There are times when a water heater is busted, and there are times when it is dead and in need of immediate replacement. How can you tell apart the two?

Over the lifespan of a typical water heater, there are a number of issues that you can expect to deal with. Some of these issues can be sorted by simple maintenance while others will require limited or extensive repairs. However, there will come a time when the best option is to replace the water heater. Knowing when this time comes will keep you from wasting your money on repairs.

Reduction in Performance

As with any machine, you expect that your water heater will be at its best when it's still relatively new. This means that it should be heating up the water in a very short time and getting the water to a very high temperature.

However, the performance of water heaters decreases with time. At some point, the water heater will be taking far too long to heat the water, or the water may not be getting as hot as it used to be. This usually indicates that the heating element is dying. At this point, either major repairs or complete replacement of the system will be necessary.


The presence of rust inside your water heater is a very bad sign. When your water heater is rusting from the inside out, you should be seriously considering replacing it. Once the inside of the water heater starts to rust, any repairs made might just be delaying the inevitable.

However, before you rush to assume the worst, check if the rust appears in both your hot and cold water. If this is the case, the rust might be in the pipes in your house.


A leaking water heater is a serious problem. You can tell that your water is heating if you find a pool of water near the tank. Unfortunately, there's not much to be done if the tank of your water heater is leaking. This type of leak indicates that the tank is fractured and there is no easy fix for this.

If the leak is coming from a visible crack, it's probably time to give your heater a break. A fractured water heater tank can cause a lot of damage if it's not replaced immediately. This is also why it's recommended that rusty tanks be replaced since a rusty tank can easily start leaking.

For more information, contact your local water heater repair services.