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Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Tank Water Heater

Rusted water in faucet.

7 Signs that You Need to Replace Your Tank Water Heater

It’s no secret that a tank water heater is a major appliance in your home. We rely on them for hot showers, washing dishes, and laundry. But just like any other appliance, it will eventually reach the end of its lifespan and need to be replaced.

Knowing when to replace your tank water heater is key to avoiding unexpected plumbing problems and repair costs. Here are seven signs you should look out for when deciding if it’s time to replace your tank water heater.

No Hot Water

The obvious sign that something is wrong with your tank water heater is if there is no hot water from the faucet or shower head. This could result from a pilot light issue, but if you’ve checked all of the troubleshooting steps and nothing has worked, you may need to consider replacing the unit altogether.


If you notice that there is an accumulation of water near where your tank water heater is located, then this could be an indication that there is a leak somewhere in the system. Leaks can range from minor issues, such as loose connections or faulty valves, to more severe ones, such as a tank's crack or pipe's corrosion. In either case, it’s best to have a professional take a look and determine what needs replacing before any further damage can occur.

Old Age

Over time, tanks will corrode, and the components inside will wear down due to age and regular use. The average lifespan of a tank water heater is around 10-15 years, depending on how often it’s used and how well-maintained it is. If yours has been around for more than ten years and you notice any signs like leaks or discoloration in your hot water, it may be time for an upgrade sooner rather than later.

Strange Smells and Discoloration

Suppose you notice strange odors from your hot water taps or discoloration (such as rust) when running hot water through them. In that case, this could indicate build-up inside of the tank itself due to mineral deposits over time or corrosive elements getting into the system. Either way, replacing your unit would ensure that these issues don’t become more serious.

High Energy Bills

As tanks age, they become less efficient at heating hot water because their insulation wears down over time. This means they require more energy input than usual, which can cause higher monthly energy bills if addressed slowly. We suggest upgrading to an energy-efficient model to help save money long term by reducing energy costs associated with running an older model unit on top of mitigating any potential repair costs from fixing one.

Inconsistent Temperatures

If you constantly have to adjust the temperature knob on your tank for hot water to come out or, even worse, notice huge swings in temperatures (from scalding hot one second to cold the next), chances are something isn’t right inside your unit. This is a sign it might be time for a replacement.

Rumbling/Banging Noises Coming From the Unit

Tank units are generally very quiet when running normally. Still, if you hear strange rumbling noises from your unit, it could indicate sediment buildup. Sediment buildup can eventually lead to performance issues and potentially dangerous conditions for your home’s plumbing system. If this occurs, don't hesitate to call a professional plumber.

Water Heater Replacement Services in Saskatoon

Replacing your old tank water heater doesn’t have to be stressful – especially when armed with knowledge about what signs may signify that it’s ready for retirement. Looking out for common indicators and relying on our team at Centennial Plumbing, Heating & Electrical to keep your unit safe and functional year-round will help reduce the chance of costly repairs or replacements down the line.

Remember – prevention and maintenance go hand-in-hand, so contact us at (306) 500-7392 if anything unusual arises.