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Water heaters are a household appliance that many homeowners don’t think about until it’s too late. This is a mistake, because like many vital home features, your water heater’s life and effectiveness are directly related to how actively you perform basic maintenance. Unfortunately, there will always be a reason to replace your water heater entirely. Here’s what to look out for so you don’t find yourself wading through a leak.

Your Water Heater is Too Old
Most water heaters last between eight to 12 years depending on the manufacturer, type and how well they have been cared for. Check on the front of your water heater to find its rating plate; this will reveal important information. The serial number contains the year the water heater was manufactured and the model number will tell your water heater’s size. If your water heater is more than 10 years old, you should start thinking about a replacement.

Strange Noises
If you hear a hissing or sizzling noise coming from your water heater, you likely have sediment build-up that must be addressed. If you haven’t maintained your water heater properly, the sediment could have caused damage by slowly overheating the bottom of your tank.

Leaks
Leaks are the most obvious sign that your water heater is past its prime, but it is still worth mentioning. It might be tempting to ignore a small leak, but this is highly unsafe. It’s vital that you replace your water heater immediately upon discovering a leak. Since leaks are likely the result of pressure built up in your tank, neglecting a leak can lead to a tank explosion. 

Rusty Brown Water
If your water supply suddenly looks murky, rusty or brown, you could be facing a problem with your water heater. This problem could mean one of two things: the anode rod within your tank is rusted or your tank is facing corrosion and is itself beginning to rust. You’ll need to replace a corroded tank as soon as possible.

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