Every day we rely on our hot water heater.  When we turn on the hot water spigot, we expect hot water to flow generously from the tap.  However, one day, you could find yourself without any hot water because your hot water tank failed. Thankfully, there are signs that you could be facing a problem.  You can avoid the disruption and damage that this could bring. Here are three signs that your hot water heater is failing:

Age of the water heater

It’s important to know the age of your water tank. You can find the age by looking for the serial number on the manufacturer’s stick which is on the upper portion of the water heater. It contains the date that your system was manufactured. The date is not a traditional date but are normally written like this:Water Heater Maintenance

FO5102638. In this example, F is for the month and F is the sixth letter in the alphabet, so it represents the sixth month, June. Next, the first two digits of the serial number are 05, which represents the year, 2005. This water heater was made in June 2005. Each manufacturer has a similar date code but they do vary. You can check the manufacturer’s web site for more information.

We recommend replacing hot water heaters that are more than 10 years old. If yours is in a location that will not cause damage if there’s a leak, you can wait until one develops. However, if it could cause damage, you should consider replacing it after 10 years.

Rumbling sounds and other noises

As a water heater ages, sediment will build up on the bottom of the tank.  As the sediment is heated and reheated, it eventually will harden.

When this happens, you can often hear rumbling or banging sounds coming from the water heater as it is heating up. This is a sign that the water heater is at the end of its useful life.

The layer of hardened sediment means:

  • Less efficiency — the heater will have to use more gas or electricity to heat the water.
  • More damage — the extra time spent heating the water will cause more wear on the metal tank and lead to more brittle metal that can crack and develop tiny holes.

If you begin to hear any type of noise coming from your tank, give us a call, and one of our expert technicians can come out and do a thorough inspection for you.

Lack of hot water:

It goes without saying that a lack of hot water is certainly an indicator that there is a problem with your hot water heater. That doesn’t mean it needs to be replaced, it may need to be repaired. Lack of hot water, low pressure, or higher heating bills are all indicators that there’s an issue.

Being without hot water is never pleasant. Understanding the three signs that your hot water heater is failing can help eliminate the disruption it could cause to your business, or your home.