Water is one of the most important resources in any home in Australia, and probably the most expensive. When the cold temperatures arise, it is extremely difficult to survive without a properly functioning water heater. You need hot water for almost everything from a shower to washing your dishes. Just like any other appliance, a water heater is prone to wear and tear. It can break down at the most opportune moment when you least expect. But it will not just breakdown one morning, it will have shown prior signs that something is not right. In this article, we have rounded up the six common signs of a failing water heater.

Signs That Your Water Heater is About to Break Down

Strange Sounds

Water heaters are known to remain quiet when they are heating water. You should only hear the sound of boiling water but not that of the heater. However, there may come a time when you hear strange noises coming from the hot water tank. Have you ever asked yourself why it produces that sound? The fact is that your heater is failing. Water tanks require regularly maintenance so as to clear any sediment that is forming at the base of the tank. If the sediment is not cleared, it will increase to a point where it buries the heating elements. When the heater gets turned on, it’ll start to heat the sediment deposits thereby producing a popping sound. You should call a plumber immediately to flush out the sediment so as to avoid any further damage that may cause an overall breakdown of your entire heating system.

Muddy Hot WaterMuddy Water

Have you ever gotten dirty water from the tank and upon checking the heater you see that the water coming in is clean? Well, that is a sign of a failing water heater and can damage the entire plumbing system if not handled immediately. Due to ageing, the metal tank usually starts to rust from the inside. The rust will start to flake off and settle at the bottom of the tank. It will accumulate with time and form a thick sludge at the bottom. When the water heater is turned on, both the water and the sludge will get stirred, causing the hot water coming into the house to be dirty and muddy, and possibly toxic. Ensure that you regularly clean your tank to avoid this problem, if you continue receiving dirty and rusty water, call a professional plumber to assist you.


This is an incredibly important factor that you should never ignore. Most water heaters have a lifespan of about 10-15 years, after which they start having problems. As your water heater grows old, you will experience regular problems, and this should alert you early on that it might be time to consider a new water heater. When your heater has past the 10-year mark, you should call your plumber to check its conditions. If the condition is demanding, you should start saving money or assess your finances to plan the purchase of a new hot water system.

Multiple Repairs

Once you have installed your water heater, it may take several years before it ever causes you a problem. However, with age, it will start to have problems that will require more frequent repairs and replacement. If it reaches a point that the repairs become so extensive to a point where it’s going to cost you the same price as purchasing a new one, you should consider just buying new.

Lack of Hot Water

Lack of Hot Water in ShowerLack of hot water is a clear indication of a failing water heater. Sometimes you might not experience total failure, but you will notice a decrease in temperature. Two main problems lead to a lack of hot water. First, the presence of sediment in the tank. Second, problems with the heating elements caused by sediment. When they wear out or cannot function properly they will not heat the water up to the required temperature.

Leaks and Rust

As we all know, leaks are never a good sign. Rusting of the tank, old age, or poor maintenance mostly causes leakage. In reverse, a leak can also cause major rusting from the outside of the hole or broken area. When you spot a leak in your tank, you should call a professional as quickly as possible to avoid expensive repairs or the dreaded replacement.


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