5 Signs Your Water Heater is Breaking (And What to Do About It!)

5 Signs Your Water Heater is Breaking (And What to Do About It!)

Water heater systems are one of the most important appliances in our homes, but also one of the most overlooked – until the hot water is no longer functioning properly, or worse, gone. Keeping your water heater system running efficiently through regular maintenance is always the best bet to ensure functionality, safety, and to save you money over time as the cost of a new unit can range anywhere from $150-$4000. But there comes a time in every homeowner’s life when a replacement is the only option. Here are five signs that your water heater is failing and will need the attention of a professional like Rapid-Rooter:

1. Age

As with any appliance, there is no specific lifespan for a water heater system. Some of them burn out quickly, while there are several in the world living decades-long lives through regular maintenance and luck. However, 10 years is the typical age limit for a water heater, and it is recommended by professionals to replace them every decade or so.

2. Rusty or Cloudy Water

If your hot water begins to turn a cloudy or rust color, or even change in taste to something more metallic, your water heater could have a leak within its internal heating system or pipes and should be examined immediately to avoid potentially contaminating any potable water. There is a chance that the problem could be coming from the pipes in your home, rather than the water heater. A good way to check this before replacement is to flush several gallons from your system – if by the fifth gallon your water is still discolored, the problem lies within the water heater itself.

3. Sediment Buildup

Over time, sediment buildup inside your water heater can lead to several issues such as improper functionality of internal components, or limited space for water to be heated. This sediment hardens at the bottom of your tank and when heating up can crack and rumble, alerting you to problems within. Additionally, sediment buildup causes your system to use more energy to heat the water, and therefore more wear and tear on your machine to produce that extra energy.

4. Leaks

As the water in the water heater system is heated it causes expansion of the tank, pipes and other internal mechanisms, which can lead to cracks. If all of your connections to and from the water heater are intact, you most likely have a hidden crack hiding somewhere and should contact a professional to examine your system.

5. Hot Water Shortage

One of the signs many homeowners notice first is the lack of hot water in their home. In addition to heating element malfunctions, sediment buildup is another culprit of hot water that doesn’t last long enough or takes too long to arrive at your faucets. More and more sediment buildup inside of your water heater system means less and less space for water to be heated and sent to your kitchen and bathrooms.


In addition to cost, there are a few troubles a faulty water heater system can pose. Home deterioration is a main concern, with leaking systems causing water damage to floors and sub-structures, rusty pipes leading to potentially harmful drinking water, or in a rare, worst-case scenario, explosion due to internal pressure.


If you are interested in purchasing a new water heater system, be sure to first consider the number of appliances you have in your home that require water, and the number of people living in your home the water heater system will supply. The best and most affordable way to repair or replace a water heater system is by calling Rapid-Rooter. Call 877-202-6874 for your free estimate or schedule your service online today and a representative will be in touch shortly.