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An average water heater’s lifespan is 8-12 years. It’s always important to keep an eye on your water heater and perform regular maintenance, but it becomes even more important to pay attention as your water heater nears the end of its lifespan. If you can catch a problem with your water heater before it completely fails, you can save yourself money and potential headaches. You don’t want to have to go without hot water until a plumbing company is available to fit you into the schedule, and no one likes to pay after-hours or weekend fees when a plumbing problem becomes a plumbing emergency. By keeping an eye on your water heater and knowing when you may be nearing the end of its lifespan, you can potentially stay ahead of the game. If your water heater is acting up before it goes out, pay attention!

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If you notice any of the following 5 signs of a failing water heater, consider contacting a plumber ASAP:

Inconsistent water temperatures or water that gets warm but not hot

This is the most common sign that your water heater may need to be replaced. This can be due to minerals and sediment building up and causing your water heater to not be able to heat to the capacity that it was built to.

Strange Noises

If you hear a popping, rumbling, or crackling sound, you should not ignore it. This is also caused by sediment build up. Basically, those noises are the sound of this sediment “cooking” when the water heater is doing its job and heating the water. The best way to prolong the life of your water heater and prevent this sediment build up is to do yearly flushes and maintenance. our water heate

Rusty or dirty looking water

Rusty or dirty looking water in your showers and sinks can be due to the water heater rusting on the inside. As you can imagine, this is not a good sign. Any discolored water should prompt you to call a plumber to take a look at your water heater.

Water with a metallic scent or metallic taste

If the water coming out of your faucets, showers, and/or appliances starts to have a metallic taste or smell, you should start thinking about evaluating your water heater. As with other issues listed above, this can be caused by the sediment and mineral build up that is often the culprit of a failing water heater.

Water leaking around the water heater

If you notice water is leaking from the bottom of your water heater, or notice it pooling on the floor, this means that the water heater is losing the water that it is supposed to be heating. This can happen slowly over time or abruptly, but if you notice it at all, it’s time to call a plumber.


If you are experiencing any of these issues, don’t panic just yet. There are other reasons for some of these plumbing symptoms especially if your water heater is not yet nearing the end of its lifespan. At Plumb Doctor, we have the experienced and knowledgeable plumbers that are able to diagnose the issue that you are experiencing and discuss your options. If you would like a plumber to evaluate your water heater, fill out the form below or contact us at 317-306-9343.