Water damage from a broken or leaky water heater can be expensive and may not be covered by your insurance. Regular maintenance may help prevent a broken or leaky water heater. You may be able to do it yourself, or you can hire a plumber. For info on hiring a plumber, visit the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners’ website.
5 Signs Your Water Heater May Break
Age of your water heater. Hot water heaters typically last 8 to 12 years. If you have an older unit that keeps going out, it may be time to replace it. If you don’t know how old your water heater is, look for a label with an installation date on the unit. If you can’t find one, research online the manufacturer and serial number to determine the age.
Water leaking from the unit. If you notice water leaking from your water heater or pooling under it, the unit may be broken and needs to be replaced. It is also possible that the valves are not fully closed, or the connections are loose. These components may need to be tightened or replaced, which are easy fixes.
Inconsistent water temperature/pressure. If you run out of hot water quickly in the shower and/or have noticed low water pressure, you may have sediment buildup in your tank. Sediment buildup leaves less space for hot water, which is why you run out of hot water faster. The sediment can be flushed out of your system if there isn’t too much buildup.
Strange sounds coming from your water heater. If your water heater is making unusual noises, such as hissing, popping, banging, or rumbling, it is a sign something is wrong and needs to be addressed as soon as possible.
Discolored water coming out of faucets. Rust-colored water is often a sign your water heater is failing and may need to be replaced. Water heater tanks have a coating that slows corrosion, but once that thins, you may start to see rust in your water.
Water Heater Maintenance Tips
- Inspect around and under the tank for any water. Use a flashlight to look closely at the floor and surrounding walls for any signs of dampness.
- Regularly check and tighten any loose fittings.
- Your unit needs to be drained, filled, flushed, and inspected regularly.
- Keep the area around your water heater clear for easy access and to avoid fire and other safety hazards.
- Insulate your pipes to increase overall efficiency and help prevent frozen pipes in the winter.