How Long Do Water Heaters Last?
Written on: September 5, 2023
Frequently Asked Questions
Your water heater plays a very important role in your home. You want it to last. Unfortunately, water heaters don’t last forever. How long do water heaters last? The answer to that question is determined by a few factors: the type of water heater, the quality of the water heater, and how well the water heater has been maintained.
Ace-Robbins provides water heater installation and water heater service. The water heaters we install are high quality. And if you have us service your water heater regularly, you’ll get the most longevity out of it. So that covers two of the three variables in your water heater’s lifespan. Now let’s take a look at the types of water heaters.
Types of Water Heaters
There are two basic types of water heaters. How long your water heater lasts depends in part on whether it’s a traditional storage tank water heater or a tankless water heater. Here is an explanation of the two types of water heaters and how long you can expect them to last:
- Conventional or Storage Water Heaters have a tank that stores and keeps water hot until it’s used. They cost less to purchase and install than tankless water heaters. However, they’re also less efficient than tankless water heaters. The life expectancy of a traditional tank water heater is 8 to 12 years.
- Tankless Water Heaters heat water on demand to efficiently provide an endless supply of hot water. Because no water gets heated without being used or needs to be heated again, switching to a tankless water heater can save you up to 40% on your water heating costs versus a conventional water heater. Tankless water heaters also take up less space and last twice as long as conventional water heaters. Finally, since there’s no tank, there’s also no risk of tank corrosion or tank failure. The life expectancy of a tankless water heater is up to 20 years. Some last even longer.
Is Your Water Heater Okay?
Especially if your water heater is approaching the limit of its life expectancy, you should be on the lookout for some of the telltale signs that something isn’t right. Fortunately, water heaters don’t tend to break down out of the blue. There are usually things that you can look out for that signal trouble is ahead. In addition to your water heater’s age, here are four signs its days are numbered:
- An unexplained energy bill increase. If there’s an increase in your energy bills that can’t be explained by an increase in fuel prices or an increase in your hot water usage, then your water heater may be to blame. Water heaters lose efficiency as they get older. Upgrading to a new highly efficient water heater could save you a lot of money over time.
- Leaks or rusty water. If you notice puddles under your tank or if it starts producing rusty water, that’s a sign of corrosion. This problem is particularly common with steel tanks. Leaks and rust are not problems you should ignore. They’re both signs that your water tank is probably very close to breaking down completely.
- Hard water stains. Hard water stains show up as white marks on your silverware and glassware after they’ve gone through the dishwasher. Having hard water usually means there is a lime buildup in your tank. A lime buildup in your tank can decrease your water heater’s efficiency and shorten its lifespan.
- Strange noises. If you hear growling or gurgling sounds coming from your storage tank, it’s probably due to a build-up of sediment in the tank. This is not a problem you should ignore because ignoring it for too long will lead to serious problems that require expensive repairs or premature replacement.
We’re here for you.
Ace-Robbins is here for our customers in Bradford, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Susquehanna, Sullivan, and Wyoming County.
Contact Ace-Robbins today for more information on water heaters or to request a free estimate.