Four Signs Your Water Heater Is On The Verge Of Failure

You don't want to get caught without hot water on a cold winter day -- or even in the middle of summer. Unfortunately, a lot of homeowners do not realize there is anything going on with their water heater until they turn on the hot water tap and nothing comes out. This does not have to be the case for you! The signs of impending water heater failure are subtle, but if you keep your eyes open you may notice them so you can get your heater serviced before it fails completely.

1. Rattling Noises

Venture into the basement and listen to the noises the hot water heater makes when someone else turns on the hot water in the home. If there is a rattling noise in the bottom of the hot water heater, this means that sediment has collected inside the appliance. (Minerals settle out of the water over time.) Rattling does not necessarily mean the hot water heater will fail immediately, but the sediment can lead to failure eventually. Have a hot water heater service company come drain the tank and remove the sediment before it gets any worse.

2. Leaks

A little bit of water on the basement floor may not seem like a big deal. It is the basement, after all! But it's not the small amount of water that's the problem -- it's the large gush of water that will come flowing forth if the leak gets any larger. Some leaks are able to be repaired, especially if you just have a leaky valve; however, if there is a tiny hole in the actual tank, the tank may need to be replaced.

3. Intermittently Cold Water

Does the water seem nice and warm sometimes, but on the cool side at other times? If you're confident that you have not just used up all of the hot water in the tank, this issue could be due to a faulty thermostat. The tank may soon stop heating altogether if you do not have the thermostat replaced. 

4. Rusty Water

If there is rust in both your hot and cold water, then you have a problem with your pipes, not the hot water heater. However, if there is only rust in the hot water, then you can bet it is coming from the hot water tank. Make sure you have the tank repaired or replaced before a hole appears in the rusty area.

For more information about having your water heater serviced, visit sites like