How to Find Out if Your Water Heater is on the Verge of a Breakdown

Any plumber will tell you that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Rather than waiting for an issue to become worse, you should make it a point to check your plumbing system regularly just to avoid any emergency later on, which is likely to be more expensive to fix than the original problem.


When it comes to your water heater, for instance, there are certain signs you can look out for in order to see if it is still functioning properly or is on the verge of failing. And, needless to say, having a water heater breakdown is not something that anyone would want to have, even for just a few hours.


Finding out if your water heater is on the verge of a breakdown


The age of your water heater


The age of your water heater will give you a good indication of whether or not it is about to have an issue or fail altogether. You can find out your water heater’s age by checking its serial number, which you can see on the manufacturer’s sticker.


In most cases, if your water heater is more than a decade old, you should consider replacing it. You can always wait until your water heater develops a leak (as long as it is not in an area which could cause damage when it springs a leak), but, as you can imagine, this is not recommended by plumbing specialists like BBS (find out more about their services at Before the situation becomes any worse, it is in your best interest to have a decade-old water heater replaced.


Rumbling, banging, and gurgling noises


When a water heater has been used for some time, it will acquire a layer of sediment on the tank’s bottom. Eventually, this sediment has a tendency to harden as it is heated continuously. If you hear any banging, gurgling, or rumbling from your water heater as the water heats up, this could be a sign of hardened sediment. If your water heater has too much hardened sediment, it will be less efficient, using up more electricity or gas to heat your water. In addition, a layer of hardened sediment on the bottom of your water heater’s tank could also lead to more wear and tear on the tank, which can result in brittleness and the development of tiny cracks and holes.


Rust in the water


Another sign that your water heater is on the verge of failing is rusty water. If there is any rust in the water from your home’s hot water pipework, then this can point to an even bigger issue and may be a sign that your water heater will begin to have a leak. However, if your piping system is galvanised, this may also be the cause of rusty water. What you can do to test this is to drain a number of hot water buckets from your heater. If the water still shows signs of rust by the 4th bucket, then this could be a sign that your water heater – and not your galvanized pipework – is to blame.


Knowing more about your water heater’s capability and features can help you determine if it is still in excellent working condition or needs a maintenance check. And when you do find any cause for concern, make sure you choose a good plumber or plumbing service. If you live in London, look for plumbers in London who have a good record and the proper licensing and accreditations.



Image attributed to Mister GC/




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