Hot water is one of those things that are easy to take for granted. After all, you just turn on the faucet, and perfectly warm water comes pouring out. Unfortunately, hot water heaters do have a shelf life, and it is common for minor issues to quickly get worse. Whether your showers have started turning cold or you are just worried about it happening in your older home, watch for these signs that you need a water heater replacement.

You Aren't Sure of Your Water Heater's Age

A quality water heater should last anywhere from 10 to 15 years with proper maintenance. However, it is common to be unsure of how old your water heater is if your home has had more than one owner. You can check with the manufacturer for how to read the date information in your water heater's serial number or ask your plumber to check. If your water heater is aging and in a place that could sustain damage from a leak, then replacement is a better option than waiting for a problem to occur.

You See Rusty Water Coming From the Faucets

Brown or rusty-colored water can happen from a variety of issues with your plumbing. However, seeing discolored water only coming when the hot water is on is a serious sign that something is awry. Over time, corrosion on the interior part of your water heater tank can occur, and you will see this coming out in the water. In some cases, it may just mean that the anodized rod needs to be replaced. However, major corrosion within the tank usually requires replacement.

You Discover Leaks Around Your Unit

Water leaks place your house at risk for structural damage that is costly to repair. When you discover that your water heater is leaking, it is important to act quickly since a small leak can quickly escalate to major flooding. When you find a leak, shut off the water to your hot water heater until you can get it checked out by your plumber. If the interior tank breaking down causes the leak, then new water heater installation is the best way to protect your property from major water damage.

The great news is that a new water heater lasts many years, and you can explore new options such as tankless versions to better fit your household's needs. Staying alert for signs that it is time to replace your water heater helps you keep the hot water flowing while protecting your home. For more information, talk to a company like Quality Plumbing.