With proper maintenance, water heaters can last a really long time, especially tankless water heaters that can last nearly 20 years.
Still, that doesn't mean that you won't need to call a plumber periodically to perform very basic water heater repair services. You'll want to make sure you maintain the water heater properly and look for any issues before the heater fails completely and spills water all over your house, creating not only a water heater repair bill but possible water damage as well.
If you're unsure of what to look for, here are some basic warning signs to be aware of.
Your Tank is Old
Since water heaters usually last around a decade, you'll want to keep an eye on it a few years before that to see if any major issues develop. Sediment can collect on the inside as the result of hard water issues, so one of the first signs that your water heater may be about to go out is simply how old it is.
Your Tank is Leaking
When it comes to water heaters, even a small leak is an issue. While the problem could be something as simple as a loose hose, it could also be a crack in the side of the tank causing a little bit of water to spill out. And if you see a little bit of water coming out, it won't be long before the whole thing splits and you have a mess on your hands.
Your Tank is Only Delivering Warm Water
The purpose of a water heater is to deliver hot water to your entire house. If the water coming out of your faucets is only lukewarm, or even cold, then there's a problem with the heating element inside your heater. Check the power source to make sure that it's connected; if so, you may need to call for water heater repair services.
Your Tank is Only Delivering Colored Water
Rust-colored water coming out of your faucets could be a sign of several things going wrong - pipes or contamination, for starters. it could also be a sign that there's rust on the inside of your water heater that is now pouring into your water supply. Usually the result of an older water heater, it could also be from a drainage issue, which shouldn't be a problem for most water heater repair technicians to fix. Still, it's a good idea to get it fixed as soon as possible.