Your water heater is an imperative part of your home's function and family's life. From showering and washing clothes to running the dishwasher each day, the need for this important appliance is easy to see. Unfortunately, most homeowners do not put much effort into understanding their water heater. Considering the average lifespan of a traditional water heater is 10 years, you will most likely need to replace the appliance at one point. With this guide, you will learn the early warning signs that your water heater is about to fail.


Every type of machine or appliance will make some noise while running, but a loud, rumbling noise coming from your water heater is most likely a cause for concern.

Over time, dirt, debris, and other sediments will build up on the bottom of your water heater. This sediment will heat up and harden during normal operation. This process is a noisy one, causing your water heater to rumble and bang while heating up.

If your water heater is making these loud rumbling noises and banging, the appliance is probably at the end of its life.


Water around your water heater is most likely stemming from a crack or fracture. Even a small amount of moisture around the appliance could mean your water heater is leaking.

When the water heater starts heating, the exterior metal will heat and contract. If the metal is already old and weak, the contraction will cause water to seep out of the water heater. This moisture can affect the floors and walls around your water heater, causing expensive and overwhelming water damage to your home.

Repairing the cracks and fractures is not worth the cost, so consider replacing your water heater if you notice leaks.

Rusty Water

Check the hot water supply for signs of rust. If the water looks or smells rusty, it may be due to corrosion inside the tank. If your home's plumbing uses galvanized pipes, rust is a common problem. 

To check for rusty water, empty hot water from the water heater into a large bucket. If the water appears rusty, dump the bucket and refill again. If the water is rusty after filling 3 to 4 buckets, the interior of your water heater is beginning to corrode and you need to replace it.

Understanding the signs of a failing water heater is smart for your home and your family. If you are noticing one or more of the above signs, it is time to invest in a new water heater. For more information, contact local professionals like Towers Murray Plumbing.