Are you a fan of ice-cold showers? No? Then you should know most water heaters last a maximum of 12 years, and once yours starts approaching the end of its life, it’ll let you know. But unless you’re aware of the signs of a failing water heater, you might not recognize there’s even an issue until it’s too late and you’re stuck without hot water.

How can you tell if you’re on the verge of needing a water heater replacement? Read on to find out.

Your “Hot” Water Is Actually Lukewarm

If your shower takes a long time to heat up or it never quite heats up all the way, that may be a sign you’re due for a new water heater. But before you call a plumber to handle the problem, check the thermostat setting on your unit to make sure it’s set to a high enough temperature. If it is, and you’re still not getting enough hot water, it’s time to schedule a water heater replacement.

The Water Heater Makes Knocking or Rumbling Noises

If your water heater makes a racket, it’s time to replace the unit. Most commonly, failing water heaters produce knocking, popping, creaking, or rumbling noises due to excessive sediment buildup inside the tank. When pockets of air get trapped in the sediment layer, they cause audible noises as the water heats.

You Notice Leaking Water

Have you noticed signs of moisture around the bottom of your water heater? If you don’t have any other plumbed appliances nearby, that moisture is a strong indication of a leaking tank, which you need to address immediately. Contact a plumber to schedule a prompt inspection and water heater replacement unless you’re fine with having water-damaged floors.

The Pressure Relief Valve is Faulty

If the temperature and pressure relief (TPR) valve on your water heater is going bad, it’ll either leak or not allow water to flow through when you test it. When the TPR valve isn’t working properly, it can allow the water inside the tank to heat to the point of boiling. In a worst-case scenario, that boiling water can produce so much steam that it may cause the unit to explode.

To avoid this scenario — and the extensive property damage it will inevitably cause — contact a plumber immediately if you think your TPR valve is going bad. A pro can determine if repairs are possible, and if not, you’ll have to schedule a water heater replacement.

Your Hot Water Looks Cloudy

If your water heater is producing anything but translucent water, you’ve got a problem on your hands. The same idea applies if you notice a metallic scent when you take a shower or a mineral-like taste in your tap water. What’s going on?

As your water heater ages, naturally occurring mineral sediment builds up on the bottom of the tank. When the unit is reaching the end of its life, that sediment may escape from the tank along with the water. While cloudy water itself isn’t a huge problem, the minerals causing the cloud are.

The buildup can become so significant that it prevents the unit’s heating element from properly heating the water. If you don’t get a water heater replacement, eventually, all those minerals flowing through your pipes can damage your plumbing system and plumbed appliances.

Schedule Water Heater Replacement in Wisconsin Rapids

Think your water heater is going bad? Don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team at Steve’s Plumbing & Heating! We’ll perform a comprehensive inspection, let you know what’s going on, and recommend whether water heater replacement or repair is your best option for long-term performance. Since 1985, we’ve proudly served Central Wisconsin homeowners, and all of our plumbers are fully licensed, bonded, and insured.

To get started or learn more about how we can help you, give us a call today at 715-421-1800 or request an estimate online, and we’ll be in touch!