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How Long Does a Hot Water Heater Last?

Oct 25, 2022 | Commercial Plumbing, Residential Plumbing

Most homeowners battle with knowing the right time to replace their home appliances, including water heaters. One of the most difficult things about this decision is figuring out when to replace your hot water heater, and then with what type, whether traditional or tankless water heaters. Most homeowners do not really pay attention to their hot water heater until it breaks, but waiting for something like that may cause you a substantial amount of damage if the problem gets worse over time.

Signs That Your Hot Water Heater Needs to Be Replaced

One of the main indicators that your hot water heater is nearing the end of its lifespan is when it starts to use more energy than usual. If you notice that your water heating bill has been steadily increasing over time, this could be a sign that your hot water heater is not working as efficiently as it used to.

Additionally, if you start to notice that your hot water doesn’t seem to stay as hot or as long as it used to, this is another sign that you may need to replace your hot water heater. If you are unsure whether it’s time to replace your hot water heater, there are a few different tests you can perform at home to help determine if it’s time for a replacement.

One such test involves checking the pressure relief valve. If this valve is leaking, bubbling, or opening frequently, then this could be an indicator of a larger issue with the functionality of your hot water heater. Additionally, if you notice any corrosion on the exterior of your tank or on any hoses connected to it, this may also indicate that it’s time for a replacement.

If this sounds complicated for you, O’Grady Plumbing has the water heating professionals ready to advise you.

Kitchen sink pipes and drain. Plumbing service.


How Long Does a Hot Water Heater Last?

On average, a hot water heater lasts anywhere from 8–12 years. However, there are a lot of factors that can influence this number, including how often you use it, how well you maintain it, and what type of tank you have. There are two common types of water tanks—electric ones and gas ones. Generally speaking, older models last around 10 years, while newer models vary based on their model and quality.

Most people tend to think that the hotter your water is, the shorter its lifespan will be. But in fact, hot water heaters need to be heated at certain temperatures to prevent bacteria growth, which can harm your health and corrode parts over time. In general, electric water heaters typically last longer than gas ones because they operate at lower temperatures.

Gas water heaters, on the other hand, are cheaper to buy and install initially, still, they can get quite expensive in terms of gas bills over time because they need a continuous supply of gas, which makes them less energy efficient. Some experts would also recommend getting an electric heater with tankless technology for the same reasons, i.e., better energy efficiency and a longer lifespan. However, these models tend to come with their own set of challenges that you should be prepared for. For instance, these heaters typically have a bad reputation for not being able to produce enough hot water on demand or having a shorter operating life than conventional tanked heating units, so it’s important that you do your research before making any major decisions.

If you are in need of a new hot water heater, there are many different types and models to choose from depending on your budget and the size of your home. For example, if you live in a smaller home or apartment and have limited space available, a tankless water heater may be a good option for you as it takes up much less space than most conventional tank heaters.

However, if you have larger needs for hot water or don’t mind maintaining an existing tank-type system, these can last between 10 and 15 years with proper care and maintenance. Whatever type of heater is right for you, it’s important to take the time to research different options and find the best one for your specific needs.

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