Weber County
Brigham City
Salt Lake


Because most hot water heaters are installed out of sight to eliminate a potential eyesore, the hidden location may also keep this appliance well out of your mind until a problem arises.

Fortunately, most hot water heater failures can be anticipated before they occur if homeowners know what to look for and when to call in a professional. In this blog, we list four signs that you should consider hot water heater replacement.

1. Advanced Age

All appliances have a set life expectancy and your hot water heater is no different. The majority of hot water heaters last approximately 10 years, though some models can last as long as 15 with proper maintenance. You can look up your unit type or check your owner's manual for an estimated replacement interval.

If you did not purchase your current water heater or don't remember when you purchased it, check the serial number for a date, or have an appliance expert inspect the unit to determine if age factors into your heater's performance.

If you find a serial number, this number indicates the manufacturing date of the unit and therefore the heater's age. Hot water heater serial numbers consist of a letter and a series of numbers.

For example, your serial number could be A123456789. The letter correlates to a month. In this example, "A" would be January because it's the first month, while "B" would be February, and so on. The first two numbers after the letter are the last two digits of the year so our hypothetical heater would have been manufacturer in 2012.

2. Altered Hot Water Capacity

Any time the heat level or hot water amount produced by your hot water heater changes, you should consider this a serious issue. These changes can have numerous causes. For example, if a heating element fails, your water won't be as hot, while if sediment builds up in your heater, the tank can't hold as much water.

Some of these issues can be resolved through repairs or cleaning, like a sediment flush. However, if the issue occurs suddenly, this problem is a likely indicator of hot water heater failure.

3. Corroded Connections

While hot water heaters are designed to be in constant contact with water, these appliances can sometimes develop corrosion as they age. While a plumber can replace a few small corroded components, widespread corrosion, especially rust, can mean your heater's lifespan is over.

Corrosion can occur internally or externally. If the corrosion happens to the outside of the heater, you may notice red-brown spots on the heater or pipes, especially near flow-control valves, pipe joints, and other connection spots where water is more likely to seep out over time. Any visible leaks also point to corrosion even if you don't see rusty holes.

While you won't see internal rust when you visually inspect your hot water heater, this corrosion can have a distinct effect on the quality of your home's hot water, which we'll outline in the next section.

4. Unpleasant Hot Water Characteristics

As hot water heaters fail, the quality of the treated water that runs through the heater is reduced. This decreasing water quality can manifest in the smell, taste, or appearance of the water. Usually, hot water that smells and/or tastes off will begin to seem metallic.

This change can come from corrosion within the hot water tank or a hard-water issue in your water supply that has damaged the heater over time. When hard water is the cause of changes to your hot water, adding a water softener to your plumbing may prevent similar problems in the future but might not be enough to save your current heater.

When your hot water changes appearance, it may turn from clear to rusty brown as it runs or may come out of your tap with sand particles in it. The rusty issue is obviously related to corrosion and may come with metallic smell and taste changes as well.

Sediment in your water typically results from dirt and organic debris particle buildup in the tank. If you notice sediment issues, have your hot water heater assessed as soon as possible. As with lower amounts of hot water as we discussed in section two, flushing the tank can sometimes resolve the issue and prolong the life of your heater.

If you notice any of the warning signs listed above, schedule a hot water heater inspection as soon as possible. Proactive replacement can eliminate the hassle and additional expenses that occur when water heaters fail unexpectedly.

As you consider your options for this investment, consult with a knowledgeable appliance expert. This professional can help you decide on a new hot water heater that can save you money and provide the best performance for your household size and water usage habits.

For comprehensive appliance services, trust the experienced team at Dick Kearsley Service Center.


520 S State, Clearfield, UT 84015

[email protected]

Hours Of Operation:

Mon-Fri: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

Saturday: 8:00 am - 4:00 pm

Sunday: Closed

Find Us On:


Davis/Morgan: 801-773-4836

Weber County: 801-393-1265

Brigham City: 435-553-4556

Salt Lake: 801-292-1636


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