When Is It Time to Replace a Water Heater?

In most households around the world, the importance of a water heater can’t be overstated. Nothing beats the convenience that comes with having an on-demand hot water supply for bath, shower, cooking, and even hand-washing.

Perhaps, that is why a water heater is always a big miss when it becomes faulty, or even when it stops functioning as well it used to. To prevent your family from suddenly having nothing to supply instant hot water, you need to know when to replace a water heater.

While the signs are always obvious, an inexperienced person may easily overlook or fail to pay them attention. And of course, when the signs are overlooked for a long time, you are bound to be suddenly deprived of your beloved water heater, sooner or later.

It’s often said that nothing lasts forever, and we don’t think there are any words truer. When your home’s water heater is due for a replacement, it will send many signals in advance, all of which we have discussed in this comprehensive article.

How long do water heaters last?

Knowing your water heater’s life expectancy helps prevent major risks that may result from the current heater’s inefficiency. While most water electric heater systems are expected to last 15 to 20 years in a standard home, the majority only lasts between eight to ten years— and ten generally given as the recommended timeline for a water heater to last. The only exception is that the expected lifespan is six to eight years for gas water heaters.

Moreover, the age of a hot water heater could be identified —where the owner forgets or could not approximate its lifespan by simply checking the serial number listed on the manufacturer’s stickers at the upper half of the tank. The numbers are usually written in the following formats:



To demystify the mysteries in this sequence, the letters ‘J’ and ‘B’ in the first and the second serial numbers represent the month in which the water heater was manufactured, while the first two numbers of each serial number delineate the year the heater was manufactured. Flowing from which the ‘J’ represents the month of October and ‘B’ February of year 2020 and 2017 respectively.

Signs that you should replace your water heater

How do you know when to replace your water heater? Your water heaters should undergo regular maintenance and routine checks. You can achieve this by hiring the services of a professional plumber. However, you could also figure out these signs when you carry out a routine check yourself.

Are you confused about when to replace your water heater? Here are a few signs to look out for if you aren’t sure at what point it needs to be replaced;

Water is not transparent

One of the main properties of water is its colorless nature. If the water from your heater is reddish, this could be a clear indication that your water heater is due for replacement. Seeing reddish tint when the tap is opened and at worst the water coming out looks muddy, or sandy shows the water heater is deteriorating. You could fix this by draining the content and cleaning the sediment in the water heater tanker. But if the water remains unclear and the sediment hardens, which may lead to leakage, then you must replace the water heater with a new one.

Rust and Corrosion

As the water remains unclear, the water heater tank will continue to rust inside. Apart from the heater tank rusting, corrosion makes the rust spread to the water heater’s other components — valve inlet and pipes. When this occurs, it is always hard to determine where the rust is coming from (whether the tank or the pipes). This may affect your household’s sanitation and, at the same time, a sign of coming leaks.

To know specifically where the rust is coming from, you must pay attention to the pipelines and the water inlet. If rust is spotted at the inlet of the water heater or after draining up to three buckets of water from the water heater tanker, and the water comes out rusty, it is from the water heater tanker. This will be different if the rust surfaces in the sink and tube due to galvanized pipe.


Leaks from your water heater can cause property damage and other forms of domestic accident. You might notice a pool of water just beneath the water heater or around the bathtub. Check the heater for any leaks, as this is a clear indication that it’s time to replace it with a new one.

Strange noises

Strange noises from water heaters like a bang or loud thump are clears signs you should consider replacing a water heater.

The water heater no longer heats

With time, the effectiveness of your water heater tends to depreciate. It may no longer heat water as it used to when you newly installed it, and since it no longer serves its original purpose, you might want to consider getting a new one installed.

Can it be repaired?

Definitely! But if you have repaired your water heater more than twice in a year, you might have to buy and install a good water heater like the Bosch Electric Mini-Tank Water Heater or the Rheem MR50245.

Final Thoughts

While water heaters are always designed to last for many years, they are not excepted from aging, like everything in the world. When your water heater starts showing the symptoms we listed above, that means it’s time to get a replacement.

Then, ensure you take a lot of caution when choosing the right water heater to fit your family’s needs. If you’ve read through this article, then you already know when to replace a water heater. Do not forget to carry out prompt maintenance and routine checks on your water heaters, as this keeps you at the forefront of sudden issues that might arise with your heater.


1. Properties of water – Wikipedia

Water (H2O) is a polar inorganic compound that is at room temperature a tasteless and odorless liquid, which is nearly colorless apart from an inherent hint of blue.


2. Four Scary Noises Your Water Heater is Making and What They Might Mean – Mr. Plumber

The water heater may be the most overworked and under-appreciated piece of mechanical equipment in a house. We usually assume it’s doing its job as it should and leave it alone, unless it starts to makes weird and scary noises.

To help you avoid a potentially dangerous and expensive plumbing crisis, we’re looking at four frightening sounds your water heater can make and what they mean.


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