How long do water heaters last? This is the most common question buyers ask whenever they purchase new water heaters for their homes. Will they opt for a hot water heater with a tank? Or will they choose from a range of tankless water heaters? Users of existing water heaters may ask this same question when their water heaters stop working for various reasons. The expected lifespan for a traditional water heater is between 8 to 12 years. However, with appropriate water heater maintenance schedules, water heater repair, and taking notes of factors that could affect the lifespan of water heaters, you may expect your water heaters to last longer.
The Average Lifespan of Water Heater Types
The type of water heater plays a crucial role in determining how long water heaters last. Some water heater types can last longer than others. For instance, conventional gas water heaters with a water heater tank may last ten years. On the other hand, a tankless water heater using the same type of heating can last up to twenty years. Choosing between a gas water heater and an electric water heater also plays a crucial part. Though gas water heaters are environmentally friendly and more affordable, their components can wear down quicker than electric water heaters. A tankless water heater has fewer components that wear out and fewer chances of water heater leaks, and not having to worry about how to drain a water heater to clean out sediment buildup.
For tank water heater types, fiberglass hot water tanks tend to have a higher life expectancy than tank water heater types with steel water tanks. Though most tank water heaters come with a warrant, higher-end water heaters have a more extended warranty period to ensure that you get more value from your purchase. Imagine the cost you can save when the manufacturer is willing to replace a water heater should it break down within the warranty period. Higher-end tank water heaters may also have better quality anode rods and a longer-lasting pressure relief valve to ensure that some of the factors that affect the lifespan of your water heaters are accounted for.
As for the average expected lifespan between the combination of having tanks and type of heating element, here are the numbers:
Gas Water Heater With Tank: 8 to 12 years
Tankless Water Heaters that are Gas-Powered: 20 years
Electric Water Heater With Tank: 10 to 15 years
Tankless Water Heaters that are Electric-Powered: 20 years
Factors Affecting Water Heater Lifespans
There are a few ways you can extend the lifespan of your water heater by considering these factors. On the other hand, these factors, if ignored, can drive the lifespan of your water heater lower than you expect. You don’t have to wait for cold water suddenly turn out while showering. To spare yourself the surprise, here are five factors that can affect your water heater lifespan:
- Electric versus Gas Water Heaters:
As mentioned earlier, electric water heaters tend to last longer than gas water heaters. Moreover, having a higher-quality anode rod can help extend the lifespan of your water heater much longer.
- Tank Water Heaters versus Tankless Water Heaters
Tankless water heaters don’t have to hold water supplies always. Moreover, they only function on-demand. Hence they don’t wear down their heating element as much as traditional tank water heaters.
- Water Quality
Sediment builds if you have hard water supplied to your water heater. Hard water can quickly wear down your heater element, drain valve, hot water pipes, and other components. Mineral deposits and corrosive particles in rusty water can also wear down the interior lining of your water tank. You may install a water hose water softener to extend the lifespan of your water heater.
- Location of Your Water Heater
When installing a new hot water heater for your home, be mindful of where you place them. Hot water heaters located where they are exposed to colder areas of the house last shorter than those found in areas that are insulated from the outside environment. It takes more effort for your water heater to heat water to the desired temperature if the ambient temperature is lower. That means the water heater element will wear down faster. Moreover, placing your water heater in protected spaces can be more energy efficient.
- Regular Water Heater Maintenance
You can extend your water heater’s lifespan by following the manufacturer’s instructions by maintaining a regular water heater. Most manufacturers recommend checking your water heater annually, even if you don’t wait for the manufacturer’s warranty to expire. Warning signs or strange noises may come up anytime. Heading off these early signs can make your water heater last even longer.
Getting Help From a Professional Plumber Experienced In Water Heater Maintenance Goes A Long Way!
A skilled and experienced plumber can help you extend your water heater lifespan in many ways aside from performing their regular maintenance routines. For instance, they can teach you how to deal with certain situations, such as what to do when the pressure relief valve behaves strangely or when to switch the shutoff valve.
For Service Needs: Call P&L Plumbing
At P&L Plumbing, we offer fast, reliable, and quality water heater maintenance service at the best price. For any inquiries, contact us at (480) 649-4400. You can also visit our website at P&L Plumbing to appoint a schedule.