How Long Does a Water Heater Last? [Average Lifespan]

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One of the most important pieces of equipment that you have in your home is your water heater, and if you’re like many homeowners, then you want to know exactly how long your heater will last. If you don’t know about the longevity of your water heater, you won’t be able to know when you should start shopping for a replacement.

For homeowners that are curious about water heater lifespan, there are a few important factors to consider. Find out how long does a water heater last and learn how you can get advice about replacing your old water heater from a plumbing professional.

Know Your Brand

If you’re wondering how many years of service you can expect out of your water heater, one of the most important things to keep in mind is your water heater brand. Most people assume that every water heater will have the same lifespan, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.

If you buy a popular, trusted brand of water heater, such as NavienBradford White, or A.O. Smith you can expect a much longer lifespan than with an off-brand model. While brand name water heaters may cost a little more upfront, you can expect years and years of piping hot water.

Think About Your Usage

Like every major piece of equipment that you could own, the issue that will most affect the lifespan of your water heater is how much usage it experiences. Whether for showering, washing your clothes, or dishwashing, the more you use your hot water heater, the more wear and tear it will accumulate.

When you’re trying to determine how close you are to needing a water heater replacement, think about how much you use your water heater on a day to day basis.

Tankless vs. Traditional

Water heaters generally come in two different styles: Tankless and traditional. Where traditional heaters store a certain amount of preheated water, tankless water heaters heat water on demand, leading to tremendous energy savings. Although many people don’t realize it, the type of water heater that you use plays a large part in its longevity.

Because tankless water heaters only provide hot water as needed, they don’t experience as much daily wear as a traditional water heater. This gives tankless water heaters a much longer lifespan—20 years compared to the typical 10-15 years for a traditional water heater.

Water Heater Size

Before purchasing a new water heater for their home, many homeowners spend a great deal of time sizing their water heater. While the size of your water heater is vital for getting the amount of hot water you need, it can also play a major role in how long your water heater lasts.

For example, if your water heater is too small to meet the needs of your home, it can cause your heater to work harder, reducing its overall lifespan. Properly sizing your water heater is one of the best ways to keep it functional for years to come.

How to Extend Your Water Heater’s Lifespan

So, we’ve outlined a few of the important factors that may determine how long your water heater will last. However, there are several steps you can complete that will help your water heater operate more efficiently and may extend the lifespan of your system. Here are five tips for extending the life and longevity of your homes water heater system.

Stay on Top of Routine Maintenance Service

This one might surprise you, but did you know that water heaters require routine service and maintenance? It’s true – just like any other mechanical system, a water heater is comprised of multiple moving parts and individual components that are designed to wear out and be services or replaced. Working with a professional water heater repair and service company to schedule your annual inspections and service can extend the life and longevity of your system. Plus, it will help to reduce the potential of service errors or inefficient operation.

Test Your Pressure Relief Valve

All water heating systems require a pressure-relief valve to be installed as a safety device. It will automatically release pressure when the internal pressure exceeds the recommended levels. This helps to reduce the potential of an explosion, which can be devastating to any home owner. Testing the pressure release valve periodically will ensure that this system is working correctly, which may reduce significant or catastrophic damage.

Flush Your Water Tank

For those with tank-based water heating systems, it’s recommended to flush the water heater storage tank twice per year. Most home owners in Phoenix choose to flush their water tanks around the same time everybody else in the US is changing their clocks (since we don’t deal with that) in early April and late October. Doing this allows you to remove the excessive debris that finds a way into your tank. This can cut down on the amount of sludge or opportunity for clogging the water heating system lines.

Install a Water Softener or Whole Home System

We deal with hard water in Phoenix and throughout the Southwestern United States. While hard water is commonly a source of frustrating water spots, it can also negatively impact the operation of a hot water heater. Hard water has excessive amounts of calcium and magnesium, which collect and build-up on plumbing fixtures, inside plumbing lines, and can cause water flow and restriction issues. Installing a water softener system can significantly reduce hard water problems and improve the overall quality of your homes water.

If you want to know what water heater is likely to provide you with the longest lifespan, you need to consult with a water heater installation specialist in Phoenix. A water heater specialist can help you choose the right water heater for your needs.