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  • Awesome Drain

How to Know When to Replace the Water Heater

A water heater that unexpectedly fails can cause a lot of disruption – and damage. Don’t wait until your water heater fails to get it repaired or replaced. But how can you know if it’s time to replace the water heater? Look for these four signs, according to Angie’s List.

replace the water heater


In general, a water heater that is more than 10 years old should be replaced. But how can you tell when your water heater was manufactured?

Look at the serial number on the manufacturer sticker. The number will begin with a date code of one letter and two numbers. The letter’s place in the alphabet correlates to the month, and the numbers correlate to the year. So a serial number that begins with B09, for example, was manufactured in February (because B is the second letter in the alphabet and February is the second month of the year) of 2009.


Rumbling or other noise from a water heater is a good sign that it needs to be replaced. Noise occurs when sediment builds up on the bottom of the tank and becomes hardened. Sediment buildup causes the heater to become less efficient, and it can create wear and damage to the tank itself.


If you see rusty water coming from the hot side of the water heater, it may indicate that rust is forming on the inside. However, if you have galvanized piping, rusty pipes could be the source. A good way to test this is to drain a few large buckets of hot water from the heater. If the water is still rusty after two buckets, the water heater is likely the cause.


When water or moisture forms around the water heater tank, it may have a leak. This can happen when the metal heats, expands and fractures. The tank will likely stop leaking once the metal cools. Before scheduling a water heater replacement, check to make sure a connection or fitting isn’t the source of the leak.

Not sure whether it’s time to replace the water heater? Give Awesome Drain a call. We can perform an inspection and perform a professional installation.

For 20 years, Awesome Drain Cleaning and Waterline Repair has been helping homeowners and businesses in Virginia Beach with water fixture installation and plumbing repair. We serve communities throughout Virginia, including Newport News, Yorktown, Suffolk, Portsmith, Chesapeake, Norfolk, Hampton, and more.

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