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4 Signs Your Hot Water Heater Might Die

Shower head spraying water

Think about how good it feels to take a steamy, warm shower: it’s peaceful, relaxing, and probably the best part of the morning. Now imagine that when you step into your shower, the water is as cold as an ice storm. Not so peaceful or relaxing now, huh? In fact, it might ruin your day.

Your hot water heater dying could turn that nightmare into a chilly reality.

Doing more than just keeping your showers balmy, hot water heaters, as the name implies, heat all of the water used in your home. Losing one, means a total shutdown of your household  What’s worse, sometimes when one bites the dust, it does damage caused by gallons of leaking water.

If a water heater death sneaks up on you, you’re going to need a lot more than a plumber.

The hard-working and under-appreciated appliance has an average lifespan of 10 years, so if your hot water heater is coming near that milestone, it’s important to know the most common warning signs to watch out for. If your water heater hasn’t yet approached that milestone and you experience one or many of these telltale signs, beware.

Change in performance

If you find yourself longing for how it used to be with your hot water heater, that’s a sign it might be dying. As with many appliances, deterioration of performance indicates the end is coming or major maintenance is at the very least required. This includes water taking longer to heat fully or water not being able to get as hot as before. Reduced effectiveness is often either the result of sediment laying in the bottom of the tank or a problem with the heating element.

Man in front of broken down car

Don’t let your water heater strand you either



Rust appearing in your hot water is a possible sign that the trusty hot water heater is rusting from the inside out and needs to be replaced ASAP. If the rust appears in the cold water along with the hot water, the blame lies with the house’s pipes being rusty rather than the water heater. In either case, if you discover rust polluting your house’s water, calling Ben Franklin Plumbing should be your next step.


Loud banging or rumbling noises are another warning sign to keep in mind. If all of a sudden, it sounds like your water heater is haunted, call someone (Ben Franklin Plumbing not the Ghostbusters) to give it a look. Dried, built up sediment or valves shutting off without warning are the two most common causes of noise coming from the water heater. Both indicate that it needs some assistance. The trouble with this issue is that, it’s not your fault. Such malfunctions did not occur through misuse but from the normal operation of an appliance doing a tough job.

Water Leakage

Water leaking from the hot water heater and pooling underneath is not just a warning sign but a guarantee of trouble. This primarily occurs as the result of a fracture in the tank of the water heater itself. This problem has the potential to cause massive damage from the leaked water and can be challenging to clean up. If you notice water leaking from a crack in your hot water heater, it’s time to let the old fella’ retire and call Ben Franklin Plumbing.

Any of these four signs warrant giving us a call. Keep your showers steamy and your mind clear of hot water heater worries. If you have a concern about the health of your water heater, we want to hear from you.

Contact Us to handle your hot water heater and all of your plumbing needs.