San Luis Obispo Plumbing: Signs Your Water Heater Needs to Be Replaced

Griffin Plumbing, Inc.Your San Luis Obispo Plumbers

San Luis Obispo Plumbing: Signs You Water Heater May Need Replacement

The San Luis Obispo plumbing experts at Griffin know a thing or two about water heaters, like how you can avoid cold showers by practicing these simple steps at home:

  • Lower the temperature setting on the thermostat to 120 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent overheating.
  • Twice a year, take time to drain your water heater to prevent corrosion caused by collected sediment. By doing so you can increase the efficiency of your unit and may even lower your monthly bill.

Looking for more helpful tips? Griffin’s plumbing pros are spelling out the top five signs your water heater needs to be replaced before it causes costly damage!


If you notice a leak, act fast because a slow drip can quickly turn into serious flooding. Prevent damage by turning off the water and power to your water heater – then call Griffin Plumbing to install a new unit. Most often, leaks emanate from an internal issue that is rarely repairable. When it comes time to purchase a new water heater, more and more San Luis Obispo plumbing customers are choosing to go tankless. Learn more about the benefits of tankless water heaters here.


If your water isn’t warming up, something is definitely wrong. Here are a few common culprits:

  • Broken dip tube within the tank (this dilutes hot water with cold)
  • The electric thermostat or heating elements malfunction or fail over time
  • Increase in demand for hot water (in this case your water heater may be working swell and your household or business simply requires a water heater with a larger tank!)

Smell something off when you turn on the hot water? Does it taste icky? Is your water rusty colored instead of clear? Unfortunately, these are indicators that your water heater is breaking down due to corrosion and rust. When flakes and grit from the inner tank mix with your water supply, it’s not going to taste or smell the way it should.


Do you hear cracks and pops? That’s not normal. In fact these sounds may mean the heating elements inside your water heater contain mineral buildup. When you start to hear funny sounds, go ahead and give Griffin Plumbing a call at (805) 934-1949.

5. AGE

The average life expectancy of a water heater is typically 8 to 12 years. Water heaters are more likely to break down based on their age. Contributing factors may also include the demand for hot water in your home or office. For example, an active family of six or more will wear our their water heater sooner than others.

When you do need a new water heater – determine what features matter most to you:

Energy Efficiency Ratings

Often a sticker on the side of the unit will list the estimated annual cost of operation.

Gallon Capacity

For some folks, purchasing a new water heater is a good time to upgrade. Growing families may decide to increase their unit’s holding capacity or choose to go Tankless.

Recovery Rate

The recovery rate is the number of gallons a water heater will heat in one hour.


Consider the width and height of your physical space to rule out water heater models that are too big.

It may also be helpful to note the details of your current water heater before shopping for a new model. Look on the side of your current unit to find a nameplate. This is where you’ll find the model, serial number, tank capacity, working pressure, and insulation R-valve. If you happen to have an electric water heater the nameplate will additionally show voltage of the heating elements and wattage capacity.

If you need your water heater replaced, call Griffin Plumbing at (805) 934-1949. Our San Luis Obispo plumbers will act fast to resolve any and all of your plumbing woes – water heater or otherwise.