How Long Does A Water Heater Last?

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A water heater is the most essential appliance in your house. It can save you from the dangers of cold, bacteria-filled water and it also has an important role in keeping you and your family safe. Many signs will indicate when it’s time to replace a water heater.

In this article, we'll speak about how long a water heater lasts, the most common reasons that make it break down, and which signs will indicate when you should change your water heater- let's get right into it.

How long does a water heater typically last?

There are a lot of factors that determine how long a water heater will last. For example, if you live in an area where there's a lot of toxic water, your system will need to be replaced more often because hard water can shorten the usage life of the tank. If you have old plumbing or pipes, it could also decrease your water heater's life expectancy.

The typical lifespan of a water heater is 10 to 15 years, however. The average lifespan varies between manufacturers because the construction is different. Some companies make their systems using better-quality materials than others.

Another thing to consider are tankless water heaters. These  are more efficient than conventional storage-tank water heaters, but are also more expensive. Since they have no moving parts inside the unit, you won't need to replace them as frequently. Tankless water heaters have a lifespan that is generally between 10 and 20 years but it depends on how hard your water is as well. 

This means that one of the great things about having one in your home is that you don't have to worry about replacing it for many years and when the time comes, you'll pay less since there are no storage tanks.

Signs You Should Replace Your Water Heater

If your system has trouble heating water, it might be time for a replacement. Ensure that you choose one of these best water heater brands when considering your options.

There are many signs of when it's time to replace your water heater. These include:

1) If the pilot light goes out frequently

When a pilot light goes out, it means that the gas supply is inadequate. This can be caused by factors such as bad quality gas or partially clogged venting. If this happens to you, it's important to make sure your water heater is correctly vented and that there isn't any foreign material inside the tank-like rust or other sediments. Regular cleaning of your system can help prevent this from happening frequently, but if the problem persists for long periods, you should replace your unit.

2) You hear strange noises coming from the unit.

Once in a while, you might find that your water heater is making some weird sounds. This doesn't necessarily mean that it will break down soon, but make sure to have someone check it if you keep hearing it several times a day. Newer models are quieter than older ones, which means you probably won't hear anything like this at all. But if these strange sounds become more frequent or louder, and they last for a few days, then there's something wrong with your system.

pilot geyser making noise
Image Credit: Kitchen Infinity Photo

3) There's rust around the tank

Rust can be very dangerous because it leads to leaks and explosions when water mixes with hot metal. If you see rust on the surface of your water heater, or if it's leaking brownish water, then the system will need to be replaced soon. It might also drip directly from the tank without causing any damage, but this is something that shouldn't happen often at all.


 4) The temperature of the water changes unexpectedly

There are several different types of storage tank systems out there and sometimes, they can malfunction in a way that makes them go out of whack.

For example, a heat pump may change its output which could cause either very hot or very cold water to come through your faucet. A typical symptom of this problem is constantly changing temperatures while taking a shower – one minute you'll have hot water and the next second it will be cold.

This means that the number of BTUs (British Thermal Units) doesn't match your water heater's capacity, which usually indicates a problem with the system or an issue with the heating pump.

temperature guage on geyser
Image Credit: Kitchen Infinity Photo

5) You notice black sediment

If you spot black residue coming out of your faucet or showerhead, this is a sign that there are minerals in your water pipes and it may mean that you need to replace components such as a hot-water valve or anode rod. If you notice this happening frequently, there's a problem that needs to be addressed.

How long does it take to replace a water heater?

The replacement process usually takes no longer than half a day if you don't involve any surprises or complications. It should also go pretty smoothly as long as you remove the old unit properly and do everything in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions.

Should you drain your water line before replacing it?

Yes. If you want to do everything right, it's important to completely drain the system of any remaining water and clean out the pipes before turning off the gas or power supply. This can easily be done with a special valve that is attached directly to the unit's plumbing network.

If you don't want all this hassle, you can go for a tankless water heater. It obviously has its pros and cons but its working is easy!

Final thoughts on how long a water heater lasts

In conclusion, regardless of how long your water heater lasts, you must do everything in your power to take care of it properly. This means keeping the tank full at all times and draining any condensation regularly. It also means having a qualified professional check on things from time to time and fixing minor issues as they come up before they lead to major problems down the line.

Once you have taken good care of it for several years, then you should start thinking about buying a new system for your house. When this happens, don't forget that replacing one unit can save you money because you won't have to incur extra costs associated with repairs or maintenance. There are many types of different systems out there and you may want to invest in an Energy Star-rated one that will improve the energy efficiency of your house in the long run.

We hope that this article has given you a better idea of how long a water heater lasts and the signs that you should be looking out for in this regards.

Dino Paccino

Dino Paccino

Dino is a lifelong writer and home improvement specialist. He enjoys bringing cutting-edge information on home renovation and remodeling to Kitchen Infinity.

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