Is It Time to Replace Your Old Water Heater?

Is It Time to Replace Your Old Water Heater?

Are you constantly running out of hot water or experiencing increased utility bills? It might be time to take a closer look at your home’s water heater. In this article, we’ll explore the signs that indicate it’s time for a water heater replacement and discuss the benefits of upgrading to a more energy-efficient model.

If you’re ready to have your old water heater replaced and live in the Chicago area, click here for professional plumbers to get the job done right.

Nevertheless, let’s get into the signs that it’s time to replace your old unit.

Your Water Heater Has Aged

One of the most critical factors to consider when determining if it’s time to replace your old water heater is its age. Most traditional tank-style water heaters have a lifespan of 8-12 years, while tankless models tend to last around 20 years.

It’s essential for homeowners in the US to know the age of their unit by checking the manufacturing date on the sticker, usually found near the top or bottom of the tank.

Rust or Corrosion

Rust or corrosion on your water heater can be a serious indicator of trouble. As your water heater ages, it becomes more susceptible to rust, especially if you live in an area with hard water.

Rust can begin to develop on the outside of the tank and eventually eat through to form leaks. If left unaddressed, these leaks could lead to flooding or even property damage.

One way to check for rust is by examining the tank’s exterior surface carefully.

Replacing an old unit suffering from intense rusting will not only ensure consistent supply but also prevent unnecessary expenses that may come up due to structural damages like flooding.

Leaks or Puddles Around the Tank

Another sign that may indicate it’s time to replace your old water heater is the presence of leaks or puddles around the tank. These can occur due to rust, corrosion, wear and tear, or internal damage like cracks in the tank.

Not only can this cause water damage to your home and property, but it also means that your water heater is no longer operating efficiently and effectively. If you notice any leaks or puddles around the tank, it’s important to address them immediately by calling a professional plumber or HVAC technician.

Choosing A New Water Heater

When choosing a new water heater, consider the type (tank or tankless), size based on household needs, energy efficiency ratings, and cost.

Consider Type, Size, Energy Efficiency, And Cost

When it’s time to replace your old water heater, you’ll need to consider a few important factors when choosing a new one. The type of water heater you choose will depend on whether you want a traditional tank-style or a tankless model.

Hot Water Buying Guide: Size, Costs, & Types - This Old House

Tankless options are known for their energy efficiency and compact size, but they can be more expensive upfront.

Size is another crucial factor to consider. Your household’s hot water usage will determine the appropriate size of your new water heater.

Energy efficiency is also vital because it can have an impact on both the environment and your wallet. Look for models with high Energy Factor (EF) ratings that indicate better fuel utilization and lower operating costs over time.


Replacing your old water heater may seem like a daunting task, but it can provide numerous benefits in the long run. If you notice any signs of rust, corrosion, leaks or erratic performance from your current unit, it might be time to replace it.

Upgrading to an energy-efficient model not only reduces utility costs but also ensures a consistent hot water supply. Consider factors such as size and cost when choosing a new water heater that suits your needs best.