Your water heater is one of those commonplace items that you probably don’t give much thought to, but when it breaks down, everything in the home comes to a standstill. This is greatly affected by how old the water heater is. So, how long do water heaters last? Find out in this post.
Symptoms Of A Worn Out Water Heater
How can you tell if a water heater is beginning to near the end of its life? Water heaters will acquire wear and tear over time and use. Here are some signs a water heater is becoming worn out:
- There are rust spots on the tank. This is a sign of corrosion and deterioration.
- There are leaks coming from the tank or valves.
- The water heater makes strange noises (banging or popping noises).
- The water heater shuts down or will not restart.
- The water heater thermostat is broken or malfunctioning.
- Leaks around the base of the water heater.
- The water heater is over 10 years old. The average lifespan of a water heater is around 10 years (see more below).
Leaving a water heater in place that is worn out can lead to some problems in the house, such as:
- Water that is not as hot as it used to be.
- A water heater that takes longer to heat up.
- Water that is heated unevenly
- Rust-colored water
If you are noticing any of these symptoms, it’s time to consider replacing your water heater with a new model.
How Long Does a Water Heater Last?
This deceptively simple question is more difficult to answer than it looks. Regardless of whether it’s gas or electric, most hot water heaters come with a five- or six-year guarantee. However, more costly systems with extended warranties, frequently up to 10 years, are available. There are fiberglass units with lifetime guarantees and stainless steel ones that may survive many years longer than a normal unit, however, they are less popular.
So, assuming all else is equal, you can anticipate a brand new water heater to last at least until the warranty expires. Things get a bit less definite after that. The average lifetime of a standard water heater on the market today is between 10 and 13 years, depending on a variety of conditions.
Tankless water heaters, on the other hand, have a much shorter lifespan. These versions are not susceptible to the same moisture and corrosion stresses as traditional units since they only heat water when it is required. Their warranties typically run approximately 10 years, but they may last up to 20 years.
What Causes Water Heaters to Fail?
Water heaters fail in the vast majority of situations owing to tank rust. Water heater tanks are built of metal and have a very thin glass covering on the inside to prevent corrosion. However, continual pressure changes inside the tank produced by hot water expansion will ultimately weaken this thin covering, allowing water to touch the metal liner.
Failure is simply a question of time once the tank starts to corrode. A hot water heater’s corrosion cannot be reversed with a miraculous cure. The metal will corrode to the point that a leak will occur in a few years. When your unit begins to leak, it’s time to consider replacing it. If your hot water heater is located in the attic of your house, be sure to inspect it from time to time to ensure it is not leaking. Replacing a water heater is difficult enough; you don’t want to compound the problem by causing costly water damage.
Is it Possible to Extend the Life of a Water Heater?
While there is no cure for a rusted water heater, there are a few preventative maintenance practices that may help it last longer. Corroding tanks create silt, which collects in the tank’s bottom. While you may clear some of this sediment out by flushing the unit using the drain valve, keep in mind that this will not solve the rust issue. Flushing the tank on a regular basis (approximately once a year) is still a good idea, since silt may block the drain valve and hasten interior deterioration if left untreated. It may influence the internal pressure of the tank, leading it to rupture in severe circumstances.
An anode rod is inserted in most water heaters to postpone the corrosion process. This long rod is pushed through the top of the tank and into the water to draw corrosive elements. It is made of steel wire that is surrounded by magnesium, aluminum, or an aluminum/zinc alloy. Because its main role is to rust away to preserve the rest of the tank, plumbers refer to the anode rod as the “sacrificial lamb.”
An anode rod typically lasts around five years and is inexpensive to replace. There may be more than one of these in certain units. Many extended warranty water heaters are just normal devices with additional anode rods fitted! Replacement rods are affordable, so changing them after the five-year mark is a cost-effective strategy to possibly prolong the life of a water heater.
Hot water heaters, like any other item, offer a convenience that many people take for granted. However, with a little care and attention, a unit’s life may be extended much beyond its initial guarantee period. If you find yourself with a leaky or broken unit, you should contact a certified plumbing contractor as soon as possible. Water heaters are difficult to deal with because of the combination of intense heat and high pressure, so it’s usually better to leave it to an expert.
A water heater is a device that heats water to provide hot water. They are made of either gas or electric elements and can last anywhere from 6-10 years. However, eventually, a water heater will need to be replaced and this comes with some noticeable signs.
When To Replace A Water Heater
A water heater is a device that heats up water to provide hot water. A good rule of thumb is to replace your water heater before it fails.
If a water heater is 10 years old and shows signs of wear, it’s probably time to replace it.
Losing hot water may interrupt a variety of everyday duties and put everyone on edge, from morning showers to difficult-to-clean dishes. Sometimes the issue is modest and straightforward, such as a faulty thermostat or heating element. Water heaters, on the other hand, get a lot of usage and will need to be updated sooner or later.
Water heaters can fail before their projected lifespan is up due because of various problems. For this reason and more you can read about in 7 Reasons To Schedule Hot Water Heater Maintenance.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can a hot water heater last 20 years?
A: A hot water heater’s lifespan is typically 10-15 years.
How often should you have to replace a hot water heater?
A: The lifespan of a hot water heater can vary depending on the type of model you have and how often you use it. Some models last up to 20 years while others might only last for 5-10 years.
Can a hot water heater last 30 years?
A: I’m afraid that hot water heaters are not typically designed to last more than 15 years. This is due to the fact they often need repairs after this time and their lifespan can be shortened from overuse or other factors, such as leaks or poor installation methods
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