signs Of Water Heater Failure: The Bottom Line

These are the most common signs of water heater failure. If you notice any of these signs, contact a professional right away.

Are you in need of a plumbing professional? We are happy to help! Contact us to get started.

By | 2020-05-04T21:20:07+00:00 April 2nd, 2020|Blog|Comments Off on Water Heater Failure: 5 Signs You May Need to Call a Professional