How Long Will An Electric Water Heater Last?

How Long Does a Water Heater Last? (Lifespan of Gas, Electric, Tankless)

It’s important to understand how long a water heater should last when shopping for a new one or when considering upgrading your existing one.The answer is more complicated than it appears at first glance, since there are a lot of elements at play in this situation.Our goal in writing this post is to educate our readers on the typical life of water heaters, how to extend their lifespans, and how to identify if they require a replacement water heater.

Average Lifespan of Hot Water Heaters Compared

Type of Water Heater Average Life Span of Water Heater
Tank Gas 8 to 12
Tank Electric 10 to 15
Tankless Gas 20 years
Tankless Electric 20 years

How Long Do Gas Water Heaters Last?

Consider the lifespan of a traditional gas water heater, which is around 10 years.The average lifespan of these sorts of heaters is between 8 and 12 years.The corrosion that occurs in a gas water heater is the most typical cause of failure.The heater is equipped with an anode rod, which serves to preserve the inside lining.Through electrolysis, the rod draws corrosive particles to itself.After a period of time, the rod itself gets too rusted to be able to attract particles any more.

Instead, the particles sink to the bottom of the tank and begin to eat away at the tank’s lining, causing it to collapse.This makes it impossible for the hot water tank to perform its function.

How Long Do Electric Water Heaters Last?

At roughly 10-15 years, the typical life expectancy of an electric water heater is just a few years longer than that of a gas water heater on the market.The two types of water heaters operate in a remarkably similar manner.It is true that the sole difference between an electric system and a gas system is that the water in an electric system is heated by upper and lower heating elements that extend into the tank.In a gas heater, the water is heated from below by means of a gas burner.The lifespan of an electric water heater is similar to that of a gas water heater in that it is reliant on regular maintenance and the replacement of broken elements.It usually has to be replaced if a significant amount of silt has accumulated at the bottom of the tank.

It is possible to rid the tank of this sediment as early as feasible.As the tank matures, however, the effectiveness of this process diminishes significantly.

How Long Does a Tankless Water Heater Last?

Traditional water heaters are those that include a tank and run on either gas or electricity.They can be either gas or electricity-powered.More recent versions do not have a tank at all.So, how long do tankless water heaters survive in the field of service?As you can see in the table above, tankless water heaters (as well as conventional heaters) are available in two different power options: natural gas or electricity.Unlike traditional heaters, however, there is no variation in the lifespan of tankless gas and tankless electric water heaters compared to traditional heaters.

In both circumstances, they have a lifespan of around 20 years.With regular maintenance, however, they may provide you with hot water for an extended period of time – even up to 30 years!The change in design is the cause for the increased life expectancy of tankless water heaters compared to conventional water heaters.The term implies that a tankless water heater does not store hot water; rather, it only gets hot water when the hot water faucet is switched on.Leaks in the heat exchanger of a tankless water heater might develop over time due to corrosion.

  1. If this results in corrosion, you’ll need to replace the component.
  2. Fortunately, these leaks don’t usually occur until a water heater has been in service for at least 15 years.

Which Type of Heater Is the Most Reliable?

Knowing the answer to the question ″how long do water heaters last?″ does not provide you with a complete picture of which model of water heater is the best.Furthermore, you must understand the most dependable type of water heater – which water heater will offer you with the greatest service over the long haul?The answer to this question may vary depending on your requirements and the benefits you want to obtain from your water heater.

Amount of Water Heated

When it comes to providing the same volume of hot water, tank and tankless water heaters are both capable of doing so.When you have a tank-style water heater, the exact amount of water that it will offer you with is determined by the size of your tank.It is critical to select the suitable size for your family’s requirements.When it comes to huge volumes of water, gas tank water heaters are preferable than electric tank water heaters since they can heat significantly more water every hour.Tankless water heaters, on the other hand, heat water only when it is needed.In order to understand how much hot water can be generated at one time by a tankless water heater, you must first look at the GPM capabilities of the particular water heater.

Overall, tankless water heaters are preferable for this application because, unlike tank water heaters, they continually generate hot water at the GPM rate that they are capable of producing.When using a tank model, you will run out of hot water once you have used up all of the hot water contained in the tank.If you acquire a tankless water heater with a high GPM capability, it will be able to provide the same quantity of warm water as a conventional tank water heater.

Heat Loss

The most significant problem with having hot water available at all times is heat loss.Both types of tank water heaters are affected, although tankless heaters are not affected in any way by this phenomenon.Even while you may alleviate the problem to some extent by adding insulation to the tank, there will still be some heat loss from the tank.In general, tankless water heaters perform better in this standard than traditional tank water heaters.

Hot Water During a Power Outage

During a power outage, both tank and tankless gas water heaters may keep you warm by supplying you with hot water.If you live in a location where electricity interruptions occur on a regular basis rather than just rarely, this can be a significant advantage.It will ensure that you have constant and dependable access to hot water.All things considered, any form of gas-powered water heater is the most appropriate for this use.

Low Risk of Accidents

When water heaters are not maintained on a regular basis, they are susceptible to damage and wear.Some sorts of accidents, on the other hand, are far more serious than others.For example, gas heaters provide the greatest danger since a gas leak in the heater or a pipe might result in an explosion.Water leaks can occur in the storage tanks of classic heaters (whether they are powered by gas or electricity).Corrosion can manifest itself in a variety of ways, ranging from a minor leak to a significant volume of water escaping.This might result in a flood if your water heater is located inside your home.

Because of these two factors, tankless electric water heaters are the most dependable in terms of safety and dependability.

Fast Heating Capabilities

With a tankless water heater, you will have hot water available immediately when you turn on the tap.Having hot water available in a storage tank, on the other hand, eliminates the need to wait for the water to heat up.The issues only arise when the hot water supply in a tank is depleted, and it might take a long time for the tank to be replenished.In comparison to gas heaters, electric heaters take longer to refuel their tanks.Overall, gas tankless water heaters are the most efficient and dependable when it comes to providing the fastest heating capabilities.

Using Multiple Sources of Water

If numerous people of your home require access to hot water at the same time, a tankless water heater with a lower power rating may prove to be unreliable in this situation.Consider the following scenario: even if you have more than one shower in your house, you may still discover that only one person can shower at a time if your heater is not sized right.While washing laundry with hot water, you may also want to avoid showering in order to prevent being hit with an unexpected rush of cold water, which may be dangerous.That being said, if you pick a tankless water heater with the appropriate GPM for your family, this should not be a problem, and a tankless heater can perform even better than a traditional unit when used with numerous sources of water, as previously stated.

Need for Repairs

Tank water heaters are less complicated to install than tankless water heaters.This can frequently result in a reduction in the demand for repairs and other sorts of maintenance.Furthermore, when repairs are required for a traditional heater, the location of the problem is usually evident, resulting in the problem being resolved in a shorter amount of time.Traditional tank versions are easier to fix because of their simplicity, but tankless water heaters are more durable and may not require as many repairs because of their extended life span.

How to Expand Your Water Heater Lifespan

When discussing how long do hot water tanks survive, we’ve brought up the subject of maintenance a few times.Adequate, regular maintenance is vital for any water heater, regardless of brand or model.It might mean the difference between having to replace the heater immediately after the warranty expires and being able to maintain it for several more years.There are a few simple things you can take to ensure that your water heater is in peak operating condition.It’s important to remember that all of the steps below necessitate shutting off the water heater first and exercising caution since the water you discharge may be scalding hot.If you are unfamiliar with working with water heaters, we always recommend contacting with a reputable water heater specialist for any service and repair difficulties.

We’ll guide you through the process of determining which tankless water heater is best for your particular water scenario in the section below.

1. Check the Pressure-Relief Valve

A pressure-relief valve is included with conventional water heaters.This is intended to prevent pressure from building up inside the tank and resulting in an explosion in the tank.However, it will only be effective in preventing an explosion if it is functioning properly at the time.To ensure that it is operating properly on a regular basis, you should check it on a regular basis.Prepare by placing a bucket beneath the discharge pipe and running the testing procedure.Then, with the pressure-relief valve lever raised, the pressure will be relieved.

It should be possible to see water coming out of the pipe.The valve must be replaced if none of the others work.

2. Take a Look at the Anode Rod

Anode rod corrosion has previously been discussed as a key cause of tank water heater failures in the previous section.Checking to see that your anode rod is in excellent working order is a simple approach to extend the life of your hot water heating system.The rod that is screwed to the top of your tank gas or electric heater may be found here.If there is any evidence of corrosion, the rod should be replaced immediately.Consequently, there will be no leaks in your tank.Replacing the anode rod on a regular basis can help extend the usable life of a water heater by as much as 12 years.

3. Remove Limescale

Even a little quantity of limescale can impair the efficiency of your water heater’s heating element.Limescale accumulation may be easily removed from your heater by rinsing it with pure white vinegar after each use.Depending on whether you have a tank-style or a tankless water heater, the method will be different.To prevent a vacuum from forming in a tank water heater, open a faucet just a little bit more than normal.After that, connect a hose to the drain valve and cut off the water supply to the house.It is necessary to drain some of the water in order to create room for some vinegar.

After that, you may turn off the water supply valve.Remove the anode rod and fill the container with vinegar.Replacing the anode (and maybe replacing it with a new one, if necessary) and re-connecting the cold water supply are the next steps.Allow at least six hours for the vinegar to work its magic before draining and refilling your tank with water.It is necessary to remove the cover from a tankless water heater as well as close all three water valves.

  1. Remove the purge port valve caps to allow pressure to be released from the heater.
  2. Afterwards, connect hoses to each of the valves.
  3. Reopen the valves and clean the water heater with vinegar to remove any remaining sediment.
  4. Reinstall the valve caps and remove the filter if necessary.
  1. Rinse the filter with water and then reinstall it when it has been cleaned.
  2. Last but not least, reinstall the lid and turn on your heater.
  3. Detailed instructions on how to do this task safely may be found in your manufacturer’s handbook.

4. Flush Out Sediments

Tank water heaters should be flushed once or twice a year, depending on their size.This eliminates any silt that may have accumulated at the bottom of the tank.Continue to flush the water until there is no sediment remaining – this should take around 2 to 3 liters of water.If you continue to clean your tank but there is still sediment present or if the water has a rust tint to it, it is likely that your heater is no longer operating in a safe manner.The item in question must be replaced as quickly as feasible in this instance.Noises coming from your water heater are another sign that you need to replace it.

After you’ve flushed the tank, you should no longer see them.If they continue, it is likely that there is a significant problem with your heater.

5. Inspect the Gas Lines

Any type of gas water heater (regardless of the brand) requires regular inspection of the pipes. Look for evidence of corrosion as well as fissures in the metal. If you feel that you have a leak, you should contact a professional HVAC service right once. Even a minor leak has the potential to be exceedingly destructive.

6. Look for Water Leaks

If your water heater is located outside, it is possible that you will not discover that it is leaking.Broken or cracked piping in the heater, as well as a puddle beneath the heater on the floor, indicate significant damage and the need for a replacement.Keep in mind that the first time you use a gas heater, there will be some condensation on the surface.It’s possible that a tiny amount of water has accumulated in the drain pan.This is typical – the water will disappear as soon as the heater reaches the proper temperature, which will be shortly.This article has provided answers to two questions: how long do water heaters last and how can you extend the life of your water heater’s tank.

With this knowledge, you’ll be able to select the most appropriate model of water heater for your household and extend the lifespan of your water heater.Before making a purchase, make sure to read our assessment of the best tankless water heaters.

How Long Does a Water Heater Last? A Guide for Homeowners

In some ways, purchasing a new house might feel like taking a high-stakes gamble—especially when you’re concerned about that rusty old water heater towering in the corner of the room.Because new units may cost $1,000 (or more), it is critical to determine how much life is left in your current unit before purchasing a replacement.But, how long does a water heater actually survive in the real world?For a better understanding of its probable lifespan, consider the following information.Assuming you maintain your water heater properly, the majority of models should last between eight and twelve years on average.Even if your model is in fine working order, it’s a good idea to replace a unit that’s more than a decade old.

A unexpected leak might result in a large amount of water being released.

Please, Mr. Postman

Send me the latest news, advice, and promotional offers from® and from a tank is the most typical type of failure in home heaters that necessitates the unit’s replacement, according to Chris Go, general manager of Levy & Son Service Experts, a Dallas-based heating and cooling company.And, while all water heaters will ultimately succumb to the forces of nature, careful maintenance may extend the life of your equipment significantly.Additionally, ensure that you clean the tank and inspect the anode rod at least once a year, in addition to using suitable insulation to avoid heat loss.These fundamental activities guarantee that the inside is efficient and free of corrosion.According to Gos, a heater that is ″undersized″ may also fail more quickly, particularly if it is gas.

″When a gas heater’s supply of hot water is repeatedly decreased as a result of intensive consumption, the burner ignites more frequently,″ he explains.Tank deterioration and damage to the inside glass lining might result as a result of this.

When to replace your water heater

  • Even if a sudden leak is a clear indication that your water heater has to be replaced, this is the worst-case situation. If your heater is already leaking, you’re in a world of hurt. Here are a few more red flags to look out for: Internal corrosion of the device is generally indicated by rusty water (warning: spoiler alert!). However, it is possible that the galvanized pipe is a little rusted as well. Draining the water from your heater may reveal the source of the problem
  • however, this method is not recommended.
  • Water that is too cold is an unwelcome surprise, especially in the middle of February. While this may only indicate that a repair is required, it is important to contact a professional right away because the entire unit may need to be replaced.
  • If you hear rumbling coming from the silt that has built up on the tank’s bottom, it is possible that you need a new heater immediately.
  • Leaks are a simple visible sign that something is wrong with your water heater and should be addressed immediately. In order to determine the state of your unit, contact a certified plumber very away

How Long Does an Electric Water Heater Last?

This knowledge is especially important if you are one of the 40 percent of Americans who use an electric water heater (as opposed to the 53 percent who have a gas water heater).You will learn how to extend the life of your water heater, how to determine the age of your electric water heater, and what to do when it comes time to replace that important element of your home: the dependable water heater.

How Long Does an Electric Water Heater Last?

Water heaters that use natural gas have a life expectancy of 8-12 years, whereas electric water heaters have a life expectancy of 10-15 years.

How Can I Tell How Old My Electric Water Heater Is?

Finding out how old your water heater is (after someone teaches you a trick or two!) is a simple process.Begin by viewing the following video: To find out how old your water heater is, do the following: 1.Look for the label.Decode the label by determining how your brand of water heater documents the production date inside the serial number on the label (see diagram below).3.Water heater manufacturers record the month and year of production, or the year and week of manufacturing, as part of the serial numbers on the water heaters they produce.

For help identifying the brand of water heater you have, go to this chart.Then you may use the description to figure out what the serial number is.

Determine the Age of Your Water Heater By Decoding the Serial Number

Manufacturer Brand SerialEx. Key
(Prior to 2001, American was owned by GSW Corporation and manufactured water heaters for nearly 50 different brands. American was acquired by A.O. Smith in 2001 and currently only manufactures American, American-Pro-line, Premium Plus, U.S. Craftmaster and Whirlpool brand water heaters.)
American 9746******(46th week of 1997) American uses a 2-digit year followed by a 2-digit week
U.S. Craftmaster
American Hardware
Best Deluxe
Aqua Temp
Agua Therm
Earl’s Energy Saver
Four Most
Master Plumber
Special Deluxe
Super Eagle
Tru Value
U.S. Supply
XCL-Energy Saver
Manufacturer Brand SerialEx. Key

A.O. Smith
A.O. Smith Before 2008*H06******Since about 2008 0805AXXXXXX Prior to 2008, the 2nd letter in the series is the month followed by the 2-digit year. A thru N = Jan thru Dec (excludes I).Since 2008, they use an 11-digit alpha-numeric serial number. The first two positions are the year followed by a two digit week.
Bradford White D*******F(June 1967) CJ******* (Sept 1986) B-W uses a 20-year letter code cycle to designate the year. The first letter is the year and the second is the month. Letter A = 1964, 1984 and 2004 A thru N = Jan thru Dec (Excludes I, O, Q, R, U & V)
Energy Saver
Golden Knight
Rheem 0794******(July 1994) or0794F***** (July 1994) Rheem uses a 2-digit month followed by a 2-digit year
Vista Therm
Aqua Therm
Energy Master
Coast to Coast
True Value
Intertherm & Miller
Montgomery Ward
General Electric
State Industries(State industries was acquired by A.O. Smith in 2008. A.O. Smith now uses this code.) State/Kenmore 0904*******(April 2009)C05******* (March 2005) Prior to 2008, State used a 1-letter month followed by a 2-digit year A thru N = Jan thru Dec (Excludes the letter I)Beginning 2008, State uses an 11-digit alpha-numeric serial number. The first two positions are the year followed by a two digit week. Position 5 is a letter followed by 6 numbers.
Energy Stretcher
Hardware House
Master Plumber/True5
The Plumbery

How Can I Extend the Life of my Electric Water Heater?

  • The most effective method of extending the life of a water heater is to empty it once a year and replace the anode rod once every three years. Here’s how to do it: the procedure must be followed while emptying a water heater
  • Replace an anode rod according to these instructions:

Help! My Water Heater is on It’s Last Legs!

We get what you’re saying!Give us a call and we’ll assist you in determining which kind and brand of water heater is most appropriate for your needs.We’ll talk about the pros and cons of gas vs electric, as well as tank versus tankless options.In the end, you receive the most value for your money from your water heater.We are looking forward to collaborating with you!Take a look at this stylish tankless water heater.

Summary of the Article Quick inquiry and response: How long does it take for an electric water heater to heat water?The typical lifespan of an electric water heater is 10-15 years.To figure out how old your water heater is, look for the label on the outside of the unit.Then, using the accompanying chart, figure out how your brand of water heater documents the production date inside the serial number on the label, then decode the label from that point forward.

How Long Should a Water Heater Last? – A Detailed Answer

Are you one of the many homeowners who is debating whether it is time to replace their water heater?If you know how long a water heater should survive, answering this question will be a piece of cake.While the answer may not be definite, it will give you a general sense of when you should expect to need to replace your water heater.Water heaters, like everything else, are not built to last a lifetime.Many causes might limit its service life, resulting in it needing to be replaced sooner than anticipated.Please join me as I learn about the average lifespan of water heaters and how you may extend the time they are in operation.

What Is the Average Lifespan of a Conventional Water Heater With Tank?

The lifespan of a water heater varies depending on the manufacturer.An eight-year product lifespan may be specified by one manufacturer, but a twelve-year lifespan can be specified by another manufacturer for its water heaters.Unfortunately, real-world usage mandates that tank water heaters have a shorter service life than they should.Some families may have their water heaters failing them after only five years, but others may be fortunate enough to have their units last up to 15 years.The structure of the anode rod is the source of the problem.In tank water heater systems, this element is essential because it attracts corrosive particles and sediments present in the water, making the system more efficient.

It protects the water heater tank against corrosion, allowing it to last for a longer period of time.Unfortunately, with constant usage, the anode rod might corrode.If this occurs, it will be unable to carry out its role.The bottom of the water heater tank will become clogged with silt and corrosive substances in this event.They cause the depreciation of the hot water heater to occur more quickly, reducing its lifespan.

What Is the Average Lifespan of a Tankless Water Heater?

Because tankless water heaters do not operate constantly, their life expectancy is significantly greater than that of standard tank systems.Tankless water heaters, also known as on-demand water heaters, only heat water when someone turns on a hot water faucet or turns on a showerhead.In spite of the fact that tankless water heaters lack an anode rod, they are not immune to corrosion in the long run.A tankless water heater may last up to 20 years on average if the water is of good quality and the heater is properly maintained.

What Factors Affect a Water Heater’s Lifespan?

Because of the influence of a variety of circumstances, two similar water heaters might have very varying lifespans. Having a better understanding of how these aspects impact the water heater will assist you in obtaining a more definitive response to the question, ″How long do hot water heater last?″

Water Hardness Levels

Above 90 percent of American houses have moderately hard (over 60 mg/L or 3.5 to 7.0 grains per gallon) to extremely hard (at least 10.5 grains per gallon or 180 mg/L) water, according to the United States Geological Survey.Households with calcium carbonate levels up to 60 mg/L (3.5 grains per gallon of water) constitute the remaining ten percent of the population.The larger the concentration of calcium, magnesium, and other hardness elements in the water, the greater the likelihood of the production of limescale.Limescale accumulation affects the efficiency of water heaters, compromising the device’s ability to heat water and lowering the service life of hot water heater units.


Calcium and magnesium aren’t the only elements that might affect the life of a water heater’s heating element. Water can collect in the tank’s bottom due to a buildup of sediments, dirt, silt, trash, and other particles. These compounds can also clog the intake filters of a water heater, resulting in a reduction in the amount of water that gets to the tank.

Water Consumption

The longevity of a water heater is determined by how hard it is forced to work in order to provide enough hot water for the entire family.More hot water consumed than the water heater is capable of producing can stress the system, resulting in the early failure of sensitive components.That is why selecting the appropriate water heater size for the demands of the family is critical to ensuring the longevity of the water heater.

Build Quality

I can’t help but overemphasize the importance of this issue.Some consumers may believe that purchasing a low-cost goods is a good idea because of the savings they would realize.Many low-cost water heaters, on the other hand, are of poor quality, with inadequate corrosion protection and insulation, for example.The anode rod plays a critical role in the process.Anode rods made of magnesium are used in the majority of water heaters because they have a greater propensity to give off electrons than aluminum.Households with high pH levels or hard water, on the other hand, may consider investing in a water heater that includes an aluminum anode rod.

Learn more about the best water heater for hard water in this post, which we hope will be of use to you.


Maintenance is required on all equipment and machinery on a frequent and regular basis in order to maintain optimal operating conditions.Users can also spot possible faults before they manifest themselves by following a diligent maintenance plan.Failure to perform timely repairs and maintenance inspections can significantly reduce the lifespan of a water heater.It is possible that an electric or gas water heater will only survive eight years, rather than the usual 12 years.

Installation Quality

A heavy-duty, well-constructed water heater is worthless if it is not properly installed. Aside from that, gas water heaters must adhere to all applicable building rules and requirements. If this is not done, the household faces the danger of having a defective water heater as well as gas-related problems.

How Do You Improve a Water Heater’s Service Lifespan?

Proper maintenance of your water heater, as well as adherence to the following guidelines, can help to extend its service life.

Regular Maintenance Checks

Every component of your water heater is included on a maintenance checklist in your owner’s handbook. To maximize the longevity of your water heater, it is recommended that you follow the guidelines outlined below.

Buy the Correct Water Heater Size for the Family

Purchasing the proper size water heater might help you prevent overstressing your water heater. Always keep in mind the maximum amount of hot water that your home will need and get a water heater with a larger capacity. Consider the following scenario: if your peak use is 50 gallons per hour, you will need a water heater with a first-hour capacity of at least 50 gallons.

Flush and Clean the Tank at least Once Yearly

Over time, sediments and other particles might accumulate in the tank’s bottom, causing it to become cloudy. As a result, flushing and cleaning your water heater every six to twelve months makes perfect sense.

Invest in a High-quality Water Softener and Sediment Pre-filter

Installing a pre-filter will help to prevent sediment from building up in the water filter system. The use of a water softener prior to the installation of a water heater can also help to decrease limescale buildup, hence extending the life of the water heater.

Consider Adding an Expansion Tank

The expansion of heated water causes the structural integrity of the tank to be compromised over time. The addition of an expansion tank allows the water heater to redirect warm water into the other tank, so reducing structural stress on the primary water heater tank.

Check the Anode Rod Annually

Check the anode rod for corrosion at least once a year to ensure that it is in good working order. If the anode rod is roughly 75 percent corroded, it may be necessary to replace it in order to enhance the water heater’s performance.

How Do You Know Your Water Heater Requires a Replacement?

  • The unit should be replaced at least two years before it reaches the end of its service life, in the best case scenario. You should replace your water heater when you see any of the following indicators. Unavailability of adequate hot water
  • Not as efficient as it used to be in heating the water
  • Increasing the cost of water heating
  • Indications of corrosion both in the water heater and in the water
  • An increase in both the frequency and the quantity of water heater repairs.


What is the expected lifespan of a water heater?You may anticipate a tank water heater to last up to 12 years with regular maintenance, whereas tankless water heaters can last up to two decades with regular maintenance.It is possible that water hardness levels, maintenance concerns, water usage (including sediment accumulation), water heater quality, and installation quality will all have an affect on a water heater’s service life.A water heater’s life expectancy may be extended by performing regular maintenance checks, adding water softeners and filters, installing an expansion tank, and keeping the unit clean on a regular basis.

How Long Does a Hot Water Heater Last? (Water Heater Lifespan)

  • Saveourh2o is sponsored by the people who use it. If you make a purchase after clicking on one of our links, we may receive a commission. More information may be found here. It is important to note that the typical lifespan of a hot water heater varies substantially depending on whether it is a tankless water heater, a gas tank water heater, or an electric tank water heater. When buying a new home, the first thing that should be checked is the state of the heater and the question of ‘how long does a hot water heater last?’ should be asked. The following is a general rule of thumb: Water heaters with a gas burner have an average lifespan of 8-12 years
  • electric water heaters have an average lifespan of 10-12 years
  • and tankless water heaters have an average lifespan of 20 years or longer.

It is critical to understand the lifespan of your hot water heater so that you may avoid being forced to hunt for a new water heater all at once.

Check the Serial Number to Know the Heater’s Lifespan

A closer inspection of the hot water heater will reveal the serial number; the letter corresponds to the month it was manufactured (A for January, B for February, and so on until L for December), and the next two numbers beside it will reveal the year it was manufactured (A for January, B for February, and so on until L for December).

What Causes My Heater to Break

  • Our water heaters filter what plumbers refer to as ″hard water,″ which implies that it includes an excessive amount of minerals and therefore requires filtering. Our heater has to work twice as hard to guarantee that the water coming out of your shower or tap is nice and warm for you in this case, which isn’t always a negative thing.
  • Damage caused by wear and tear: Over time, elements reduce the life expectancy of a hot water heater, but this may be readily repaired by checking the anode rod, which gathers all of the minerals in the water. You will extend the service life of your hot water heater in this manner.
  • Corrosion of the inner lining: When the inner lining of the water heater has been corroded, leaks are common, and a leakage typically indicates that the water heater needs to be replaced.

What Should We Do to Make Sure the Water Heat Runs Well

To begin, perform a general inspection to see whether or not you need to replace your water heater entirely. It is preferable to determine whether or not you only require some parts to be replaced, realigned, or calibrated before proceeding with the replacement.

First, make sure that all of the valves are tight and that all of the pipes are aligned; by doing these little repairs and replacements of the components, you will be able to extend the typical lifespan of a water heater rather than having to replace it immediately.

Another thing to keep in mind is that it is critical to empty your water heater at least twice a year to ensure that any sediments that have accumulated at the bottom of the tank are removed. The sediments are frequently the cause of a decrease in the life expectancy of a water heater since they cause cracks to emerge.

What Can I Do With Anode Rod?

  • If you take good care of your water heater, you may extend its typical lifespan to up to 20 years, regardless of whether it is gas or electric. The key is to drain and clean your heater on a regular basis
  • more particularly, to clean the anode rod on your heater. Locate the rod as follows: The anode rod is frequently found close to the hot water exit on a water heater. Its mission is to electrolyze all of the minerals in order to attract them all. Thus, the minerals do not cause any damage to the inner lining of the water heater’s container. By doing so, the water heater’s lifespan is increased
  • yet,
  • Check the rod for damage: Because it is attracted to the majority of minerals, it corrodes fast and, if left unchecked, can result in leaks. When you clean your anode rod, you may avoid additional leaks and damages, so successfully prolonging the life expectancy of your water heating system.
  • If necessary, substitute: When cleaning the anode rod does not solve the problem, the last step would be to purchase and replace the old rod in order to improve the performance of your heater.

The moment you notice any unusual noises, such as cleaning, rumbling, or anything else out of the norm, as well as more frequent leaks, it is time to start looking for a new system.

The Takeaway

If you keep your water heater in good condition, you will discover that the need to replace it will be far down the road.However, before looking for replacements, it is critical to examine what may be potentially mended before making the major choice of replacing the entire system.What channel did you use to locate this article?We hope that you were able to acquire some useful information on ″how long does a hot water heater last?″ from this article.We would really appreciate hearing your comments on this subject.Please feel free to write a note below or to forward this to other people.

Enjoy lower energy bills—as well as uninterrupted access to hot showers—by keeping tabs on your hot water heater’s age and condition so you’ll know when to replace it. 

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Q. We just bought a house, and the previous owners told us that the water heater is about 6 years old. Does that mean we’ll have to replace it soon? How long do water heaters last?

A.As long as it’s still heating water adequately and making no unusual noises, you should be able to get a few more years of use out of it.The usable life of a water heater varies based on the kind of water heater, the quality of the device, and how well it has been maintained.When it comes to water heaters, you may be thinking, ″How long do they last?″ Continue reading to learn about the indications of aging and what to consider when replacing an old water heater.

A Water Heater’s Life Expectancy

There are a variety of elements that influence the life expectancy of a water heater.In addition to the age of the water heater and whether or not it receives regular maintenance, the quality of the water and the amount of water that is used on a regular basis have an impact on its longevity.However, while a water heater may be able to outlive normal projections, there are expectations for how long a water heater will survive dependent on the type of water heater used.

A traditional tank-type water heater lasts an average of 8 to 12 years.

An anode rod is installed within the tank to preserve the internal lining by drawing all corrosive particles to itself through a process known as electrolysis, which is performed on the rod.The particles from the rod’s corrosion accumulate in the bottom of the water tank, where they may ultimately degrade or damage the tank’s lining.When this occurs, the rod is no longer effective at its task.Once corrosion begins to occur within the tank, the water heater has reached the end of its useful life.Related: Best Water Heaters for

A tankless water heater can last up to 20 years, sometimes even longer.

Known as ″on-demand″ water heaters, these appliances do not operate continually to ensure a constant supply of hot water, allowing them to survive far longer than their tank-style counterparts in the process.Tankless water heaters (which do not employ anode rods) may, at some point, succumb to corrosion and require replacement of their has a great list of the best tankless water heaters for 2021.

Your existing water heater’s serial number holds the clue to its age.

The serial number of your water heater, which consists of a letter followed by a series of numbers and is situated on the upper section of the water heater, can help you establish when it was made even if you can’t locate the original documentation for your appliance at the time of purchase.Typically, the letter represents the month—for example, ″A″ represents January, ″B″ represents February, and so on, up to ″L″ representing December—and the next two digits represent the year it was created.For example, a serial number that begins with ″A10″ indicates that it was made in January 2010.This rule of thumb applies to the majority of hot water heater manufacturers, but if you have any questions, you may double-check the information on the company’s website.IN CONNECTION WITH: Gas vs.Electric Water Heaters: Which Is Better for You?

Signs Your Water Heater Might Be on Its Last Legs

  • It’s necessary to monitor the performance of your hot water heater on a frequent basis to ensure that it’s operating at peak efficiency. This goes beyond simply following the manufacturer’s maintenance recommendations. If you observe any of the following indicators in your appliance, it’s a good idea to start looking for a replacement right away, even though all appliances have an average lifespan based on normal use. When a water heater is nearing the end of its useful life, it is common to hear banging or rumbling sounds. Few individuals actually follow the manufacturer’s recommendation to flush a tank-style water heater on an annual basis, resulting in calcium buildup from hard water collecting at the bottom of the tank. This is a necessity for maintaining the warranty on the water heater. During usage, the sediment accumulates, hardens, and finally creates a thick crust, which can cause the water heater to creak and bang when it heats the water.
  • The hot water has a weird fragrance about it. If the hot water has a strange odor or flavor to it, it is possible that something is polluting the water storage tank. Metal that has been absorbed by the water or bacteria that has gathered inside the tank might be the cause of this odor. Alternatively, if cleaning the tank does not resolve the issue, it may be necessary to hire a plumber.
  • Rust might be present in any faucet that produces colored hot water, whether it be red or filthy yellow. It’s critical to evaluate whether the discolouration shows while the cold water is flowing as well as when it’s not. A corrosion problem is more likely to begin inside the water heater rather than within any rusting galvanized pipework, if this is the case
  • It is possible that the water temperature will decline. This indicates that the water heater is approaching the end of its service life if the water does not heat up as quickly or does not remain at the correct temperature for as long as it once did
  • there is less hot water available than in the past. Over time, silt can accumulate inside the water tank, reducing the amount of space available for water storage within the tank. If the hot water is running out more quickly, it is possible that the tank has to be emptied and cleaned. Waiting too long to clean the tank may result in the tank having to be replaced.
  • The presence of water accumulating around the base of a water heater tank is also a bad omen. First, verify sure the leak isn’t coming from a fitting or valve that simply needs to be tightened or replaced by a qualified professional. Engage the services of an expert to investigate the issue and conduct any necessary maintenance. If you discover that the source of the leak is the tank itself, it is possible that the tank is fractured or rusted within.
  • The hardness of the water is influencing the quality of the water. Hard water can cause significant damage to a water heater, shortening its service life by two or more years. If you find white limescale accumulating on plumbing surfaces, it is possible that the water heater may need to be changed more frequently.
  • The location of the heater might have an impact on its longevity. It takes more energy to heat water in a garage or crawl area since the temperature dips substantially lower there. As a result, water heaters in these locations tend to wear out more rapidly than those in a temperature-controlled home. It is recommended that you begin looking for end-of-life warning indications sooner than the manufacturer suggests if either of these factors applies to your system.

Related: The Best Tankless Gas Water Heaters of

Planning Ahead to Replace a Water Heater

A hot water heater replacement is not an uncommon undertaking, but it is one that requires careful preparation and consideration.Depending on whether you have a regular tank water heater or a specialist electric tankless water heater, the time it takes to order a replacement might differ.Additionally, scheduling a time with a professional plumber to make the switch when it is not an emergency will save you money on additional installation expenses.Most importantly, knowing the precise hot water heater that will be needed before the present one reaches the end of its useful life may help the procedure run much more easily and efficiently.

Think 2 years beyond the predicted lifespan of your water heater. 

A hot water heater replacement is not an uncommon undertaking, but it requires careful planning and consideration.When ordering a replacement water heater, the lead time might vary depending on whether it is a traditional tank or an electric tankless water heater.It is also possible to save money on installation expenses by scheduling a time with a professional plumber when the changeover is not an emergency.However, knowing the specific hot water heater that is required before the present one reaches the end of its useful life may make the procedure much more efficient.

Take advantage of the energy-saving tech features newer models offer. 

After several years of use, either kind of water heater is susceptible to mineral deposits and silt accumulation, which can increase the amount of energy required to heat the water, hence decreasing the overall efficiency of the device.Install a replacement, on the other hand, and the combination of a decade’s worth of technological advancements and the new model’s clean interior will almost certainly result in a reduction in your power bill in the months to come.IN CONNECTION WITH: The Best Propane Tankless Water Heaters for Your House

Start looking for a new water heater before it’s needed.

The procedure of replacing a water heater might become more complex and expensive if you wait until it becomes an emergency or is exceedingly inconvenient.If your present water heater is exhibiting symptoms of wear and tear, begin investigating replacement choices and speaking with a professional about arranging an appointment for an evaluation and possible replacement.A conventional water heater can be delivered in a few days and replaced in a few hours by a professional, but having a plan in place before your water heater breaks can be extremely beneficial.

Call the manufacturer if the water heater is still under warranty.

While a variety of problems might indicate that a water heater is nearing the end of its useful life, if your unit is only a few years old, the problem may be repairable and covered by the manufacturer’s warranty.Before purchasing a new appliance, it may be worthwhile to contact the manufacturer or a plumber to have the item inspected.Repairing an older unit will also provide you more time to choose a replacement unit when the time comes.RELATED: The problem has been resolved!How to Choose the Most Appropriate Water Heater

Final Thoughts

Hot water heaters have become indispensable components of the contemporary house, yet they are rarely given much thought until something goes wrong.It’s crucial to check on the functioning of your home’s functional parts on a regular basis, just like you would with your roof, windows, electricity, and stairs.This will help you avoid a potential problem.Knowing the critical warning signals that suggest that a hot water heater may need to be replaced soon, as well as what to look for when replacing a hot water heater, will help you save time, worry, and money on your next hot water heater installation.

FAQs About Water Heaters and How Long They Last

Q. How long does it take to install a water heater?

The majority of competent plumbers can complete the installation of a water heater in a few hours.

Q. Can a water heater last 30 years?

30 years is an unusually long time for a used water heater to operate. Most tank water heaters have an average lifespan of 8 to 12 years, but tankless water heaters can have a lifespan of up to 20 years or more.

Q. How much does it typically cost to replace a hot water heater?

The cost of replacing a used water heater varies depending on your region, where the heater is placed in the home, the type of hot water heater being installed, and whether or not the replacement is an emergency situation. Typically, the price range begins at around $1,000.

Q. Is it possible to repair a leaking water heater?

It is feasible to repair certain water heater leaks, and this is something we recommend.There might be an easy explanation for a leak coming from the pressure relief valve or drain valve, such as a buildup of minerals caused by hard water.A simple adjustment such as tightening a connection or changing a washer may suffice, but a more intricate fix that requires the expertise of a professional may be required.Always turn off the water supply before messing with a hot water heater for the sake of safety.

Q. How many showers can you take with a 50-gallon water heater?

How long the showers last is determined by the duration of the showers.A 50-gallon water heater has the capacity to provide around 35 gallons of hot water in an hour.A typical shower consumes around 2 gallons of water every minute, for a total of approximately 17 gallons of water.Get free, no-obligation repair quotes from licensed plumbers in your area by filling out the form on this page.

What Is The Longest-Lasting Water Heater?

Most people in the United States have used water heaters at some point in their lives.However, water heaters must occasionally be taken out of service due to damage or simply because they have been in operation for an extended period of time.So, how long should a water heater survive in practice, and which type of water heater has the greatest expected lifespan?Rheem water heaters are among the most reliable and long-lasting water heaters available on the market today.The Marathon water heater from Rheem comes with a lifetime guarantee.A number of other well-known brands, such as Bradford White, A.O.

Smith, EcoSmart, and others, are also terrific choices.Water heaters typically last 8 to 12 years, but with regular maintenance, a good one may last 20 years or more.A water heater, like any other device in your home, has a limited service life.This is true of every item in your home.However, the longer the heater’s lifespan, the cheaper the maintenance costs, the higher the efficiency, and the higher the overall quality of the heating system will be.

  1. Additional than Rheem, you have a variety of other water heater alternatives to consider when it comes to durability.
  2. In this article, we will look at the brands of water heaters that are the most durable and should be considered for purchase.

What Is the Most Reliable Water Heater Brand?

There is no doubting that a water heater with a lengthy lifespan is dependable.Every time you require hot water, you can be confident that it will provide reliable service.However, because of the large number of water heaters available on the market, it has become difficult to identify the most dependable models.The following are some of the most dependable heater manufacturers that are worth your consideration:

Rheem Water Heater

  • Brands such as Rheem are widely recognized as being among the most trustworthy and dependable in their respective fields. The firm began manufacturing water heaters in 1925, about a century ago. For more than a century, Rheem has earned a reputation for producing high-quality water heaters. The mission of this firm is to assist families in achieving the highest level of comfort in their homes. The firm offers a comprehensive line of water heater distribution devices, including gas, electric, solar, tank, and tankless models. But it has put a significant amount of effort and money into the development of tankless water heaters. The Marathon water heater is the best-rated tank model on the market, and it comes with a lifetime guarantee. Its characteristics are as follows: Marathon water heaters have a long lifespan due to two key characteristics: they do not have an anode rod
  • they are constructed of contemporary materials that are resistant to the corrosive qualities found in tap water
  • and they are energy efficient.

More information on Marathon water heaters may be found in our post Are Marathon Water Heaters Worth It? (Explained). In addition to having a rapid recovery time, Rheem tankless water heaters need less maintenance. Rheem has made significant investments in research and technology in order to improve the overall quality of its products.

Bradford White Water Heater

If you’re looking for a firm that is 100% American-owned and operated to meet your hot water demands, there is no better company than the Bradford White Corporation.The firm is well-known for its tankless water heaters, as well as for its significant contribution to the commercial application market.Bradford White is well-known for manufacturing a wide range of goods, virtually all of which are noted for being extremely long-lasting.They mostly manufacture electric and gas-powered vehicles.When compared to competing goods, the Bradford White water heater has a higher price tag than the competition.In the long term, they may, nevertheless, be worth the effort.

When you have a problem with a Bradford heater, you will receive expert customer service as soon as possible.There’s also a potential that you’ll be eligible for a 10-year warranty.Bradford White water heaters have gotten overwhelmingly excellent feedback from consumers who have purchased and utilized the items.

A.O. Smith Water Heaters

Among the most well-known and respected water heater manufacturers in the United States and across the world, A.O.Smith is a household name.The firm is well-known for supplying water heaters and other domestic equipment that are both energy-efficient and environmentally friendly.The firm was founded in 1874 and has maintained a high level of repute in the industry ever since.As a result, it is considered to be one of the most reliable water heater brands.In addition, the firm has made investments in research and technology in order to consistently manufacture high-quality products.

The majority of the water heaters sold by the firm hold 2.5 gallons of water.There are even bigger models available, with a tank capacity of 120 gallons.All of the goods manufactured by A.O.Smith are long-lasting, highly efficient, and effective in their respective fields.

Rinnai Water Heater

When it comes to efficiency and technology, Rinnai is one of the best water heater brands on the market.The firm, which was established in 1920, is one of the leading manufacturers of water heaters in Japan.Although the firm distributes its goods around the world, polls have revealed that more than 32 million water heater users throughout the world choose Rinnai products.The heater distinguishes itself from the competition by delivering exceptional performance while conserving energy.Installing these water heaters is a simple process that anybody can do.In addition, the heaters have been developed with care and have safety elements to keep users safe.

It is possible to purchase Rinnai goods at an inexpensive price because to the company’s support and engineering efforts.The fact that it comes with a 12-year warranty will also be appealing to you.

EcoSmart Tankless Water Heater

Choosing an EcoSmart water heater is the greatest option if you’re on a tight budget and want a high-quality water heater at an inexpensive price.Because of its green energy technology, EcoSmart has established itself as the most dependable independent water heater producer.Its EcoSmart electric tankless water heaters are the company’s most well-known and successful products.These heaters are popular among consumers because of their updated technology, which may boost performance by up to 45 percent.You will be able to generate greater power while using less energy as a result.The EcoSmart water heaters also have smart boost technology, which increases the efficiency of the heater.

Tankless water heaters are known to operate more efficiently when this technology is used.Water heaters from EcoSmart can provide you with rapid hot water whenever you need it, day or night.In addition, the heaters are simple and inexpensive to install.

Can Water Heaters Last 20 Years?

Yes, a water heater has a lifespan of up to 20 years.However, in order for it to endure that long, you need get the most sturdy brand available.Tankless water heaters, for example, may last up to five times longer than traditional tank water heaters.If you want your water heater to last for more than 20 years, you need also do regular maintenance and repairs.The following are three things you can take to ensure that your water heater lasts at least 20 years:

1. Flush The Water Heater Tank Each Year

A yearly flushing of the water heater tank is recommended by almost every manufacturer of a hot water heater.However, simply emptying the water heater will not cleanse the system.For the correct process to drain water from your water heater, you should refer to the manufacturer’s instructions.Consider the following example: if you have a Bradford White water heater, you should follow the steps outlined below:

Turn off the gas supply to the water heater by turning off the gas valve. In the event of an electric water heater, switch off the energy to the water heater

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