Is Your Water Heater About to Fail?


Running water faucet.
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Learn the signs that your storage tank hot water system is nearing the end of its life.

You don’t think much about your water heater until there’s a problem. Like a cold shower or, worse, a leak. A little knowledge about the longevity of water heaters, as well as the sights and sounds that tip you off to a problem, can go a long way toward avoiding stress and water damage.

Water heater life expectancy
Most tank system water heaters have a life expectancy of 8-12 years. Often, if you pay close attention, you’ll see that something is wrong before the water heater completely fails.

Here are some important warning signs that your storage tank hot water heater may be nearing its end:

  • hot water supply runs out more quickly while showering
  • leaks or puddles around the hot water heater tank
  • knocking noises
  • rusty or cloudy water

A new water heater will save energy
Water heaters are one of the top users of energy in every home. New models are more efficient than older versions, which means they can save homeowners big money. The estimated savings for a family of four using an Energy Star certified, high efficiency electric storage is $3,400 over the lifetime of the water heater.

Consider alternative water heating options
Those who wait to replace their water heater when it fails usually choose the same type of system they had before to quickly restore their supply of hot water. Planning ahead can allow you time to consider more energy efficient alternatives like point-of-use, heat pumps or demand-type water heaters. Explore other Energy Star water heater options.

Paying for a new hot water heater
Wise homeowners know that household systems can, and inevitably will, fail. Those who are good at planning have a rough idea of when to expect a hot water heater to reach the end of its life. These folks set aside money in a savings account specifically for replacement. Other homeowners have an emergency fund that covers things like a failed hot water heater. However, even the best planners and savers can come up short in an emergency situation; in this case, a home equity line of credit can keep the hot water flowing.

Consumers helps more than 2,000 members finance land, first and second homes, and home improvement projects each year. We’d love to help you with a mortgage or home equity line of credit; contact us online or call us at 800-991-2221.

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Consumers home loans

We’d love to help you with a mortgage or home equity line of credit.

Learn more

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