Unless you are one of the few people in the world who enjoys taking cold showers, it’s important to stay on top of the operation of your water heater. Regular checks and inspections will allow you or a plumber in Utah to spot some of the telltale signs that your water heater is at risk for failure so you can get it repaired or replaced before it fails entirely.

1: Your Water Heater is Old

Water heaters will not run indefinitely, and the older they get, the more likely you will have a potential problem. An average water heater will last for about 10 to 15 years, perhaps a little longer if you have been inspecting and repairing it as parts wear out. If you didn’t put your water heater in, you can find out how old it is by checking the serial number on the manufacturing sticker (usually around the upper part of the water heater). Date codes can vary by manufacturer. Check their respective website to find out how to read the sticker.

If your water heater is more than 10 years old, a leak or water heater failure could cause significant damage from flooding. Call a plumber today to find out if you should replace it.

2: You See Rust-Colored Water

When you see rusty water coming from the hot water side of your faucet, this is a sign that the interior of a water heater tank is rusting. That can be an early sign of a leak and should be checked immediately. It’s important to note that if you have galvanized pipes in your home the rust could also come from there, but having both checked by a plumber is a prudent way to avoid a burst pipe or a leaky water heater tank.

3: It’s Making Strange Noises

Older water heaters will have a layer of sediment that has built up over time. As it settles to the bottom of the tank and hardens, it will begin to make noise that can be an indicator of an aging tank. A tank with a layer of sediment will not run as efficiently, so you’ll need to use more energy to heat the water, and that causes more wear and tear on the tank.

4: You Spot a Leak

It should probably go without saying, but a leaking water heater is an obvious sign of a problem. In some cases, you may only notice small amounts of water from tiny fractures in the tank. Left unrepaired these things can lead to larger leaks and eventually a flood in your water heater storage area. There are some situations where the leaking water is coming from fittings, connections, or pipes that lead to and from the water heater, so call a plumber to make sure you fix the right leaks or to find out if it’s beyond repair.

Routine maintenance and a quick inspection from a professional Utah plumber can help you avoid a major flood or other water heater disaster and several cold showers while you wait to get it replaced. Call a plumber today if you notice any signs of water heater damage in your home.