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Is Your Water Heater on its Way Out? Here are the Top 5 Signs to Look for

Minerals in your water heater build up over time and can cause the internal parts to corrode, resulting in less efficiency and poor function. Age is a factor, as well. In general, water heaters last about 10 to 15 years. If your water heater is over 10 years old and showing any of these signs, it is probably time to think seriously about replacement.

Poor water quality

Take a close look at the water that comes out of the hot faucet. A rusty color indicates an impending failure of your water heater. Examine the water in tank by attaching a hose to the drainage bib of the water heater and draining the tank. If the water that comes out is muddy or contains a lot of sediment this could indicate that the unit needs to be replaced.

Similarly, water that has a metallic taste indicates a problem with the water heater.


Some noises are normal as the water heater kicks on and begins working. If, however, you begin to notice loud pops or cracks, these are caused by the heating elements inside the water heater interacting with the scale and mineral deposits that have built up on them.


Leaks are a serious sign that your water heater has an internal failure and requires immediate action. If you notice water leaking where there weren’t leaks before, turn off the gas or disconnect the electricity to the unit right away. Call your HVAC professional for assistance. Be sure to let the water cool down before attempting to remove the water heater.

Check the power

If your water heater isn’t working, it could be the power rather than the heater itself. Check to make sure the pilot light is lit and there are no circuit breakers tripped.


Once a year, schedule a water heater flush to alleviate excessive mineral buildup and have the pressure relief valve checked to make sure it is working. Regular maintenance can help you avoid having your water heater go out unexpectedly.

If you are having issues with your water heater, contact IAQ for a free assessment. We have over 40 years experience and are water heater experts throughout the Denver Metro area.

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