Sometimes, people wait to replace appliances and mechanical systems until there is a complete failure and they have no choice. When it comes to necessities and the finer things in life, coffee makers and water heaters are two such appliances that you don't want to have completely fail before you replace them. Being forced to do without a water heater until a replacement can be made can quite literally make your skin crawl with goosebumps. Instead of waiting until there is a complete failure, learn the warning signs that a failure is imminent and you should replace your water heater.
A lot of noise coming from your water heater tank is a red flag that time for a replacement may be nearing. Sound from inside the tank could be from the build-up of sediment in the bottom of the tank or the sound of air pressure being released through a fissure. If there's a crack or opening in the tank, the tank could be at risk of rupturing entirely, which would cause your home to flood. A plumber can diagnose the ailment of the water heater by listening to the noise it makes when it's operating.
If the hot water has an odor to it, that is also a sign that the water heater may be in danger of bacteria growth inside the water heater. While there are treatments that could remedy the odor, there's always a risk of it returning at some point, so it's a good idea to replace the water heater.
If your water heater tank or any of the fixtures or components of it leaks, such as the pressure release valve, you'll want to replace the water heater as soon as possible. Don't attempt to patch up the leaks as a way to get more life out of your water heater. The potential for water damage in your home isn't worth the risk of putting a bandage on the tank instead of replacing it.
If the hot water is dirty or cloudy, this is also a sign that you should consider replacing your water heater sooner rather than later. Dirty or cloudy water from the water heater can be a warning sign that the lining of the water heater may be corroding, which could lead to a rupture of the tank and a flood in your home.
If you didn't notice the acrostic to help you remember these tips, the first letter in each subtitle spells out the reason to replace a water heater before complete failure: COLD water.