How Long Should a Water Heater Last?

As a homeowner, you are responsible for repairing or replacing the large appliances that bring convenience to your household. The hot water heater is one such appliance. Without a working water heater, no warm or hot water will flow from any faucets. Showers will be cold, and washing dishes by hand will be chilly. Ideally, you’d like to know when your water heater is going to break down before it actually does. Sadly, you must remain vigilant and continue performing preventative maintenance to keep your appliance working as intended.

You may be wondering about the expected lifespan of your hot water heater. How long should a water heater last? What are the signs that indicate it’s time for a new tank? Read on for some information from our plumbing contractors in Grand Rapids, MN.

Water heater lifespan

On average, the typical residential hot water heater stays functional for between five and 15 years—its lifespan may be longer or shorter, depending on how much use it gets and how well you care for it. However, a water heater that’s 12 years old or more is likely in its final stretch of life. There are some things that affect the longevity of your water heater tank, such as the type of water running through it and whether you’ve stuck to a regular draining and flushing schedule.

Knowing when it’s time to replace your hot water heater is important. Regular maintenance and making repairs when needed helps homeowners avoid problems, like home flooding and downtime without hot water availability. There are a few common warning signs that point to the need for a replacement unit.

Three signs you need a new water heater

If your home’s water heater is old, replacing it with a more efficient model can help you save both water and energy. A newer tank is also less likely to require expensive repairs down the road. Here are three signs you may need to buy a new hot water heater:

  • Age: A water heater that is more than 10 years old may not be as efficient as it was a few years ago. If you have the tank flushed every year, it could last well beyond the 10-year mark, but too many breakdowns and needed repairs may warrant replacing the unit.
  • Not enough hot water: When you’re taking cold showers most mornings (and you’ve checked the temperature gauge on the tank), it’s time to get a new water heater. A persistent lack of hot water can be due to a sediment buildup over time inside the tank, or irreversible damage to components.
  • Discolored water: Your hot water should never be rusty. This means your water heater could be rusting on the inside, which may lead to leaks in the tank. Test this by running the cold water only, then just the hot water. If rusty water flows from the hot tap but not the cold, there’s a problem with your hot water heater.

Rapids Plumbing & Heating Inc. has a team of the most experienced plumbing contractors in Grand Rapids, MN. Call us today for help with your hot water heater!

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