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How Do I Know It’s Time to Replace My Water Heater?

If your water heater is malfunctioning consistently, you’re probably tired of the headache it brings. While some parts of the system can be replaced, persistent breakdowns may indicate a bigger problem – it might be time to replace your water heater all together. 

A hot water heater replacement can offer you many benefits. Obviously a new system will relieve you of constant breakdowns and water damage, but there are other benefits too. For example, newer systems have better temperature control and can lower your energy bills. They can even increase your home value! But how do you know when it’s really time to invest in a new water heater?

Water Heater Lifespan

One of the best ways to determine the health of your water heater is to check how old it is. The average lifespan of a water heater varies, but generally they only last between 10 and 15 years. Overtime, the efficiency of your water heater decreases and you will begin to experience inconveniences. If your system falls in this age range, parts are likely to continue breaking more often, making it more cost effective to invest in a new system.


Performing regular maintenance on your water heater is a fantastic way to lengthen it’s lifespan. Most professional plumbers recommend an annual maintenance visit to drain, flush and clean your water heater tank. Without that tank flush, the inside of the tank can corrode much faster. Sediment can even buildup and block the pressure and relief valve – this is the valve which keeps your tank from exploding! If your system has not had fairly regular maintenance, it may indicate the need for a replacement. 

Signs of Wear

If you’re unsure if your water heater is behaving properly, there are a few things you can check. If your water heater is exhibiting any of the following signs, it’s best to contact a plumber to avoid any disasters. 

  • Leaks – If you see any signs of leaking around your water heater, it is important to contact a plumber immediately. Leaks are usually a sign of pressure buildup inside the tank, and we want to avoid a tank explosion! Collected water around the base of the tank or water corrosion on the side of the tank are common signs of a leak.
  • Strange Noises – Hearing loud knocking or rumbling noises from your system is not normal. This usually indicates a buildup of sediment in your tank. The hardened sediment can move around the tank causing noises and speeding up deterioration of the tank.
  • Discolored or Cold Water – If your water appears cloudy or rust colored, there could be sediment buildup or the sacrificial anode rod may need to be replaced. But the inside of your tank could also be rusted, requiring an immediate replacement for your safety. Cold water clearly means your heating element has malfunctioned. 

It’s Time to Replace My Water Heater 

If your water heater shows any of these signs of wear, it’s possible that a plumber can help you find the problem and replace the broken part – especially if your system is less than 10 years old. In fact, if the system is fairly young, it’s likely that a water heater repair can be successfully completed. However, if your water heater is not working and is over 10 years old, it’s time to replace it.

That’s where Gotelli Plumbing can help. Our team is dedicated to providing the best San Rafael plumbers to our community. We can inspect, repair, advise and replace your water heater for you smoothly and quickly. Let us worry about how to get it done, we’ll get it right every time! Contact us today for more information on your water heater needs.

Why Choose Gotelli Plumbing?

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Customer Focused
Our goal is to give every customer the best plumbing service available. Our technicians are professional and well-trained to make sure we achieve that goal.
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We're a family-run business living and working in Marin County, so treating our neighbors like family is the center of our values.
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Reliable Service
Our technicians are background checked and trained in the latest plumbing advancements to ensure you get the service your home or business deserves.

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It was great working with Sam S! He’s fast and efficient. He found the problem in a matter a few short minutes. Then he had the part delivered to our home. Thank you!!!

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Cory was very professional, courteous, thorough, and fixed the problem. Also, the women I spoke with on Friday morning was also very courteous and accommodating . 5 stars for sure!!!

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The response from Gotelli Plumbing was excellent. The next time Tom arrived right on time and the quality of his work was outstanding. When he finished he walked me through everything he had done and I could not have been more pleased with the results. I’m so thankful to have such professionals available when need and on such short notice.

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Tom provided excellent service. He is obviously experienced- and quickly solved the problem. Our gas had to be shut off, so we were without our stove to cook, furnace to heat and hot water. Our home is happy again!

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Edward D.

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Tom has worked on numerous plumbing issues in our home over the years. He’s always on time, polite, hard working and an excellent plumber overall. I strongly recommend Tom R. for any plumbing jobs you need! We’ll continue to use Tom for all our future plumbing problems. Thanks!

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Great Experience

I had a great experience with Gotelli Plumbing when we needed a leak in a pipe fixed. Tom was professional and friendly. He also got the job done faster than original estimated, so the work was less expensive than I anticipated. I will use Gotelli Plumbing again in the future.

Kendall F.

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Water heater died just in time for Thanksgiving company to arrive. Gotelli sent Joey out first thing this morning. Not only was Joey a super nice guy, he fixed our heater quickly and for $450 less than a competitors bid. Will be going to these guys for all of our plumbing needs in the future!

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