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How Long Do Water Heaters Last?


One of the best ways to ruin your whole day when it’s barely even started is with a surprisingly cold shower in the morning! But when your water heater dies, this could be exactly how you get the news. Don’t let this happen to you! 

Having some specific information can be incredibly helpful in preventing sudden water heater failure, and we would like to help provide the information you need. We’ll tell you all about how long you can expect a water heater to last, how to keep it running as long as possible, and what warning signs to watch out for.

How Long Water Heaters Last

A standard tank or storage water heater should last at least eight years. They can often keep running well until around twelve years of age. Tankless systems are more expensive at the outset, but their longevity helps to balance out that cost. They can keep chugging along and providing plenty of hot water for as many as twenty years!

How to Keep Your Water Heater Running as Long as Possible

The trick with these life expectancy estimates is that they are based on water heaters that receive regular maintenance. Without that maintenance, your water heater might have a much shorter lifespan. How does maintenance help a water heater last so long? There are many factors, but we’ll cover a couple of the most critical ones.

  • Flushing: Your water contains a tiny bit of sediment. Over a year, quite a lot of it will gradually settle to the bottom of your water heater. This can trap pockets of hot water, causing inconsistent temperatures and also wreaking havoc with the pressure in the system. Excess heat and pressure can cause catastrophic leaks, but flushing the system during maintenance will prevent this.
  • Rust Prevention: During maintenance, your plumber will inspect the system carefully for any signs of corrosion. Minor parts that start to rust can be replaced. The anode rod, which attracts oxidating particles to itself so it will rust before the rest of the water heater, needs to be replaced regularly. This will protect the water heater from succumbing to corrosion and losing structural integrity.

Signs of a Water Heater in Need of Repair

Having repairs done as promptly as possible is another way to prevent an early end to your water heater’s career. It’s much more affordable to get a plumbing repair than to buy a new water heater! Signs that indicate you should get repair include odd noises, puddles below your water heater, inconsistent temperature, low hot water pressure, or any visible rust.

When to Replace Your Water Heater

Even if your water heater is still running reasonably well, if it’s reaching the outer limits of those lifespan estimates, it’s time to plan your water heater replacement in Madison, WI. This way, you won’t have to rush the process when it suddenly fails, or worse, have to get water damage remediation because the water heater failed spectacularly and made an enormous mess.

Whether you need water heater maintenance or repair, or you’re ready to choose your next water heater and have it installed, we’re happy to help.

You can always count on 24-Hour Home Comfort Services, your heating and cooling specialists.

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