How Can I Tell When My Water Heater Is Going to Need to Be Replaced?

hot Water Heater Sacramento CA

If your water heater has failed completely, there’s probably no question in your mind that you need to replace it. However, finding yourself in this situation isn’t exactly pleasant, as it can leave you without hot water for days at a time as you try to find a plumber and get the water heater replacement done. Generally, it’s a far better idea to keep an eye out for the signs that you’ll need a new hot water heater in Sacramento, CA, soon so that you can have it replaced before total water heater failure occurs. But how can you tell that your water heater is going to fail before it actually does? Don’t worry, you don’t need a crystal ball. Just keep an eye out for these signs.


All of your house’s components—from the roof to the foundation and everything in between—have a predetermined lifespan. For your water heater, that expected lifespan is about ten years. This means that if your water heater is approaching a decade of life, you will most likely need to replace it soon. Even if your water heater is still performing its daily duties, you should start looking into replacing it. Not only will this help you avoid going without hot water, but it’s also important to keep in mind that water heater efficiency has improved greatly over the past decade. A newer model will likely save you money on your monthly bills, and you can look into upgrading to a tankless water heater for even more monthly savings.

Discolored Water

There are a number of potential causes for discolored water coming from your pipes. So how do you know if it’s your water heater? A good way to check is to turn on your faucet with just cold water first. Let it run for a while and see if the cold water runs clear. Then, switch to hot water. If the water becomes discolored only when running hot water, then the issue is almost certainly your water heater.

Generally speaking, this means that your water heater has developed a significant rust problem inside the tank. Not only does this provide you with unclean, discolored water, but a rusted water heater tank is liable to crack and leak at any moment. You’ll want to replace it as soon as possible.

Loud Noises

While it’s normal to hear your water heater make a little noise when it turns on, the amount of sound you hear from this appliance should be minimal. Something is wrong if you hear loud knocking noises or gurgling sounds. A buildup of sediment in the tank often causes these noises. Sediment buildup may be fixable by flushing the tank, but if it’s progressed to the point where you’re hearing those tapping sounds, you’ll likely be better off just replacing the entire unit.

Short Supply

Nobody likes being the last one at home to shower and discovering that all of the hot water is gone. While this can occasionally occur without any concerns, if it’s a persistent problem, then you may want to consider replacing the water heater. It’s possible that the size of your tank just isn’t sufficient for your family’s hot water usage, in which case you’ll want to upgrade to a larger model or a tankless water heater that heats the water on demand so you never run out.

If this short supply of hot water is a new problem for your home, the water heater may have developed significant sediment buildup in the base of the tank. As minerals settle to the bottom, they form a hard layer, which can grow and thicken over time and gradually reduce the size of the tank. This layer also makes it more difficult for the heating elements to heat up the water inside the tank, further impacting your ability to get enough hot water for your home. Again, while flushing can sometimes fix issues with sediment buildup, the significant buildup is best dealt with by replacing the entire water heater.

Water Heater Replacement Sacramento CA

Leaking Tank

If you find water around your water heater, it’s important to address the problem quickly. In some cases, the leak may be caused by a loose component that can simply be tightened. However, if the tank itself has developed a leak, then replacing the water heater is the only option. It’s possible for a leaking tank to continue supplying your home with hot water, so it’s important to inspect your water heater regularly for signs of leaking so you can avoid water damage in your home.

If you need a water heater replacement in Sacramento, CA, contact Bullseye Leak Detection today to schedule an appointment with one of our plumbing professionals. We’ll help you select the right water heater and get it installed quickly so you can get the hot water flowing in your home again.