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Serving Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.

Serving Maryland and Washington, D.C.

Serving Fairfax and Loudoun Counties and the
surrounding area

Monday - Friday 7:30am - 5:30pm | Saturday 8:00am - 1:00pm. CALL FOR EMERGENCIES


Serving Maryland, Virginia,
and Washington, D.C.

Serving Maryland and Washington, D.C.

Serving Fairfax and Loudoun
Counties and the surrounding area

24 Hour Emergency Services, 7 Days a Week

Home of Mr. Heat Pump

B&B Air Conditioning & Heating Service Blog

How to Tell Your Water Heater Is Dying


You don’t want to be trapped with a failed water heater, because losing hot water in your house will throw off your day. The good news is that water heaters rarely fail without giving off warnings, and if you catch those warnings in time, you can call for water heater repairs in Fairfax, VA to see if the unit can be fixed.

For an older water heater (we’ll get into that more below), scheduling a replacement is often the better choice. But at least you’ll have the replacement done on your schedule rather than a failed water heater forcing you to do it on its schedule.

We’ve put together a list of ways to tell you may have a water heater heading for failure. Follow us below and we’ll help you see into the future of your water heater.

The water heater is too old

So what’s “too old”? Most storage tank water heaters can make it to about 12 years, and may even last up to 15. (If they receive regular maintenance, that is. Without maintenance, a water heater may give out after only 6 years.) Tankless water heaters have longer service lives, and can often get to 20 years of service. If your water heater is older than its estimated service life, we recommend replacing it at the first sign of trouble—or even before that.

The water heater is corroding

Corrosion is the #1 enemy of water heaters, which is why they have many precautions built in to defend against it, such as glass tank linings and a sacrificial anode rod. But corrosion may eventually take hold in an older water heater, and when it does it usually means the water heater must be replaced. A few parts, such as the heat exchanger, can be replaced if corroded, but check with a professional about this. If the corrosion is on the tank, then the water heater definitely needs to be replaced.

You see red discoloration in the hot water

Not all corrosion appears where you can see it. Corrosion inside the tank will start to show up as a reddish-brown discoloration in the hot water in the house. Test to see if the discoloration only appears from hot water taps. If it does, it means the water heater tank has already rusted through and the time for replacement is now.

The water heater is making too much noise

Odd sounds from the water heater, such as rumbling and kettling, or popping noise can point toward a repair need. If the water heater is making noises like this regularly, it’s telling you that it’s coming to the end of its service life. 

The hot water volume has dropped

Are people in your household complaining that they aren’t getting hot showers anymore? When you have family members rushing to get to the showers first in the morning because they’re afraid they’ll run out of hot water, it means the water heater can no longer keep up with standard demand. Sometimes this can be fixed, but if the water heater is older it’s better to get a new one. 

Call on B&B Air Conditioning & Heating Service when you need water heater help. We are always there when you need us.

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