Hot water tanks are designed to run for years with little or no maintenance. Eventually, like any other part of your home's plumbing or heating, it will need to be replaced. So how can you tell if your hot water tank has come to the end of the road? Here are 4 sure signs.


Gas water heaters last for about 12 years, and electric ones a bit longer, up to 15 years. With regular maintenance, they can last longer (click here to read our DIY on tank maintenance). If your tank is older than 15 years, even if it's not showing any of the signs below, you may want to have it inspected.

Change in water colour

Noticed a change in the colour of your water? If it's brown or rust coloured, it might be time to replace the hot water tank.

Change in water temperature

Is the hot water coming out of your taps not so hot anymore – maybe not even hot at all? It's caused by one of two things: the heating elements and thermostat, or the tank itself. Replacing the thermostat and elements may fix the problem, but if it doesn't, the tank itself will need to go.


A pool of water at the base of your water heater may mean water tank replacement, depending on where the leak is coming from. Sometimes, the drain valve at the base of the tank has sprung a leak and needs replacement, but if the water's coming from anywhere else in the tank, the whole thing needs to be replaced.

Need more advice on hot water tanks? Get in touch with us. We're your Access.

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