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Signs That Your Water Heater’s Days Are Numbered

Most traditional water heaters have a life span of between 10 and 15 years. But there is no guarantee that your water heater will live to that ripe old age. If you have not been diligent about the annual maintenance and service of the unit over the years, you are likely to get a shockingly cold shower before receiving a decade of service. So now your question is simple, what are the signs to be looking for to tell me that my water heater is about to fail?


If your water heater sounds more like a microwave preparing popcorn, then its life expectancy is short. One of the most essential services for a water heater is annually draining the holding tank and flushing out the mineral buildup coating the bottom of the tank. The popping sound is the result of the minerals flash heating and turning to steam. But don’t think that this means your water heater is about to explode. The actual damage is being done to the heating element as it is overworked. In addition, there is a pressure relief valve that bleeds off excess pressure so the tank will never explode.


If you notice a small puddle around your water heater that looks like it had an “accident,” there could be a few serious problems brewing. The best case is that the pressure relief valve did its job and let out a little water pressure. The moisture should dry quickly and not reappear on a regular basis. But if the puddle is always there, you could be looking at a leak around the water heater tank base. When the tank is not flushed regularly, the minerals can corrode the inside of the tank and create a small hole that leaks onto the floor. In this case, the outcome is not so good for you or the water heater. Your only option is to call a trusted plumber and have the unit replaced. There is no safe way to repair or patch a leak in the wall of a water heater holding tank.


None of these options sound desirable for the water that you will be bathing in or drinking. And again, these are all signs that the mineral buildup inside your water heaters holding tank is about to take it out of commission. And not only have the minerals contaminated your hot water, but there also could be nasty bacteria lurking in the tank as well. The best option is to call a licensed plumber to inspect the tank and determine if the damage is too extensive or if a good flush and tank cleaning will prolong your water heater’s life.


It only makes sense to consider a repair to your water heater rather than the substantial investment needed for a new unit. And in many cases, a licensed plumber can make a repair that will extend the life of your water heater. Once an evaluation is completed, your plumber can provide you with the cost of the necessary repair and the price of a new unit.

If your water heater is only a few years old, the repair is often your best choice. But a unit that is ten years old or nearing the decade mark it should probably be replaced. There is no reason to invest money in a unit that is close to the end of its life expectancy unless you have no other option or can’t afford a new one.


Residents have been turning to Gordon AC & Plumbing for years when they need repairs or a replacement for their water heater. Our factory-trained licensed plumbers have the expertise to locate the problem and provide you with cost-effective solutions. And all of our repairs and installations are backed by a complete warranty and our customer satisfaction guarantee. Call (318) 202-9144 24/7 to speak to a team member. We offer immediate emergency service and same-day appointments, so you never need to suffer through a day with no hot water.