August 12, 2016 • In Plumbing • 3 Min Read

6 Signs Your Water Heater is About to Call it Quits

Haller Enterprises

By Haller Enterprises

We bet you dedicate at least 30 minutes a day thinking about your water heater, right? Wrong—at least we hope that you have more important things to think about. Most of us never give a second thought to our water heater until we turn on the shower or sink and, behold, no hot water. The truth is, hot water heater problems typically occur long before the unit actually fails.

Here are a few telltale signs that indicate your hot water heater is not working properly and likely requires service.

Poor Water Quality

You can tell a lot about your water heater’s performance just by inspecting your hot water as it comes out of the faucet. Minerals, sediment and other debris can collect in the bottom of your water heater’s tank over time. This will often produce rusty, muddy-looking water. You may also notice an unpleasant odor, or that your water has a metallic taste.


Leakage is one of the more common water heater problems. If you notice a puddle of standing water around your water heater, you should probably look into replacing the tank as soon as possible. Depending on the source of the leak, a leaking water heater could indicate an internal failure of the unit that requires immediate attention. Otherwise, you face the risk of flooding that could cause extensive damage to your home.

Inconsistent Temperature

Do you seem to have trouble controlling the temperature of your hot water? Does the temperature suddenly go from hot to cold, even though you haven’t touched the faucet handle? Inconsistent hot water temperature is another potential sign of a hot water heater going out.

In some cases, you may be able to rectify the issue by adjusting the water heater’s settings. If this doesn’t work, it’s probably time for a water heater repair or upgrade.

Water Takes Forever to Heat Up

If it seems to take ages for your water to get hot, it could indicate an issue with the thermostat or heating element. This may also indicate an accumulation of sediment in the tank. If replacing the thermostat or heating element, or flushing the tank doesn’t solve the problem, it may be time to replace the unit.

Things That Go Bump in the Night: Your Water Heater

It is not unusual for a water heater to make some noise, especially when the burner unit is activating to heat the water. However, there are certain sounds you should look out for, such as creaking, rattling, banging, knocking or whining that could indicate possible signs of trouble. Flushing out the tank can remove the sediment that may be causing the noise, but if this doesn’t work, you may need to replace the heating element.


Unlike wine, water heaters don’t tend to get better with age. As with any mechanical device, even a high-quality, well-maintained water heater will not last forever. While an older water heater may not necessarily exhibit signs of trouble, it does pose a greater risk of a problem, or even a total failure.

The normal lifespan of most water heaters is 10-15 years. If your unit is within this age range or older, upgrading to a new unit can serve as a cost-effective, preemptive step that can avoid a major repair bill down the road. Plus, the greater efficiency provided by a new water heater will likely lower your energy bills—we can see the dollar signs in your eyes already.

How do you know if your water heater is broken?

Call the professionals at Haller!

The best way to know for sure if your water heater is in peak working condition is to contact the professionals at Haller Enterprises. Our trained technicians can quickly diagnose most common water heater problems and perform expert repairs or install a new water heater if needed. Contact us to learn more about our water heater services today!

Ready To Talk To A Haller Home Services Specialist?

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