How Long Do Water Heaters Last?

What’s more enjoyable than a hot shower? Water heaters provide hot water on tap for those soothing showers that have become an everyday luxury.

Like many appliances, though, they won’t last forever, so it’s important to know how long your heater will last.

What Causes a Water Heater to Fail?

When it comes to your water heater, there are two main types: a traditional tank, and “on-demand” or tankless. A conventional tank heater has an anode rod inside the tank that attracts all corrosive particles to itself. Known as electrolysis, this process protects the lining inside the tank. When the anode rod corrodes to the point where it no longer functions, corrosive particles begin to collect on the floor of the tank. Once this happens, the water heater’s days are numbered, and its effectiveness also decreases. This is a big deal since 18% of your home’s energy use comes from water heating. Most traditional tank water heaters will last between 8 to 12 years. While tankless heaters don’t have an anode rod, they also eventually corrode and need to be replaced after about 20 years.

Find out How Old Your Water Heater Is

If you’ve bought a home, you may not know when the water heater was installed. If you’re lucky, the previous owners may be able to tell you, but you can do a little research yourself. You should be able to locate a serial number on your heater, which will be a letter followed by a series of numbers. This is usually found on top of the appliance and shows when it was manufactured. Usually, the letter stands for a month (“A” for January through “L” for December), and the next two numbers represent the year (20 for 2020).

Signs a Heater is Nearing Replacement

One big clue that a water heater is aging is if red or yellow water starts coming out of the faucet. If this happens only from the hot water side, this could mean that the heater is starting to rust and could begin to leak. Another hint that a heater is getting old is rumbling and noise. When sediment falls to the bottom of the tank, the heating and reheating of the particles cause them to harden. These hard pieces rumble and bang against the sides of the tank, signaling a decline in the effectiveness of the water heater.

Hardened sediment can also weaken the metal of the tank, causing tiny holes and small cracks to form. Water can begin to leak from the tank, which is another symptom of an old water heater. If you find water or moisture around the tank, it may be time to replace it. An experienced plumber can help to make sure all fittings and connections to the tank aren’t leaking, and avoid an unnecessary replacement of the water heater.

Quick Quality Plumbing Can Help

Water heaters can be costly, so you want to make sure replacement is absolutely necessary. The expert plumbers at Quick Quality Plumbing can help maintain and troubleshoot your water heater, or replace it when the time comes. We provide service in Orem and the greater Utah County area in Utah and are available 24/7! Contact us today to keep those hot showers running!

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