5 Signs Your Hot Water Heater Needs Replacing

Hot water is an essential component, with access to reliable hot water greatly impacting many aspects of daily life. Electric instant water heaters are arguably one of the best facilitators for accessing hot water. However, akin to other household appliances, water heaters can naturally degrade over time, leading to inefficiency and other issues. Identifying the signs of a failing hot water heater can help ensure that the occupants of your home don’t have to endure unexpected cold showers and inflated energy bills. Here are five signs that your hot water heater may require replacing.

The Age of Your Water Heater

The expected lifespan of a conventional tank-style water heater typically spans around 10-15 years. If your unit falls within this age range or is older, it may be approaching the end of its operational life. Electric instant water heaters can potentially have an even longer lifespan, in some instances even up to 20 years, due to their efficient design and operation. However, even the most sophisticated household appliances will need replacing eventually. If your instant water heater falls in this age range, it may be time to consider an upgrade or replacement.

Unstable Hot Water Supply

If you’re experiencing irregularities in your hot water supply, where it intermittently switches between cold and hot, it could signify an issue with your water heater’s heating element or thermostat. This inconsistency can also be attributed to sediment accumulation in the tank, which impedes the efficient heating of the water.

Escalating Energy Bills

If you’ve observed a substantial and unexpected increase in your energy bills without any alteration in your usage habits, your hot water heater could be the culprit. As heaters age, they lose efficiency and demand more energy to heat the same quantity of water as when they were new.

Rusty Water or Tank

Rust in your hot water or on the tank itself is a clear warning sign of internal corrosion, which could lead to leaks if not promptly addressed. If you notice rusty-coloured hot water emanating from taps or visible rust on the tank surface, it may be time to consider replacing your unit.

Leaks Around Your Water Heater

A leaking hot water system should always be treated seriously, as it signifies a structural failure within the unit itself. Minor leaks can rapidly escalate into floods, causing damage to surrounding areas and valuable possessions if left unchecked.


When deliberating whether to repair or replace an old unit, considering factors such as age, efficiency levels and any recurring issues you may be having can help you to make an informed decision about replacing your water heater.

Electric instant water heaters, with their superior energy efficiency compared to traditional units and their ability to provide a continuous supply of hot water at multiple points simultaneously, are an appealing option. But like all home appliances, even instant water heaters will need replacing eventually. Hiring professionals for regular maintenance and checks could significantly extend your unit’s lifespan, reducing replacement frequency as well as saving money in the long term.