Like all appliances and parts of the home, hot water systems age and begin to break down. Even with regular maintenance and repair, your water heater will need to be replaced at some point. Many of us take our hot water for granted. Reality certainly hits home though when the system breaks down and you’re shivering in a freezing cold shower.

Before it gets to this point, there are definitely some warning signs that your hot water system is on its way out. Let’s take a look at the red flags of a failing water heater.


How old is your hot water system?

When we’re questioning if it’s time to replace the home’s hot water system, age is a big factor to consider. Many well installed and built systems can last anywhere from 15-20 years. That’s a lot of hot showers and loads of laundry. Hot water is a resource we use on the daily, so the system is bound to succumb to wear and tear over time. For people moving into older homes, it’s a good idea to check out the water system and find out when it was installed. Houses that were built 20-30 years ago and just sold on the market may have hot water systems that haven’t been properly maintained or updated over the years. Rather than getting caught out when it’s too late and the hot water system has completely stopped working, make the move to a new system to avoid the hassle.


Struggling to get hot water?

A big indicator it’s time to update your system is when the volume of hot water has dropped. Perhaps you’re noticing your usually hot showers are running just lukewarm, or even cold? Any decline in the amount of hot water you have access to is a sign to call your local plumber and get some advice. A lack of hot water could mean a broken electric thermostat or failing heating element.


Rust and corrosion

Typically, corrosion is an issue found in very old hot water systems. When corrosion has started to form in your system, it cannot be repaired. The damage has been done and the only answer is a new heating system. When the water coming from your taps is showing a reddish tint it’s a clear sign that the inside of the hot water tank is lined in rust. Fortunately, the threat of rust and corrosion can be eliminated with a new tankless hot water system. They’re a great replacement for older tanks at the end of their life.


Is your hot water system leaking?

An obvious sign that it’s time to update your system is the presence of leaks. If you’re noticing that you are getting less hot water from your system, or there is water pooling around the tank, it’s a clear indicator that there is a leak. Unfortunately, leaks from a hot water system are usually caused by an internal problem and are unable to be repaired.


What should I choose to replace my current hot water system?

There are pros and cons to the different types of hot water systems available on today’s market. When shopping for a new hot water system it’s important to evaluate your home’s hot water usage and needs. On demand, tankless hot water systems are great energy efficient option. They are proven to last longer and have lower operating costs. The downside is their initial set up cost. The system itself can be a bit pricey in comparison to a conventional, tank system.