Replacing your water heater is an aggravating process. It's costly as well as disruptive to your home life. You want to avoid replacement if possible, but sometimes it's absolutely necessary. Otherwise, you run the risk of unknowingly drinking contaminated water. Here are five signs that your water heater needs replacing.

Rusty Water

When your water looks rusty, it's more than just disgusting in appearance. It's also unsafe. You should stop drinking it immediately. Also, have a professional look at the unit. They'll determine whether your water heater suffers from internal or external rust. If it's internal, you may need to replace the entire unit, depending on the maintenance person's recommendation.

Planned Obsolescence

Every appliance in your home will break down over time. Each one has an established life cycle, and your water heater is no different. You'll want to know the manufacturing date of your device as well as the average lifespan of the unit.

This information isn't easy to discover. Your device won't have an exact date but rather a code that includes numbers and letters. Check your manufacturer to learn the specific way they date their products. Then, decipher the age of your unit. If your device is more than a decade old, it's already ready for replacing. If not, note when it'll turn 10 so that you can pay for its replacement.

Loud Is Never Good

Properly functioning devices run quietly. Otherwise, nobody would ever buy them. If you're near your water heater and notice that it's loud, that's a warning sign. The likely culprit is hardened sediment inside the unit. These by-products of a normally functioning water heater pile up over time. They also harden, thereby becoming firm clumps within the appliance. They bang around and create noise. You may be able to clean the unit to salvage operation for a while longer. The sediment does damage inside the unit, though. Its presence reduces the overall lifespan, forcing a replacement.

Water in the Wrong Place

Your water heater doesn't drip water when functioning properly. If you notice pools of it around the appliance, the device has a leakage problem. Smaller exterior leaks are fixable, especially by highly qualified repair professionals. When the fracture occurs inside the unit, however, it has become dangerous to operate, and you'll need to replace it. But before taking that step, tighten all the connecting pipes. This tactic will establish whether the leak is internal or external.

Repeated Safety Issues

Take note of the number of maintenance issues you perform on your unit. Pay particular attention to safety features such as the pressure valve. Also note if the heating element or pilot light requires replacement multiple times. All of these problems indicate overriding manufacturing issues with the device. If multiple parts of the unit fail more than once, you're throwing away money repairing a clunker. It's time to cut your losses and buy a new, safe water heater instead.

Deciding whether you need a new water heater isn't that difficult. Simply pay attention to the device, noting any of the issues above. If it seems broken, it probably is. You should call in a maintenance person to get a second opinion, though.