The Question: How Long Do Water Heaters Last?

How long do hot water heaters last? You may have posed that question numerous times, and quite understandably. These appliances are crucial for seamless day-to-day operations in the home. They make food preparation, bathing and other tasks possible and easy, after all.

So, how long does a water heater last? Getting to the bottom of that question may help you figure out how to plan for future appliance maintenance and replacement.

A Glimpse at the Average Hot Water Heater Life

How long should a water heater last? Water heater lifespan tends to depend on various components. Residential water heaters tend to last for anywhere between six and 13 years in total. If your home water heater has been in use for longer than 12 years, then it most likely isn’t long for this world.

What exactly are some of the aforementioned elements that may influence water heater lifespan matters, anyway? The specific kind of water that travels through the appliance is a component, first of all. Routine upkeep is another. If a household has flushed and drained its water heater tank annually, then the appliance may last a lot longer. Unfortunately, it isn’t uncommon at all for people who own homes to totally neglect their regular water heater maintenance requirements.

Other components that frequently influence water heater lifespan are routine use amounts, water quality in general and, finally, the specific water heater type.


Tankless and Standard Water Heater Lifespans

How long does a water heater last? Again, the exact variety of water heater may influence the answer to that question.

can i repair my water heaterStandard tank water heaters usually remain intact and dependable for anywhere between eight and 12 years. Anode rods live in these water heaters. These rods safeguard the interior linings via drawing in particles that are corrosive. They do this using a method known as “electrolysis.” Once the anode rods have corroded to a certain degree, they cease to be functional. That’s when the previously mentioned corrosive particles collect on the lower portions of tanks. They slowly but surely do a number on the lining. After corrosion begins, that means that the water heater is on the verge of “death.”

Tankless water heaters are a whole other story. These kinds of water heaters differ from their standard tank “friends” in that they can remain functional for upward of two full decades. They sometimes can remain functional for more time than even that, too. Tankless water heaters, in short, don’t operate nonstop as a means of safeguarding hot water supplies. That’s precisely the reason they have lengthier lifespans than tank options do. Tankless water heaters, after the passing of quite some time, often experience corrosion as well. They don’t involve anode rods. Once a tankless appliance experiences corrosion, it needs to be replaced.


Check the Serial Number

Perhaps you’re unsure about the exact age of your water heater. If you want to guess the age, you should check its serial number. This number is made up of a letter and various numbers. It’s available on the top part of your appliance. The letter may signify the month. Since January is the first month of the year, it may show up as the letter “A.” The pair of numbers after the letter may denote the specific year the water heater was produced. An appliance that reads “C20” may have been manufactured in March of 2020. You may be able to verify this date system on the official website of the manufacturer that made your hot water heater.


Indications That You’re Ready for a Brand New Hot Water Heater

The water heater you have may be communicating to you that it’s due for replacement. You should be on the lookout for indications of this. If the water in your home appears rusty, gritty or murky, prompt replacement might be in order. Water discoloration is a typical dilemma among aging appliances. Corrosion triggers rust accumulation that can make its way inside water supplies. This understandably can cause faucets to release water that looks bizarre color-wise.

Odd sounds can also point to a water heater that doesn’t have much life left in it. Water heaters make growling sounds during the heating process. These sounds tend to become more pronounced with time.

Heating bill increases can signify dying water heaters as well. If you have an appliance that barely provides you with hot water coupled with a rise in your monthly heating bills, then that probably means that you should go forward with replacement.

corroded water heaterLeaks can sometimes signify a water heater that seriously needs replacement. Once hot water heaters are on the verge of ceasing to work forever, they often start to leak straight onto the ground right by their tanks. This leakage can in certain cases bring on noticeable property damage. If an appliance’s tank has a leak, it often is a hint that replacement is overdue. Tank metal expansion is often the reason for leaks. This type of expansion generally happens due to the various heating cycles that are part of tank operations throughout the years. The expansion process frequently brings on fractures that can trigger water leakage.

If you’ve spent what feels like a fortune on recent water heater repairs or replacement, then you’re probably better off replacing your appliance entirely. Remember that frequent water heater repair expenses can add up rapidly. If you take the time to swap your volatile water heater out with a fresh one, then you may ultimately save yourself a substantial amount of money.

Temperature shifts, last but definitely not least, can also point to an appliance that needs to be replaced, pronto. If you can never predict the temperature of the water that comes out of your faucet, then you should think at length about replacing your appliance right away.

If you replace your unit without waiting around, then you may be able to spare your household a lot of stress and anxiety. The absence of reliable hot water is no joke.


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