The worst start to any day? Waking up on a cold winter morning, tired, not wanting to go to work and jumping in the shower only to find out there’s no hot water.

There’s not a good time for your water heater to fail, but water heater failure during the winter is probably as bad as it gets. Aside from losing the luxury of having a way to warm up, you become even more exposed to freezing pipes on top of losing water for washing dishes and clothes.

Sometimes water heater failure happens without warning, and there isn’t much you can do about it. However, if you keep your eyes and ears peeled throughout the year, you may be able to spot telltale signs that your water heater is about to kick the bucket.

Spotting failure before it’s too late gives you the chance to have repairs done or swap it out for a new one before you are greeted with a rude awakening.

If you notice any of these signs, it may be time to call your plumber.

Water Heater Too Old

Although it may vary slightly from unit to unit, your typical water heater has a lifespan of anywhere between 8 to 12 years. As it starts getting up in age, the water heater may start to wear out, stop working properly or begin to deteriorate (which may cause it to exhibit some of the signs below).

If your water heater is 10-plus years old, you may want to start considering looking for a replacement, especially if your current water heater has exhibited spotty hot water or other issues.

Rusty Water in Your Home

If you’ve noticed a high amount of rusty or hard water coming from your tap, typically this is an issue with your water softener and should be the first thing that gets checked. However, if you’ve determined your water softener is ship-shape, rusty or hard water could result from water heater issues as well.

Water heaters use an anode rod to prevent the inside of the water heater from deteriorating and rusting. However, if the rod is corroded or damaged itself, it may not be able to keep protecting the inside of your water heater anymore and cause rusty water to come through. This is a major health issue and needs to be addressed immediately.

Water Heater Making Strange Noises

Have you noticed your water heater making new, peculiar noises like rattling, scrapping or thumping? This could be a sign of damage to your water heater as parts begin to wear out. A part wearing out can be an easy or quick enough fix, but it could be a sign of something worse.

If the noise is coming from inside your tank, this could be caused by deterioration within the tank producing debris that is being shaken and spun around. This debris can cause additional damage and should be dealt with as soon as possible.

Water Heater is Leaking

If you begin noticing excess moisture or water around your water heater tank this could be a sign of a leak. With overuse and age, cracks can form on the body of the tank and the surrounding plumbing.

If left unattended, this leak can expand and ultimately be the cause of expensive and devastating flooding and water damage (yes, a water heater does have the capability of causing a flood!). So, a crack or leak is definitely cause for a call to your plumber.

If your water heater appears to be on its last legs, call Mishler Plumbing! We can give your water heater a check-up and see if all you need a simple repair or an entirely new unit. Call (317) 858-3089 today.