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Is It Time For A New Hot Water Heater?

How does a homeowner know it’s time for a new water heater? Do they hear strange noises? Notice an odd smell? Are they losing hot water, or worse- no hot water at all? While choosing a water heater can be an excellent upgrade for any home, knowing when to do so is just as important. In this article, expert plumbers share some main reasons why it may be time for a new hot water heater: 

Is The Water Heater Old?

Water heaters have a life expectancy of around 8-10 years. In many cases, as the unit reaches the end of its lifespan, it can be more susceptible to repair issues. Additionally, if a homeowner’s utility costs are on the rise or the unit struggles to produce enough hot water, old age is likely a factor. 

Before this time is up, the water heater should be replaced by a professional. When a hot water heater reaches its expiration date, or even before, it could start showing signs such as leaking, noises, rusting, and more. 

Is There Rusty Water?

colored water

If a homeowner notices rusty water or water that smells metallic, there is rust somewhere between the water heater and the faucet. It could mean rusty lines, a rusty heater, and more. 

  • Rusty Water: When rust starts coming from the faucet when a homeowner uses their hot water, it could mean that some part of the water heater is rusty. Older heaters will rust. It can happen in any hot water heater, even those that aren’t set to expire. 
  • Rusty Inlet/Valve: It’s possible that the water inlet or pressure relief valve may be a rusty spot. If this is the case, it also means that rust is forming inside of the tank itself. The only option for this is to hire a professional to take care of the water heater installation. 
  • Rusting Pipes: If a homeowner notices that their water is coming out rusty, this could mean that the pipes themselves are rusty. If they have galvanized pipes, the rust will come with age. It can become such a problem that it begins to be noticeable in sinks and tubs. 

The only way to tell if it's from the pipes or heater is to drain several buckets of water from the tank. If the water continues to come out rusty by the third bucket, the rust is coming from the tank and not the pipes. This also means the tank needs to be replaced. 

Is There A Leak In The Tank?

A water heater leak is nothing to mess around with. As the water heater nears the end of its life, there is an increased chance of leaking. The leak could create property damage if it's serious and not taken care of right away. 


One of the primary causes of the leaks is due to the metal tank expanding. These can occur over time as the tank is exposed to thousands of heating cycles. A fracture then happens, but it may be small at first, small enough to allow water to stay in it. However, when the metal expands as the water heats, the crack will expand, allowing water to get through. Guess what this means? It’s time for a hot water heater replacement. 

About Shamrock Plumbing and Drain Cleaning Inc. 

Shamrock Plumbing and Drain Cleaning Inc. is an Orlando-based company that offers its customers complete satisfaction. They provide free estimates on select services, offer 24/7 emergency response, and never charge overtime. They specialize in plumbing, repiping, drain cleaning, and water heater installation across the Orlando area.

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