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What Is the Usual Lifespan of A Water Heater?

It’s easy to take our water heaters for granted. That is, until they quit working. Once we’re left with ice-cold water, we quickly realize how dearly we need hot water for showers, washing dishes, and laundry.

Several factors impact the lifespan of a water heater, such as type, installation, quality, and maintenance. Being familiar with these factors can help a homeowner understand when to call for a water heater repair. Four Seasons Plumbing is your local expert regarding water heater repair in the Asheville, NC, area.

Different Types of Water Heaters

A tank gas water heater is a standard option in most households, with an average lifespan of 8-12 years. The next popular choice is a tank electric gas water heater, whose lifespan is slightly longer, at 10-15 years. Many people are opting for hybrid-style water heaters for 2023 with their effective pricing and utility as well. Finally, the most modern options are tankless water heaters. Whether gas or electric, these models boast an average life of more than 20 years.

Quality Affects Durability

A water heater’s construction directly affects how long it will last. When selecting a model, look first at its warranty. A more extended warranty implies a company’s confidence in its product and points to better construction.

Look for models with more significant heating elements that provide higher wattage. A substantial heating element is more resistant to build-up from minerals and residue.

Thicker insulation will offer more protection to keep the water warmer in between using energy. This feature gives lower energy bills.

Porcelain casing not only insulates better, but it also adds a barrier against rust and corrosion.

Four Seasons Plumbing is happy to discuss the best option for your needs!

Installation Makes a Difference

Water heaters need good ventilation to reach their optimum life. Ventilation around the unit is both a fire and carbon monoxide safety requirement. Poor air circulation around the until will shorten the life.

A water heater installed in a wet, damp environment can meet its demise sooner than designed. That’s because the presence of water leads to rust and corrosion. The exterior of your tank and the piping are vulnerable. Once rust starts, it’s pretty much “adios” to your water heater.

Installing a water heater in a place that’s hard to access may result in a homeowner forgetting or delaying proper maintenance calls. It’s tempting to install your water heater yourself to save a few bucks. But professionals like the ones at Four Seasons Plumbing are trained to select the best location for the life of your water heater. Don’t be tempted to save a few pennies today and risk making an expensive repair in the future.

Proper Maintenance Extends the Life

If you live in an area with hard water, keeping up with maintenance makes all the difference in lengthening the life of your water heater.

A water heater needs periodic flushing to prevent sediment and minerals from building up and clogging the tank. It’s best to call a professional if your model doesn’t have a self-flush feature. Most valves have plastic construction, easily breakable if not handled correctly. Flush your water heater annually or semi-annually.

The anode rod is another water heater part that will fail because it’s prone to corrosion. If not replaced, it will undoubtedly lead to water heater failure.

It can be very easy to miss a developing leak depending on the location of your water heater. A leaking water heater is a sign of damage leading to impending death. Not only does a leaky water heater mean a shortened lifespan, but it’s a safety hazard. Immediately shut off the water and power to your unit and call Four Seasons Plumbing.

Water Volume

It makes sense that the amount of water a household uses impacts the life of a water heater. A water heater continuously using maximum volume causes it to overwork. Plus, more water circulating through the tank means more sediment and minerals are also in the tank. These issues lead to a shortened career for your water heater.

Signs Your Water Heater Is Aging Out

If you have an older tank or aren’t sure about its age, here are some signs your water heater is approaching the end of the line.

Lack of Hot Water

We probably don’t need to mention this, but just in case. Running out of hot water could be caused by a few water heater issues. The dip tube that brings cold water from the bottom of the tank often gets corroded. If you have a gas unit, the gas valve that transfers gas to the main burner and the pilot light can overload. Not only will this result in cold water, but it’s also a safety hazard. In addition to these culprits, several electrical elements can fail.

None of these are tasks for the DIYer. Call Four Seasons Plumbing for expert guidance you can trust!

Is That a Leak?

An unattended leak will bring a shortened life to a water heater. Leaks are common in units without adequate maintenance. Common leak sites include the side wall seam. It can be repaired but involves making a new side wall piece after checking for internal damage.

Pilot Light Extinguishes

Having a functioning pilot light is essential to a gas water heater. If the light continually goes out, the burner doesn’t ignite. And when that

doesn’t happen, the water stays cold. Replacing the gas valve is not cost-effective; if the valve fails, it’s best to replace the entire unit.

Trickle Instead of a Drain

If you try to drain your water heater tank and get little to no water, you have a problem. That indicates the tank is full of sediment and, unfortunately, is the end of the line for your water heater.

The Hot Side of The Tank Loses Pressure

Newer water heaters have a check valve located on the cold inlet side. A faulty check valve prevents already heated water from entering the cold side when the pressure drops. When that valve fails, the hot side can’t correctly expand, and poor pressure occurs.

Let Four Seasons Plumbing Take Away Your Hot Water Worries

If you suspect your water heater is approaching the pearly gates, we have solutions to fit your home and your water usage. Or maybe you want to trade up for a more energy-efficient water heating answer.

The pros at Four Seasons Plumbing are experts in conventional and tankless systems. For the best water heater repairs in the Asheville, NC, area or for expert installation, click here to schedule an appointment.

What Is the Usual Lifespan of A Water Heater?
Max Rose - Owner of Four Seasons Plumbing

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Max Rose

Max Rose is the owner of Four Seasons Plumbing, a plumbing company in Asheville, North Carolina.