water heater leak detection

How to Tell If You Water Heater is Failing Without the Use of a Water Heater Leak Detection System

Technology has enhanced all areas of our life, and plumbing is no exception. There are now water heater leak detection devices available that will automatically shut off the water heater. Water heater failure can occur at any time but being able to decrease the damage to flooring and other property can be critical.

However, if you do not have this type of device in place it is important that you be able to identify leaks quickly to minimize damage. It is not uncommon for individuals not to know when their water heater is going to fail. But there are some common signs to look for, which will prevent leaks from occurring.

Age of the Water Heater

Water heaters are only rated for so many years, so you will want to keep an eye on the age of it. This will help ensure you have a tank that is working efficiently and minimize your risk of damage. There will be a manufacture sticker on the upper portion of the tank, which will contain a serial number. This number will contain the date of the heater. However, beware that the date will not be written out normally. If you have questions, refer to your manual or contact the manufacture with the serial number.

Rusty Water

If you are experiencing rust in the water when using your hot tap, then this is a sign of rust occurring in your heater. Therefore, you will want to inspect the heater for any visible signs of rust. Beware that the rust may be internal. To be sure, you can drain a few buckets of water from your heater. If by the third bucket the water still seams rusty then you more than likely need to replace the tank.


When the heater ages, sediment will begin to form on the bottom of the tank. It will be continually heated and reheated, until it eventually hardens. This may cause the tank to have rumbling or banging noises as the water is being heated up. If you notice it making a lot of noise, this is a sign that the tank will need to be replaced. This sediment will make the tank less efficient, and you may see an increase in your electric bill.

Take all these things into consideration when wanting to see if your water heater is on its last leg. It will not always be necessary to install a water heater leak detection system if you can keep a close eye on your tank.

Proactive Plumbing has provided dependable plumbing services, installations and repair for more than 15 years. We service Oceanside, Carlsbad, Encinitas, Vista, San Marcos, Escondido and other areas of San Diego County.