Life Expectancy of Water Heater Tanks

water heater in basement of home

For most homes in the United States, heating water accounts for 14-18% of the utility bills – making it the second or third biggest expense in the house after heating and AC costs. It should come as no surprise that our water heaters get a ton of use every single day, from laundry to showers.

However, water heaters are not designed to last forever.

Even with the best hot water heater maintenance, a failing system can cause water damage and high heating bills. It’s important to know when you can expect to replace your water heater and the top warning signs of a hot water heater replacement.

fixing water heater valve in home

How Long is the Lifespan of Your Water Heater?

The average lifespan of a water heater depends on usage, where you live, and what kind of heater you have. In Florida, homeowners can expect traditional tank water heaters to last between 10 and 15 years. This is the most common and popular type of water heater.

In contrast, a tankless water heater can last 20 years. This longer lifespan comes with a higher upfront cost for tankless heaters, and tankless water heaters aren’t a good choice for every home.

Is It Time to Replace My Water Heater?

Having hidden issues with your existing water heater can bring problems – including sediment buildup in the water tank, cold showers, rust-tinted water, and water damage. Recognizing the first warning sign of a failing heater can help you save money on expensive water heater repair bills and high energy costs.

Luckily, there are certain indicators that can help homeowners recognize when it’s time for a new water heater tank. And although the life expectancy of water heaters varies from state-to-state and even home-to-home, there are some telltale signs to look out for.

man doing maintenance on water heater electrical panel

Top 5 Signs that You Need a New Water Heater

Here are 5 ways to know it’s time to start looking at newer models of hot water heaters:

1. Water Heater Leaking: If your tank is leaking, it’s never a good sign. A leaking water heater can warp floors, leave water damage, and start mold issues, especially if you notice a leak during regular usage.

2. Rusty Water: Water heaters should only release clean, clear water. If you start to notice rust in your hot water, it means that you need a new heater. Rust inside the tank will lead to lower water quality and can cause leaks.

3. Your Water Heater Isn’t Heating: If you find that your water isn’t heating up or doesn’t stay hot, chances are your heating elements are failing. While a repair can help with a faulty heating element, hot water heaters lose efficiency over time and can’t heat water as well. When sediment builds up, they also lose capacity. Talk to a professional to find out if a new model might be a better option.

4. You Hear Loud Noises When Heating: If you hear loud noises during the heating process, it’s a good idea to call a professional. Mineral deposits and sediment on the bottom of the unit will cause a loud banging during heating if your hot water heater is old.

5. Signs of Corrosion: Besides having discolored water, a system replacement might be your best bet if you discover signs of rust, damage, or corrosion on the outside of the tank. Even with a partial repair, you’ll need to replace your tank sooner rather than later.

old water heater with evidence of corrosion and damage

Getting the Best Hot Water Supply in the County

Knowing the life expectancy of a water heater tank can help you prepare for your next purchase and avoid costly repairs over time. If you’re not sure when your home was built or how old your current water heater is, it’s best to call a professional who can inspect the tank and provide you with any information that you might need.

Is It Time to Call a Master Plumber?

Anchor Plumbing is Brevard County’s best when it comes to hot water pipes, combatting cold water in the shower, and maintaining all plumbing fixtures in the home. Call us today to find out how we can help.

Replacing an old water heater is one of the most profitable investments homeowners can make in their home, so act now before it causes serious damage to your home and wallet later on!

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