Signs Your Water Heater is Failing



Hey everyone,

This week I want to talk about water heaters and how you can tell when the dreaded day is coming when that bad boy finally gives out on you. Im hoping to follow this post up with my thoughts on renting vs buying a water heater.

Nobody budgets for it, nobody plans for it, but its gonna happen. No hwt is meant to last forever and will need to be replaced eventually. Predicting failure isn’t always the easiest thing to do but there are certain occurrences that are the most common signals when water heater end of days is nearing.


We are no longer in the days where you can expect your tank to give you at least ten years before experiencing problems. Now water heater manufacturers mainly give 6-7 years replacement warranty on leaking tanks. So theres a little clue on how long they expect their own product to last. In today’s market ten years is getting to be considered old age for water heaters. Knowing the age of your hwt is key in preparing for replacement.

Bang’n and Clang’n

Your water heater may even try telling you its having trouble. Over time sediment collects and builds up over time inside the tank. This isn’t good. As the sediment hardens it causes the hwt to work harder than its designed to. It can lead to rapid expansion of the tank itself which you will notice with a banging from your tank. Air pockets can also build up from this sediment and loud pops will be heard when its operating.

Low Heat

This is a big one especially for tankless heaters, but if you notice that the water just isn’t hot enough anymore or you find the water goes cold a lot quicker than it use to, you may be experiencing the heating element or burner wearing out. This isn’t the worse repair to need done and wont break your wallet but it does lend to letting a homeowner know their tank could be next.

Drips and Drops

A sign a lot of homeowners don’t catch onto is when the leak from their tank “is only a little bit”. A leak whether its a drip or drop is not good. This indicates your tank is rusting away allowing water to leak out. If the water is seen at the top of the tank from the inlet or outlet you still have a chance to repair and extend the life of the unit. But if the leak is from the bottom….. so long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, good night!

If there is anything that is going to help a homeowner extend the life of their water heater its regular maintenance. Regularly flushing the tank and replacing the anode rod when needed helps keep sediment from building up and eating away at the tank. (Is this where I mention C Mac Regina can do this for you, hassle free?)

On a different note C Mac Regina has recently been without one of its mainstays of the past four years. Barn Cat Bryan is off at his last year of school for the next two months. I originally met Bryan near the tail end of my first C Mac tenure in 2013. He was a guy who was hired somewhat green to plumbing from what I can remember but he has definitely kept expanding on his skills while I was away. When I came back to the ‘Mac at the end of June last year Bryan was handling a lot of our service and working on finals (thats all the delicate stuff). When asked, Bryan was successfully able to transition to roughing in our new builds (thats the bread and butter). Bryan has one of my favourite traits, he shows up. Day in day out, you can count on Bryan to be on time ready to work. Bryan does top notch work and when he says somethings wrapped up, you don’t often have to go back to double check. While he’s away I know everyone at C Mac Regina is pulling for Bryan and wishing him good luck in wrapping up his apprenticeship and getting that J-card.

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