How Long Do Water Heaters Usually Last?

 “What! How Long Do Water Heaters Last?” The answer might surprise you. It can also help you to anticipate the average lifespan of your water heater and plan accordingly for its replacement.

In this post we’ll give you an approximate time frame for the life of a hot water heater. We’ll also look at factors that harm or help your water heater’s health, such as the quality of your water supply and how often maintenance is done on your water heater.

Furthermore, we will discuss signs indicating when your water heater won’t last much longer and whether it’s more cost-effective to repair or replace it.  

But our primary focus will be on “How Long Do Water Heaters Last?” Alright, so how long is it?

Water Heaters Last How Long?

The expected lifespan of your water heater depends on factors like the type of heater, installation quality, maintenance, and your water quality.

A traditional tank water heater (electric or gas) usually lasts 8-12 years. A tankless water heater can go up to 20+ years with proper care.

Regular maintenance, like flushing out sediment and checking for leaks, can extend your water heater’s life. But eventually, all appliances wear out. So it’s a good idea to budget for that inevitable water heater repair or replacement.

Average Standard Water Heater Life:

  • Gas Tank water heater: 8-12 Years
  • Electric water heater: 10-15 Years
  • Tankless water heaters: Up to 20 Years. Tankless water heaters offer greater energy efficiency, and should double the lifespan of a traditional water heater.

How Long Do Water Heaters Typically Last?

While knowing the average age, the typical lifespan can vary quite a bit. For better quality units, the water heater lifespan can be much higher. And with proper maintenance, you will also extend the time before you need a water heater replacement. 

Water quality plays a large role in the health of a water heater, whether a conventional water heater or tankless heater. Water can be very corrosive, and will shorten the unit’s lifespan. 

The Importance of Regular Maintenance:

To maximize your unit’s lifespan and energy efficiency, schedule routine maintenance once a year with a licensed plumber. Early prevention saves on costly repairs and delays the time when you’ll need a new water heater.

For professional servicing and maintenance, contact experienced plumbers like All Masters Plumbing.

Why do water heaters only last 10-15 years?

Water heaters have a limited lifespan of 10 to 15 years. The constant heat and dampness can cause the components to wear out with time, like the heating element or gas burners which may become corroded or less efficient from persistent use. 

Maintenance Matters

Regular maintenance can significantly extend your water heater’s lifespan. Without routine check-ups and repairs from professionals like All Masters Plumbing in Arlington, Texas, sediment build-up can occur, leading to decreased efficiency and eventual breakdown.

Hard Water Woes

If you live in an area with hard water that contains high mineral content, these minerals can accumulate inside your tank, causing damage over time. As rust and other minerals accumulate, it will corrode the tank causing it to leak.

Anode Rod Deterioration

An important component known as the anode rod helps prevent corrosion inside the tank by attracting corrosive particles away from other components. However, once this rod deteriorates completely after about five years without replacement or repair, corrosion begins affecting other parts, reducing its overall longevity.

Other Contributing Factors

  1. Poor initial installation could lead to problems down the line.
  2. Lack of insulation might result in excessive energy consumption, thereby straining the system.
  3. The absence of regular flushing allows sediments to settle at the bottom of the tank, accelerating the rusting process.

To ensure optimal performance throughout its lifetime, regular maintenance by professional plumbers is essential for any homeowner looking to prolong their hot water supply system’s lifespan while minimizing potential plumbing problems in the future.

Signs Your Water Heater is About to Kick the Bucket

Knowing when your water heater is about to give up the ghost can save you from a major plumbing disaster. Here are some telltale signs that your water heater might be on its last legs:

  • Frequent Repairs: If you’re constantly calling the plumber for repairs, it might be time to bid farewell to your old faithful.
  • Rusty Water: If your hot water looks like it’s been swimming in a rusty pond, your tank is probably corroding from the inside out.
  • Noisy Operation: If your water heater sounds like a rock concert, it’s likely that sediment buildup is causing it to throw a tantrum.

If these issues persist even after attempted repairs, it’s time for a new water heater installation. Consult with professional plumbers like us at All Masters Plumbing to figure out whether it’s time for a repair or a replacement. 

When selecting a new water heater, we offer top quality units that meet or exceed energy efficiency guidelines.

Contact us today if you need a licensed plumber. Based in Arlington, we service the entire DFW area, including Richardson and Irving.

Tankless vs Traditional: WhichHeater Lasts Longer?

The type of water heater you have also affects its lifespan. Traditional storage-tank heaters usually last 10-15 years, while tankless models can keep chugging along for up to 20 years with proper TLC. 

Maintenance: The Fountain of Youth

A well-maintained water heater will outlast a neglected one, whether it’s a traditional or tankless model. Regular flushing, pressure relief valve checks, and anode rod inspections are all part of the secret sauce for a long-lasting water heater.

Water heater on its last legs: Repair or Replace?

Repair or replace? That is the question. Before deciding, take into account a few elements.

If your water heater is approaching its average lifespan of 10-15 years and showing signs of wear and tear like leaks, rust, or inefficiency, it’s time to bid farewell. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends replacing old units for efficiency reasons.

If you find yourself constantly calling plumbers to fix your ancient unit – like every few months – those repair costs can really add up. In fact, they might even surpass the price of a shiny new model in just a couple of years.

  • Maintenance Costs: Older heaters demand more TLC, which means more money out of your pocket.
  • Efficiency: Newer models are energy-efficient, saving you some green on your utility bills.
  • Safety Concerns: Aging units come with risks like leaks that can damage your property or, even worse, carbon monoxide poisoning from gas-powered models.

On the flip side, if your water heater is relatively young (less than 7-8 years) and has only experienced minor issues, it’s probably worth fixing those instead. Newer models often come with warranties that cover major repairs during their early life stages. 

So if you are having trouble with your water heater pilot light, try troubleshooting it yourself. Additionally, you can read about how to replace thermocouple on water heater , because this might always be a factor and a relatively easy fix.

Let’s Recap How Long Do Water Heaters Last?

If you’re a homeowner in Arlington, Texas, it’s important to know that water heaters typically last between 8 and 12 years, about the lifespan of a goldfish.

Signs Your Water Heater Won’t Last Much Longer:

Watch out for rusty or discolored water, strange noises that make you think your water heater is auditioning for a horror movie, leaks that turn your basement into a swimming pool, and a loss of hot water – these are all signs that your water heater is on its last legs.

All Masters Plumbing is based in Arlington, but offers water heater repair in Mansfield, the Hurst-Euless-Beford area, and greater DFW. Get a low cost service call for us to diagnose the problem. We would be happy to help you!

Give us a call: 817-200-4703

FAQs in Relation to How Long Do Water Heaters Last

Should I replace a 15-year-old water heater?

If your water heater is older than a teenager and acting up, it’s time to bid it farewell. Older units tend to break down more often and are less energy-efficient than their newer counterparts.

Why are water heaters only good for 10 years?

The lifespan of a water heater depends on its quality, the hardness of the water, and how well it’s been maintained. Over time, sediment build-up can cause corrosion and reduce efficiency, leading to a leaking tank.

How often should I replace my water heater?

On average, every 8-12 years is the norm. But remember, regular maintenance by a trusted plumber can help keep your water heater running longer and more efficiently.

When is it time to consider replacing your hot water heater?

It is time to consider a new water heater when your hot water heater storage tank starts leaking, a shortage of hot water, or strange gurgling noises from the storage tank. 

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