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Failing Water Heater: 7 Common Signs to Watch For

Water heaters are important because they provide hot water for various purposes, such as for taking showers, washing dishes, and doing laundry. However, like any other appliance, water heaters have a lifespan, and they can fail or malfunction over time. 

As a homeowner, it’s also essential to know the signs that indicate your water heater is failing so that you can promptly fix the problem or replace the unit before it causes any damage. This article will discuss the top signs your water heater is failing, including the following:

Old Water Heater

The age of your water heater is one of the key factors in determining whether it’s time to replace it. The average water heater lasts between 10 and 15 years. Even if there are no outward indications of trouble, it’s time to start considering replacing your water heater if it has reached or exceeded its lifespan.

Rusty Water

Your water heater is rusting from the inside if you detect rusty water flowing from your hot water faucets. Rusty water indicates that the anode rod in your heater is no longer functioning correctly, and the tank is rusting. The anode rod is designed to attract corrosive elements in the water, protecting the tank from rusting. When the anode rod is depleted, the tank is left unprotected, forming rust.

Strange Noises

If your hot water heater makes weird noises, such as rumbling or popping noises, sediment likely accumulates at the tank’s bottom. The residue forms when minerals and other debris settle at the bottom of the tank, and it can cause the tank to overheat, leading to failure. If you hear strange noises, it’s recommended that you call a professional to inspect your water heater and flush out the sediment.


Leaks are a blatant indication that your water heater is malfunctioning. It may indicate a tank or pipe leak if you see water gathering near your water heater. Responding immediately is critical if you spot a leak because it can seriously harm your house. Call a qualified plumber to check your water heater and identify the best course of action.

Inconsistent Water Temperature

If you’re experiencing inconsistent water temperatures, such as hot water turning cold during a shower or fluctuating water temperature, it’s a sign that your water heater is failing. Inconsistent water temperature can be due to a malfunctioning thermostat or sediment buildup in the tank. You should call a professional to inspect your water heater and diagnose the problem.

Decreased Water Pressure

If you notice a decreased water pressure, it could be due to a failing water heater. When sediment builds up in the tank, it can clog the pipes and reduce water pressure. A malfunctioning pressure relief valve can also cause a decrease in water pressure. If you notice a reduction in water pressure, it’s best to call a professional plumber to inspect your water heater and diagnose the problem.

High Energy Bills

Your water heater may break if you observe a sudden rise in energy costs. Water heaters lose efficiency as they get older, which increases energy usage. Additionally, if your water heater isn’t working correctly, it will have to work harder to heat the water, increasing energy costs. Contact a specialist to examine your water heater and identify the issue if you notice a sudden rise in energy expenses.


Water heater installation is essential in homes, and it’s crucial to know the signs that indicate your water heater is failing. It’s essential to promptly fix the problem or replace the unit before it causes any damage or safety hazards. With proper maintenance and timely repairs, you can extend the lifespan of your water heater and ensure it’s working correctly.

If you need trustworthy, affordable, and competent plumbing services in Rock Hill, SC, B&B Family Plumbing is the solution. Our certified team can handle any plumbing issue you have, from a water heater installation at home to repairing a broken pipe at the office. Contact us today to book an appointment!