What are the signs your hot water heater is going out?

House Covered With Snow

If it’s all dressed up and heading for the door then it seems likely that your water heater is going out. However, in the real world water heaters don’t have legs and don’t generally vacate a room without a little help.

But, they can be heading out and it’s worth knowing what the signs are to help you be prepared. If you do think your water heater is on the way out you should contact your local Canberra hot water and plumbing experts, they’ll be able to help you resolve the issue or replace the water heater.

Discolored Water

If the water coming from your hot water heater is a rusty color or appears to be gritty then your water heater is suffering from corrosion. Most water heaters have anodes in them, this corrodes so that the tank doesn’t. However, once the anode has corroded the tank will start to corrode. At this point the inner material will shed into the water, giving you gritty and discolored water.

It’s time to replace your water heater.

Smells Funny

You may not sniff your water on a regular basis but, if you suddenly notice an aroma when pouring a glass of water, then you’ve discovered that your tank may have corrosion. It can also affect the taste of the water, making it metallic while smelling like rotten eggs.

Catching this now is a good thing because it’s likely to be the start of tank corrosion. You should be able to replace the tank anode with a new one and this will save the tank.

Heater Age

The simple fact is that a water heater is an appliance and all appliances wear out over time. In this instance, it can take approximately 15 years for a water heater to reach the end of its life. Of course, this is affected by how well it’s cared for and how hard a life it’s had. But, if your water heater is old you need to be aware that it may need to be replaced.

Hot Water Not Coming Through Properly

If everyone in your house has had a shower and there is no hot water left then your heater simply isn’t big enough. However, if there isn’t enough hot water at any other time then there’s a good chance you have sediment build-up at the bottom of your tank. This is stopping the hot water heater from working properly.

The good news is that flushing the system may clear the sediment and give you a few more years of life. If that doesn’t work you’ll need to replace the hot water heater.


If your water heater is making noises that it doesn’t usually make then you may have an issue with air in the pipes, air in the tank, or air trapped under the sediment that is building up. Again, you’ll need to try flushing the system before you commit to replacing the water heater.

Image by JamesDeMers from Pixabay


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