Just like with any home appliance, your water heater will require some maintenance from time to time. There are some things you may notice that signals the water heater is in need of repair. Here are some things to watch out for:

Problems with the Temperature

Over time, you may have to adjust the temperature of your water heater so it does not get too warm. This is typically based on preference. If you begin to notice that the water is not heating as well or as quickly, and you did not adjust the temperature yourself, there is likely a problem with your water heater's thermostat. This could result in water that is too hot to deal with or water that does not get hot enough. If the water is too hot, there could be a problem that does not allow the thermostat to turn off automatically. If the water is too cold, the heating element is likely broken.

Strange Noises

You do not generally hear any noise from a properly functioning water heater. If you begin to hear bangs, knocks, or other sounds, it is time to have it checked. The noise could be due to a build up of sediment at the bottom of the tank. The noise is actually the burning away of the sediment. A tank flush will fix the problem. If the sediment is not the cause of the noise, it could be due to the heating element burning out.

Repair or Replace

If you have any of these problems, you can repair the water heater. However, there are some issues that will require a replacement. If the water heater is damaging your water quality, you should consider replacing it. The water heater's age can also be a reason to replace it. If the tank is decades old and makes noises, you should consider replacing it. The tank is not only not working, but it also is contributing to a higher electricity bill.  

If your water heater is leaking, keep in mind the difficulty it is to fix. The cost of a repair is often the same as a new system. In most cases, it is easier to replace the damaged water heater than trying to repair it.

If you notice anything strange with your water heater, you need to have it checked right away. When problems are found early, they are often easier to deal with.