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How to Know When It’s Time to Replace Your Water Heater

When the water heater in your Charlotte, North Carolina, home is nearing the end of its lifespan, you may experience some warning signs. Keep an eye out for signs of problems so that you know when to repair or replace your water heater. Taking action early can prevent damage and ward off early replacement.

Strange Sounds

Whenever you turn on any hot water tap in your home, you might hear a few sounds, such as tapping, ticking, or even a slight rumbling. These sounds are normal and often come from the check valves or heat traps that prevent water from flowing in the wrong direction. Tankless water heaters may also make some tapping noises. However, if you hear loud noises, that could be a sign of a serious problem.

There can be a knocking or hammering sound when you turn off the hot water faucet. A humming noise can occur when the loose heating element vibrates as the water flows through the tank. You may hear rumbling, cracking, and popping sounds if there are sediments in the water. The noise tends to get louder as the layer of sedimentary deposits builds over time. This is often the case in older units.


If your water heater is leaking, contact a professional as soon as possible. Holes in the tank can cause a slow leak that could eventually lead to a bigger problem. Leaks can cause damage to your home and eventually affect your indoor air quality.

If the pressure valve gives out in your unit, the water heater can crack. When a water heater starts to leak, it is almost certain that you will need to replace it. You can count on the pros at Horne Heating and Air Conditioning Inc. for honest evaluations. We are also water heater installation experts.

Discolored Water

When you turn on your faucets, the water coming through should be clear. An uncharacteristic color could mean there is a problem with the water supply. If the water coming from the hot water tap looks brown, that could be a sign of rust inside the water heater.

You can check for rust by draining water from the water heater. If the water is clear, the rust could be caused by the pipes. Rust in a water heater also means the unit’s structure is weakening, which would also lead to leaks.

Product Age

Keep the age of the unit in mind, and remember that a replacement might be inevitable. By keeping track of the system’s age, you will be better prepared to handle new installation costs. As the unit ages, it might not be able to provide hot water at all. Before it gets to that stage, however, you might notice that the water doesn’t stay hot for long. If your water heater is ten years or older, it’s time to get ready for an upgrade.

Replace your water heater in good time to avoid higher operating costs. If you continue to use a failing unit, you will likely have to pay for regular repairs and increased energy consumption. Being prepared will save you from trying to figure out how to pay for a new unit if your water heater gives out suddenly.

Unpleasant Odors

Sometimes the water coming through your taps gives off an unpleasant odor, or you might notice a pungent smell when you’re near the tank. The smell of rotten eggs may indicate the presence of hydrogen sulfide. That is a reaction to the rod that is attached to the top of the tank to protect it from corrosion.

If you notice any of these issues with your water heater, call Horne Heating and Air Conditioning at (704) 321-4173. We’re happy to address your concerns and provide dependable water heter repair or replacement services.

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