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When Does My Water Heater Need to Be Replaced?

3 min read • September 1st, 2016

Heil Plumbing

A hot water heater is an essential part of any modern home: from bathing to cooking, it plays a vital role in your life. To have a disruption in your flow of hot water can cause discomfort and inconvenience. So when your water heater starts to let you down, what are your next steps? Let’s discuss your options:

Water Heater Repair

The first thing you should check is whether or not your water heater can return to its usual performance through simple repairs. Common signs that you need repairs include:

  • No longer producing enough hot water: Have you noticed your hot water going lukewarm or the temperature fluctuating? Sometimes all it takes to fix this problem is adjusting the temperature dial on the front of the water heater, and other times, a professional plumber may need to diagnose the issue.
  • Noise coming from your water heater: As water heaters age, sediment and minerals begin to build on the bottom of the tank. This sediment eventually hardens, and causes rumbling and banging when the water heaters heats up. It can cause inefficiency and damage, and should be looked into as soon as it is noticed.
  • Using your water heater trips the circuit breaker in your home: Unfortunately, simply turning the breaker back on after this occurs does nothing to fix the problem: it will just treat the symptom of your issue. Because this problem involves water and electricity, it’s best to have a professional investigate the problem, rather than doing it yourself.

Water Heater Replacement

Sometimes simply repairing your water heater may not be your best option. If you have to repeatedly repair your water heater, another repair may be like putting a Band-Aid on a broken bone: it won’t solve the underlying issue, and you’ll still have a problem to fix. Or, repairing your water heater might not be the most cost-effective thing you can do. Depending on your unit’s age or condition, replacing your water heater, rather than repairing it, may save you money in the long run.

Here are a few signs you may need to replace your water heater:

  • Your hot water heater is leaking: Have you noticed moisture surrounding your unit? You might have a fracture in your tank. If your water heater is leaking, it should be replaced immediately.
  • Your current unit is more than 12 years old: If your hot water heater is more than 12 years old, you’re at the point when the unit is expected to decrease in efficiency or fail.
  • Rust spots on the tank: There are parts inside of your water heater called sacrificial anodes that protect it from rusting, but they get worn down over time. If you have a water softener, this process is likely to happen even faster. If your tank starts to rust, they are past the point of no return, and replacing the anode will no longer be beneficial.
  • Discolored water Discolored water on the hot side might mean the inside of your tank is completely corroded.

Does your water heater match any of these descriptions? If so, you should call a professional plumber to come to your home, inspect your system, diagnose your issues, and recommend a solution.

Why Choose Heil

  • Years In Business
  • Customers Helped
  • Service

The Heil Difference

We’re dedicated to offering the highest quality residential and commercial plumbing services for every customer. Our plumbers are available to respond to your call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Our residential and commercial plumbers in Columbia and Ellicott City cover every need, from simple fixture repairs to complex drain and sewer problems.

While we are based in Jessup, Maryland, our plumbing contractors also service Catonsville, Columbia, Ellicott City, Odenton, Clarksville, Elkridge, Fulton, Laurel, and Severn.


Heil Plumbing Team

8177 Mission Rd Jessup, MD, 20794, United States

(410) 799-7727

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