Water heater reviews site

Home Buying Advice How Long Does a Water Heater Last?

How Long Does a Water Heater Last?

How Long Does a Water Heater Last?

Ever wonder how long does a water heater last? Before purchasing and installing a new unit, it is best to find out it’s lifespan and what the signs are when one is failing.

Just like every other household appliances, we only appreciate the excellent function of a water heating system once it stops working. Sadly, some people do not realize that even though hot water heaters are generally reliable and can serve you for years, but they do have a certain lifespan.

Most times this lifespan can be shortened due to other factors, like lack of maintenance and overuse.

Having knowledge about those things are valuable since it can save you a lot of trouble and inconvenience. With that in mind, this article will provide you the necessary information on how long the typical water heater lasts.

How Long Does a Water Heaters Last?

A high-quality hot water tank has the potential to last from eight to 12 years old. Just like all other plumbing equipment, it will begin to show a decline with time and consistent use.

Usually, when it is approaching the end of its lifespan, electrolysis will occur. This implies that the corrosive particles in the unit will be attracted to the anode rod. This, leads to the rod being unable to carry out its heating function, because the inside of the tank starts rusting and becomes corroded.

On the other hand, gas-powered models have an average lifespan of around six to eight years. You must take note this determines how they have been maintained, installed properly, and used according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.

It’s a smart idea to buy an energy efficient water heater . Some brands and models will also have shorter lifespans.

What are the Signs that Your Water Heater is Nearing Its End?

Knowing the warning signs when your water heater is about to give out, will help you determine whether it needs to be serviced or replaced. The good thing about them is that you can easily detect problems, and below are some common indicators:

  • Rusty Water

This is a prevalent scenario for older systems. Once they get to a particular stage, the interior begins to rust, which then results in the production of rusty water. However, rusty water might also be caused by problematic water pipes.

Thus, you should perform a little test to ensure that the rust is coming from the tank and not your pipes. Draining a water heater is not very complicated but precautions should still be taken.

The initial thing that you should do is to adjust the gas burner knob and put it on vacation option. Then, switch off your cold water valve and attach a hose to your drain valve. You can find the drain valve at the base of the water tank.

Once done, put the other side of the hose down; either on the floor or in a basin. Switch on your drain valve and let the hot water freely drain from the water tank.

The next thing that you need to do is turn on any faucet close to your water tank the moment water begins to drain. This is to stop vacuum from forming. Then, switch on the cold water valve once you notice most of the hot water has been drained. Repeat the process.

Don’t turn off your drain valve until the water runs clear; afterward return the water heating system back to its original settings. These steps will help flush the rusty sediments out of your water heater while also showing you if the rusty water you have been seeing is from the water tank or your pipes.

This is also a temporary fix that can serve you for weeks, though it is highly recommended that you replace your water heater as soon as possible.

  • Starts Making Noise

The rusty sediments formed in the water tank and other dirt will gather at the bottom of the tank over time. These items will eventually harden and become a layer at the base of your appliance, which will cause you to hear some banging noises regularly.

The layer formed at the base will make it almost impossible for your water tank to function efficiently and subsequently damage the water tank. That certain damage to your water tank will result in leaking.

With that in mind, if your water heating tank functions noisily, then you should consider replacing it before it even leaks.

  • Leaks

Water heater leaking problems can be due to several reasons, and trying to fix them on your own is not recommended. So, if this happens, you should call a trained plumbing heating air conditioning technician to look at the units serial number to determine if parts are available and it is repairable. However, this may be a sign your water heating system needs to be replaced.

  • Water Temperature Variation

If you start to notice that the water produced by the heating system is not as hot as it used to be or the water temperature fluctuates, this is a sign that something internally could be wrong.

This is caused by various factors, such as the main water heater element is malfunctioning or the electric thermostat is developing a fault.


Now that you know how the answer to how long does a water heater last, make sure that you are always aware of the signs of it failing.

We take water heating systems for granted because they typically have a long life span. Knowing the age of your model is important, so you can know approximately when it’s time for a replacement. No one wants to be in the middle of a shower and have the unit go bad. So, being aware of the signs and watching for them will help you identify if it’s time to replace one.

Since the lifespan of any type of water heater is mostly dependent on the user, you should provide annual water heater maintenance per the advice of the product manufacturer. Hiring a technician once in a while to check on it and do some maintenance would be a helpful improvement.

It might cost you, but it will ensure that your heater will last a long time. Nonetheless, once you need to change the appliance, the good news is you may be able to save some money on your home utility bill with today’s newer more energy-efficient models.

You might also like these:

Finding The Best 60 Gallon Water Heater for Your Home

Which is the best water heater anode rod?

0 comment