Is there any way to tell if a water heater should be replaced? I just went through my ancient washing machine exploding and flooding the place . I'm replacing it and am trying to figure out if I should go ahead and replace the water heater, as well, in order to avoid future floods. The water heater is 8 years old. It still heats well and looks good around the top. I have no idea what kind of maintenance it got until I bought this place (1 1/2 yrs ago), but most things here weren't particularly well taken care of, so I'm assuming it got little or no maintenance. Average life expectancy for this brand is 9-15 years, with the 15 being for well cared for water heaters. The only flaws I can visibly detect are some rust around the bottom (which rests of the floor) and dripping from that faucet thing. ??? Any way I can tell if I should ought to just go ahead and replace it?