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Jun 24,2024

How Long Do Water Heaters Last?

With their eyes squinted with suspicion but their mind excited to get the most out of their buck, many property owners' primary question when purchasing a water heater is, "How long will it last?".

It turns out things are complicated – that is, it depends. It depends on the type of water heater, the brand name, the quality of the workmanship and the installation, the level of care and maintenance, and - sadly - the roll of the dice when it comes to accidental damage.

In this brief article brought to you by Mr. Rooter Plumbing, we scratch the surface on the lifespan of water heaters. If you want specific answers to your particular questions, then feel free to call Mr. Rooter and schedule a consultation with a plumber today.

Types of water heaters, and their lifespans:

The type of water heater is one of the most significant determinants of its lifespan. Here’s a breakdown of the common types and their expected durations. Let’s start with the conventional water heaters.

Traditional tank-style water heaters are the most common type of water heater. They work by heating and storing that heated water in a tank until needed. Typically, they last between 8 to 12 years. The lifespan is influenced by the tank material, with glass-lined tanks being more common and less durable compared to stainless steel tanks.

Then there are tankless water heaters. Also known as on-demand water heaters, these heat water only when needed. Tankless water heaters generally have a longer lifespan, ranging from 15 to 20 years. Their longevity is partly due to the absence of a tank, which is prone to rust and sediment buildup.

Finally, we’ll mention heat pump water heaters. These units are uncommon. They use electricity to transfer heat from the air or ground to heat water, making them more energy-efficient. They typically last about 10 to 15 years, depending on the model and usage conditions.

Workmanship and installation matter

The quality of installation and workmanship is a key aspect in determining the lifespan of a water heater. Poor installation can lead to a ton of issues, including leaks, inefficient heating, and even premature failure. It's essential to hire a qualified plumber for installation to ensure that the water heater is set up correctly, adheres to local codes, and operates efficiently.

Maintaining your water heater

Routine plumbing service is non-negotiable if you want to maximize the life expectancy of your water heater. Mr. Rooter’s water heater maintenance services are comprehensive, but here are just some things to remember:

  • Flushing the tank annually helps remove sediment buildup, which can cause the tank to corrode and reduce efficiency.
  • Checking and replacing the anode rod every few years can significantly extend the life of a conventional water heater. The anode rod attracts corrosive elements in the water, preventing them from rusting the tank.
  • Installing a water softener can mitigate this issue. Hard water, which contains high levels of minerals, for example, can cause scale buildup and reduce the efficiency and lifespan of water heaters.

Did your water heater catch a stray?

Sometimes, the lifespan of a water heater can be affected by factors beyond control. Natural disasters, power surges, or water quality issues can cause premature failure.

Whether you’re dealing with an expected issue or an unexpected headache, the professionals at Mr. Rooter Plumbing are here to help. We have you covered with everything from routine maintenance to a brand-new tankless water heater installation.

Mr. Rooter is always ready to help. Contact us today if you need urgent water heater repair. Our team is on standby to take your call or message at any time of the day.

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