Tankless water heater.

How To Know if Your Water Heater Needs Repairing

Your water heater is the one appliance standing between you and an ice-cold shower in the morning. They heat water for cooking, bathing, and cleaning purposes, and our homes wouldn’t be the same without them. Because we rely on them for so many purposes, water heaters can and will become damaged eventually, requiring repairs or a total replacement.

Replacing water heaters can be very expensive, and often, it’s more cost-efficient to have your plumber repair a damaged water heater. But how can you know if your water heater needs repairing?

5 Signs Your Water Heater Needs Repairs

A good water heater should last at least 10 years, but regular maintenance will improve the lifespan of your appliance. Learn how to check the age of your water heater!


One major sign that can indicate a need for repairs or replacement is any kind of puddle under your unit. There should not be any water whatsoever near the tank or coming from it—the moment you see any puddles or wet spots, call the plumber!

Unstable Temperatures

Fluctuating water temperatures are another indication your water heater needs repairs. This issue is typically caused by sediments sticking to the heating element and making your water heater work twice as hard to heat the water in the tank.

Typically, your water temperature should last through an entire shower with little to no issues. If your water starts out hot then gets cool by the end of a shower, you may have an issue that requires repairs. You may notice the change in the water temperature over several weeks as opposed to immediately, so keep an eye on how long your hot water lasts if you’re worried about the state of your appliance.

Water Takes Forever to Heat Up

One of the easiest ways to detect if your water heater is in need of immediate repair is if it takes longer for it to heat water than you remember it previously taking. There may be a fault in the wiring or in its conductivity, reducing its optimal efficiency.

Discolored Water

Any discoloration of the water (especially if it is with normal use) can be a sign you need repairs. Brown water can indicate rust in your water supply—this needs to be taken care of immediately as rust in your water should not be ingested.

Spike in Utility Bills

A sudden and unexpected increase in your water bill is a major indicator that your water heater may need repairs. If your water bill has increased, you may have a leak. An increase in your energy bill may indicate that you need to flush your water heater to remove sediment from the tank.

When does my water heater need to be replaced?

Other signs your water heater needs repairs could include your water heater beginning to make funny sounds (such as a rumbling, popping, and whistling), or the smell of smoke or another unusual odor. If this is the case, it is best to have it checked and repaired by a professional plumber.

Even minor damage such as a faulty dial or a grounding of the current should indicate a need for repair by an experienced plumber or an electrician. It should be noted, however, that rusted water heaters and units that endure a sudden impact are better off being replaced, as they can pose a great hazard to your family and to your home.

The Importance of Regular Maintenance

Maintaining your water heater every year is important. This means flushing out the deposits that can settle on the heating elements. This task can be completed by trained professionals, but it’s also a simple DIY job for any homeowner. Learn how to flush your water heater here.

Contact S & D Plumbing for Water Heater Repairs!

Looking for the best plumbing company to repair your hot water heater in Austin, Texas? Then call our team today at or schedule an appointment online.