6 Ways on How to Tell Your Water Heater is About to Break

6 Ways on How to Tell Your Water Heater is About to Break 11 Sep

When you are not an HVAC professional, it is not always easy to know when your water heater is tired or worn out. Additionally, although it is an essential part of your plumbing, the water heater is often relegated to the basement or in a closet, where you usually don’t see it. Therefore you don’t think about it much until it’s too late.

How Do I Know When it’s Time to Replace My Water Heater?

  • Because it’s consuming too much?
  • Is it not heating up enough?
  • Or that it’s over ten years old?
  • And how do you know if you need to change your water heater?

Today, we put together an easy introductory article that will show you the sure signs that tell you that your water heater is about to stop working.


First of all, you need to keep in mind the life expectancy of your water heater. This varies according to the model, the brand, and especially the quality of manufacture. Is there a warranty offered by the manufacturer? If so, how long does it cover? Check the warranty period for both the tank and the thermostat. A lower quality device will often be guaranteed for less time.

Some water heaters last for ten years, 15 years, or even more. Many factors come into play, such as the mineral content of the water. If you would like to know when your device was built, look at the plate affixed to it.

Signs of Aging

The symptoms of aging are invariably the same: if you notice the appearance of rust spots on the bottom of your tank or if the water changes color, it may mean that there is rust inside a tank.

Another warning sign is that the water is not as hot anymore or that the hot water runs out faster than before. This often means that one of the elements of your water heater is damaged or no longer working. A buildup of sediment or a burnt component can cause this problem.

How Do you Know When a Water Heater is About to Break?

Certain signs do not lie. Some people will notice that the water is colder or that the hot water runs out more quickly than before. In the case of a water heater, this could happen if there is an excessive sediment buildup at the bottom of the unit.

Check the Water Temperature

Just in case you notice that your water temperature is colder than before, this might be an indication that your water heater is working poorly.

Less Hot Water

If you used to have enough hot water to fill your tub and today, you ran out of hot water, the time has come to repair your water heater. If you feel that the temperature of the water differs each time you use hot water – it’s a sure sign that you need to check your water heater.

Rust is at the Bottom of the Water Heater

If you see rust, it is an indication that there is presumably a crack. This is because there might be just a small break, and it can amass there (more often than not, rust shows up at the base of your water heater). It would better to replace your water heater before a crack shows up. The water will soon go through the crack, which will create a leak.

Watercolour change

Water that is less clear than usual may indicate the presence of rust in the water heater tank. The water takes on a slight yellow, orange or even brown color. For example, the water in your glass seems cloudier than usual. It means that you need to change your equipment as soon as possible and don’t risk your health

Install your water heater in a location that will minimize damage. The best place is on tiles or directly on the concrete, for example, in a garage or laundry room with a draining floor. Be on the lookout for rust: rust not only serves as a reliable indicator of aging but also alerts you to the possibility of a leak.

Most water heaters do not require maintenance, especially electric water heaters, but a combustion water heater needs to be checked regularly, once every one or two years, for example.

Annual maintenance for water heaters is recommended in areas where the water is very abrasive, which causes rust to appear very quickly. You will then realize if there are residues at the bottom of your water heater.

Contact Smile HVAC

Finally, to protect your water heater from premature aging, it is crucial to be careful during the installation phase. Installing your water heater yourself requires excellent DIY skills. If you are not sure of your plumbing skills, it is better to call Smile HVAC, who will respect the electrical and plumbing standards in Ontario and offer you the best service and customer care in the GTA region.

Generally speaking, as long as the water is flowing and it’s hot enough, you don’t have to worry. If this is no longer the case, a small repair can do the trick at least temporarily. If that is still not enough, then it is time to consider replacing your water heater with a new one.