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What are Signs that Your Water Heater is Going Out?

You take hot water for granted – until you realize you don’t have it anymore. Fortunately, water heaters do not just stop working abruptly even after being repaired. They give signs and warnings that you notice before it stops working. 

Identifying these signs is crucial to any individual who doesn’t want to use cold water during the harsh winter weather or cold mornings. You can avoid the discomfort, the cost of unprecedented breakdowns, and the damage of leakages if you take note of these signs. So, what are the signs that your hot water is going out? Let’s look at the signs in this article.


When you notice leakages from your water heaters, that is a sign that the heater is going out. If you see water dripping from the pipes, tank, or just pooling under the unit, something is going wrong. 

Sometimes, this happens because the connections are loose, the valves are not closing correctly, or the components require some tightening or replacement. However, if the tank leaks, you must replace the water heater.

Don’t wait until the last minute when you can avoid leakages or floods by simply giving them the proper maintenance.

Hot Water Finishing Quickly

If you have lots of sediments in your water or do not flush the water heater periodically, those sediments can build over time. The accumulated particles build up and leave less space for hot water, thereby finishing too quickly. 

This is a clear indication that your water heater is going out. If the situation prolongs for a long time without fixing it, the sediments become impossible to flush out, thereby leaving you with corroded or clogged valves. The solution, then, is to replace the unit. 

Rusty Water

Rusty or discolored water from your faucet is another sign that your water heater is failing. A water heater consists of a coating that slows down corrosion but wears out over time. Once the coating starts to thin, the rust becomes more prominent. 

Rusty water is an excellent sign that your hot water is going out. Although it may not harm your health, it could damage the appliances. Besides, it won’t taste good as well. If it is a mild problem, you may consider replacing the anode rods to extend the unit’s life. Also, you have to flush the unit consistently to prevent rust from building up. 


The age of the water heater also determines if it isn’t going out. If your unit is old, it may not function as it should. That is why you should always check the water heater installation date on the label to know whether it is an old unit. 

You should check the unit’s brand name and serial number to find the date online if the label is missing. This prevents you from buying an old water heater that will become problematic for you. You can follow this diagnostic article to check on your water heater.


Various signs occur before your hot water eventually goes out or even explodes. Take note of these signs to prevent unnecessary costs and keep your hot water running.


Master plumber and owner of Butler Plumbing Inc.

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