Know the signs it is time to replace your water heater before the cold shower

You probably only think about your water heater when you are in the middle shampooing your hair and suddenly – BRRR! No hot water! A failing hot water heater is an inconvenience to your family you don’t handle until it’s too late.

Don’t get caught with the suds in your hair. If your propane hot water heater shows any of these signs, plan on getting it replaced.

1. No hot water

The most obvious and inconvenient sign you need a new hot water heater is no hot water. If you do not have any hot water, first check to make sure your pilot light is lit. If your pilot light went out or circuit breaker tripped, re-lighting usually fixes the problem. Otherwise, it might mean your hot water heater has reached the end of its days.

An earlier sign of a failing water heater include inconsistent water temperatures or an increase in the time it takes for your water heater to regenerate between uses.

2. Rusty, muddy, or sandy water coming from faucet

Discolored water coming from your faucets is likely the cause of a rusty anode or sediment build up in your water heater.

Rusty water is caused by a rusty anode. The anode is a sacrificial rod that purposely corrodes instead of the steel inside the tank, helping protect the life of your water heater. Before replacing your water heater, try replacing the anode.

If you find sediment coming out of your faucets, your first course of action should be to flush your water heater to eliminate this build up.

If the discoloration continues, the bad news is your water heater is probably finished.

3. Banging, creaking, noise coming from water heater

Water heaters should not sound like they are trying out for a third-rate garage band. Rumbling or knocking coming from your water heater is usually caused by sediment build up coming in contact with the heating element. Your water heater is burning the sediment away.

Like with discolored water, your first step is to flush the tank.

4. Leaking – puddle forming around unit

Take immediate action if you find a puddle forming around your hot water tank. Leaking hot water tanks can flood your home and cause serious damage.

Unfortunately, there is no easy fix for a leaking hot water heater. Replacement is the only option.

5. More than 10-15 years old

Hot water heaters have a 10-20 year average life span. If your water heater is experiencing any of these problems and is over 10 years old, it is a strong sign it is nearing the end of its life.

Choose weather a propane or gas water heater is better for you

If it’s time to replace your water heater, learn which will be the most efficient system for your home

Qualify for a tax credit

If you replace a non-solar water heater with a more efficient unit that meets energy regulations, you can qualify for a tax credit. Learn more on how to file.