Is it Time to Get Your Water Heater Replaced?


(Almost) everyone enjoys a hot shower. Learn how to spot possible problems with your water heater and decide whether or not it needs a repair or a replacement.

Hot water makes it easy to wash away grease, oils, dirt, and bacteria on kitchenware, clothes, and our bodies. Plus few can deny the simple joy of a hot shower or bath. You may notice, though, that the water in your sink or shower just isn’t getting as hot as it used to, or maybe it feels like it’s taking forever to get to the desired temperature. 

Sometimes issues with your hot water can be fixed with some maintenance and repair work, but there comes a time when a water heater replacement is the best option to fix the problem once and for all. 

Here are some things to look for and consider when deciding whether or not it’s time to replace the water heater in your home.

Water Heater Replacement Warning Signs

When deciding if your water heater should get repaired or replaced entirely, keep the following factors in mind:

  • Age: Water heaters between 15 and 20 years old, even if they function properly, are at a greater risk of failure. It’s best to replace them before they break rather than sink money on repairs.
  • Water bills significantly increased: One of the surest signs that your water heater may require attention is a sudden jump in how much you’re paying on your water bill if your consumption hasn’t also increased. While the problem may not always be the result of damages to your hot water heater—leaks somewhere else in your home’s plumbing system could also be a culprit—a higher bill than expected is still a reason to go inspect your water heater for any possible problems. A hot water heater specialist will be able to diagnose the source of the issue and recommend either a repair or a replacement.
  • Rust in the water: Rusty water comes from rusting pipes in either your water heater or the wider plumbing system in your home. No matter the source, we recommend inspecting both your water heater and the pipes in your home and replacing any rusted pipes as soon as possible to prevent leaks and bursts.
  • Leaks: If you notice puddles of water around your water heater, these may be the result of fractures, in which case a replacement is required. However, loose fittings may cause puddles as well, and in these instances, a tightening or repair may be all that’s necessary.
  • A drop in water pressure: So many different factors can cause a reduction in hot water pressure and flow, but sometimes, it can be caused by buildup or a faulty component in your water heater. We recommend speaking with a professional to find the problem and work with you to find the ideal solution.
  • Water temperature fluctuates: Water temperature fluctuation is a similar principle to reduced pressure. Depending on the issue, a repair or a replacement could be the ideal solution, and a professional knows the difference.
  • Strange sounds: Multiple causes could lead to your water heater making strange (and often loud) sounds, with the most disconcerting being a broken heating element or the burning of sediment buildup. In the case of the latter, you’ll need to drain the tank to get all the residue out. If the noises continue, contact a specialist for a diagnosis and next steps.
  • The water comes out with strange smells and colors: Situations with smelly or discolored water result from one of three scenarios: either issues with the water supply itself, issues with your overall plumbing system, or issues with the water heater. An easy way to tell what’s making your water smelly and discolored is by investigating when the odorous or strange-hued water comes out. If the water heater is to blame, the problem will only present itself when hot water is flowing. In these instances, drain the tank until the water returns to normal and contact a specialist if it doesn’t. On the other hand, water supply damage will impact both hot and cold water. Make sure to contact your local waterworks department and they should be able to provide information on how to move forward safely.
  • Not enough hot water throughout the day: If you notice that hot water seems less available as the day wears on, you may want to upgrade to a larger water heater or even a tankless water heater that heats water as it passes through it. Upgrading to a tankless water heater is especially useful for larger families who tend to use a lot of hot water throughout the day.

Fixing your water heater can’t wait because of its critical role in ensuring safe, clean water for your home. In the event one or more of these problems present themselves and you are unable to fix them yourself, our Des Moines water heater experts at Service Legends are available to take care of everything from diagnostics to repairs to the installation of replacements.

Keep Up with Recalls

Before committing to purchasing a new water heater, we recommend checking to see if your current water heater has been subject to recalls. If you’re looking at replacing your water heater, it’s a good idea to conduct thorough research both before and after committing to a purchase.

Keep the information of your current water heater and/or any water heater you end up buying on hand and conduct regular checks to ensure they aren’t popping up on any of the following resources:

Recalls waste time and money, depending on how much of a payout the manufacturer ultimately sends you. Sometimes they’re unavoidable since recalls may be issued after you make an informed decision on which water heater to purchase. Doing your research before committing to a large expenditure like a water heater reduces your chances of losing valuable resources to a recall.

Service Legends: Your Des Moines Water Heater Specialists

We don’t want you to worry about grimy dishes and cold showers. At Service Legends, our Des Moines water heater experts are available to assist you with any questions you might have about problems with your water system. Whether that means giving you some pointers, making diagnoses, repairing a broken water heater, or installing a brand new one, we’re here for you. Contact us to get started today!

515-657-6634Request Appointment Online

Related Content