When Should You Replace Your Water Heater?

February 27, 2023
Posted in: Homeowner Tips

Is your water heater giving you trouble and leaving you with cold running water when you need it? Whether you have a tank water heater or a tankless water heater, once they are past a certain age, they may start becoming unreliable. In this article we will share with you some tell-tale signs that it is time for you to install a new water heater.

1. Ageing Water Heater System

Usually, most tank water heaters last around 10 years, while on-demand or tankless water heaters have a lifespan of around 20 years on average. This is assuming that you have maintained the water heaters properly. If you do not remember when you have replaced or bought your water heater, you can easily check the date of manufacture on the label.

2. Too Many Repairs

When you find your water heater having frequent breakdowns, you will know clearly that another water heater repair will only drain your finances. This means it is time to finally replace your water heater system. Newer models are more efficient and energy saving!

3. High Utility Bills

Another sign that it is time to replace your water heater is if you consistently notice high water bills, even if you have the same number of people living in the house and no additional water usage to justify the high utility bills. With a new water heater replacement, you can reduce your utility bills as the newer models are more energy efficient.

4. Inadequate Water Heater Size

If you have an old water heater system that worked for you decades ago, it might not have the capacity to meet increased demand in recent times. For instance, more people in the family mean greater demand. Other factors also dictate what size of water heater you require, such as, how often your family uses water systems and appliances like showers, dishwashers, washing machines, and so on.

5. Rusty Water Heater

When water meets any form of metal, the chance of rusting is likely. However, most water heaters are manufactured to be rust resistant for several years with proper maintenance. So, when you have a rusted water heater, such as rust on the water heater body itself or water inlet and pressure relief valve, then it is time to get a replacement. If you leave it for too long, the water can damage your home from leaks.

6. Water Heater Noises

Ageing water heaters can make worrisome noises when turned on such as rumbling or popping sounds. The source of the sounds can be leakage in the water heater system or build-up of sediment at the bottom of the tank. It might be possible to resolve these issues with water heater repair if detected early. Otherwise, if left for too long, you might need to get a new water heater.

7. Leaking Water Heater

If you notice your water heater is leaking, it can be troublesome. However, not all water heater leaks require replacement. Some water heater leaks are due to faulty hot and cold water connections, or improper pressure or temperature in the pipe can be fixed with minor repairs. The worst-case scenario is when the water tank itself is leaking or damaged due to sediment build up and corrosion. At this stage, it is recommended that you invest in a new water heater system.

8. The Hot Water Is Not Hot Enough

Whether you have an electric, gas, or tankless water heater, over time you might notice that your hot water from the water heater is not getting hot enough. Sometimes an easy fix such as adjusting the thermostat temperature on the water heater can solve the problem. Other factors such as a damaged gas valve, broken dip tube, damaged internal heating element, or sediment build up at the bottom of the tank, pose more serious problems and will require you to contact professional help. Sometimes, you might not receive enough hot water because the size is not adequate to meet your household requirements, in which case, getting a new water heater is the right move.

9. Rusty Water Colour

If you notice rusty brownish discoloration of the hot water, it could be an indication of internal rusting of the water tank. You need to find the cause of the discoloration. For example, run cold water to see if it releases clear water. If it is rusty, then you most likely will require a water heater replacement as it indicates internal rusting of the water heater.

10. Smelly Water

A common odour problem of water heaters is a rotten eggs smell when you run the hot water. The smell is due to development of bacteria when water is left for too long in the tank. You can get rid of the smell by cleaning the tank thoroughly and flushing it. A corroded anode rod can also cause the smell in which case you will need to get it replaced by a professional. However, if your water heater tank is very old, then cleaning and replacing might only fix the issue temporarily and it will be more cost effective if you replace the entire tank.

Get uninterrupted hot water for your home

Whether it is winter or not, hot water is an essential requirement in Canadian households. For an uninterrupted hot water supply in your home, contact Taunton Trades at 905-493-4227 or email for water heater repair and replacement services in GTA and Durham. We can also help you if you are thinking of switching over to a new tankless or on-demand water heater.


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