How do I know when my water heater needs to be replaced?

On average, a standard water heater should last approximately 15 to 20 years. Some factors will reduce that amount, such as hard water, which deposits minerals that build up in the tank. Signs that your water heater is failing include leaking; ongoing smaller problems and repairs; inconsistent water temperature or not enough hot water; loud banging or rumbling noises; and discolored water. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms or your water heater is more than 20 years old, it is probably time to consider a new unit.