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As winter is near, so is cold weather (maybe, if you’re here in Nashville). No one wants to have to deal with taking a cold shower, right? We certainly don’t.

There are a few things to look for that will help you know if your water heater is about to fail you.

Is it over 10 years old?

There is a way to find out if you don’t know! Look for the serial number on your water heater. You won’t find it the way you think you will, though. The first letter is for the month. Say the letter is “C.” The letter “C” is the 3rd letter in the alphabet, so the third month of the year. The second 2 numbers are for the year. If the the numbers are 09, then that would be 2009.

Is there water around the water heater?

If you discover water gathering around your water heater, that could mean there is a crack in your tank. When the metal in your water heater gets hotter, the metal expands therefore widening the crack.

Is your water rusty?

Is rusty water is coming out of your water heater? If so, it could mean that the inside of your heater is rusting, which is not a good thing!

If you think you might need a new water heater, now is the time to do so. If you’re putting your house on the market and want to make your home more attractive to potential buyers, having a new water heater can certainly help, too!