How Lengthy Does a Water Heater Final? (2023)

A water heater is a vital equipment in each house, with hundreds of thousands of American households utilizing these home equipment on daily basis. You possibly can rely on them for warm water in numerous purposes, from taking showers after an extended day to doing a great deal of dishes and laundry — however how lengthy does a water heater final? 

Like all equipment, water heaters don’t final without end. They’ll final a few many years, however the precise lifespan hinges on the sort, utilization, upkeep, and water high quality. This text delves into the specifics of water heaters, how lengthy they final, and how one can prolong your water heater’s life expectancy. 

tankless water heater

Tankless Water Heater

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Photo voltaic Water Heater

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  • Tank water heaters are the commonest sort of water heater, however tankless fashions are on the rise. 
  • Most water heaters final between eight and 20 years, though it is determined by the sort. 
  • Water heaters normally show a couple of key indicators of failure on their manner out, together with poor efficiency, leaks, chilly water, and irregular noises. 

Searching for upkeep tricks to prolong the lifetime of your water heater? Watch our video beneath to study sustaining your water heater. 

What Are the Varieties of Water Heaters and Their Common Lifespans?

Water heaters are available in numerous varieties, shapes, and sizes, every with its personal distinctive deserves. Under we’ll delve into the widespread varieties of water heaters, their advantages, drawbacks, and common life expectations. 

Tank Water Heaters

A tank water heater is the commonest sort of water heater in residential settings. Because the identify implies, these water heaters characteristic a big tank that holds water. These are usually fuel water heaters, however they arrive in electrical water heater varieties too. 

In each varieties, the pipe brings cool water into the tank, the place the heating components increase the water temperature. The nice and cozy water rises to the highest of the tank, the place the recent water exit pipe pulls the heated water into the plumbing and ships it on demand to wherever it must go. 

The tank frequently heats the water to make sure it stays scorching and prepared. This interprets to decrease effectivity, because the system frequently makes use of power to maintain the water scorching. Nonetheless, these techniques can ship a considerable amount of water in a brief interval, are available in numerous sizes, and are inexpensive than different choices. 

These techniques normally final between eight and 12 years, though the precise lifespan varies based mostly in your scenario. 

Execs and Cons


  • Great amount of heated water prepared at any time
  • Extra reasonably priced than different choices
  • A number of sizes obtainable


  • Consumes extra power than different choices
  • Could run out of scorching water in high-demand eventualities

Tankless Water Heaters

Tankless water heaters have gotten a well-liked different to their tank-style counterparts, as they supply superior power effectivity. Not like tank water heaters, these fashions produce scorching water on demand and by no means retailer heated water in a tank. 

These fashions can be found in two varieties: boiler-mounted and standalone. Boiler-mounted fashions make use of your boiler for producing warmth, whereas standalone fashions full the method themselves. 

Once you want scorching water, cool water passes by the heater and thru the heater’s warmth exchanger. Pure fuel or electrical components within the system warmth the water and ship it on its manner, making certain you at all times have scorching water if you want it. 

Since these techniques don’t retailer and frequently warmth water, they’re extra power environment friendly than tank water heaters. They provide a formidable lifespan of 15 to twenty years, generally lasting over double the expectation of an ordinary tank water heater. Nonetheless, they’re normally a lot pricier and should not sustain in high-demand conditions. 

At present’s Home-owner Ideas

You need to use a tankless water heater together with a conventional tank water heater in your house. Suppose you need prompt scorching water in your kitchen sink or grasp tub. In that case, you should utilize a tankless water heater to provide it whereas utilizing a tank water heater for the remainder of your private home. 

Execs and Cons


  • Extremely environment friendly
  • Longer lifespan than tank water heaters
  • Saves house


  • Costly
  • A number of models is perhaps essential for high-demand households

Hybrid Water Heaters

A hybrid water heater, also referred to as a warmth pump water heater, affords a special tackle producing scorching water in your house. These techniques mix HVAC with plumbing to create a extra environment friendly unit. 

The warmth pump attracts warmth from outdoors air into the heater’s evaporator coil. This coil accommodates refrigerant, which permits it to soak up the warmth. The warmth exchanger contained in the system makes use of the warmth to heat the water throughout the tank to the right temperature earlier than sending it all through your private home. 

These techniques are extremely environment friendly, particularly in comparison with commonplace tank water heaters. They’ll final 15 years or longer, though most final between 13 and 15 years. Nonetheless, they’re not appropriate for each local weather, as they pull warmth from outdoors to heat water in your house. 

Execs and Cons


  • Eligible for tax credit and rebates
  • Vitality environment friendly
  • Prolonged lifespan


  • Not appropriate for all climates
  • Dear

Photo voltaic Water Heaters

A photo voltaic water heater is an eco-friendly different to different water heating sources. There are two varieties of photo voltaic water heaters: energetic and passive. Lively techniques make use of circulating pumps and function by circulating water by the collectors and into your private home or by transferring a non-freezing warmth switch fluid by the collectors and a warmth exchanger.

Picture credit score: U.S. Division of Vitality

Passive photo voltaic water heaters don’t have circulating pumps. As a substitute, they characteristic a storage tank with a translucent materials that permits the solar to warmth water. The warmed water flows into the plumbing system to make sure you have heat water in your house. These techniques may also characteristic a collector on the roof that heats the water earlier than sending it into your private home’s plumbing system.

Since these techniques use the ability of the solar to warmth the water, they provide wonderful financial savings in your water heating invoice. These techniques can final anyplace between 10 and 25 years, relying on utilization and upkeep. Nonetheless, they’re expensive and is probably not appropriate for all climates. 

Execs and Cons


  • Environmentally pleasant
  • Low upkeep
  • Financial savings on water heating prices


  • Excessive upfront prices
  • Not appropriate for all climates

Evaluate Water Heater Prices by Sort

Every water heater has its deserves, making every sort greatest suited to totally different purposes. The chart beneath outlines common prices and life expectations that will help you select the most suitable choice in your house. 

Sort Price Lifespan
Hybrid Water Heater $1,200 – $5,300 13 – 15 years
Photo voltaic Water Heater $3,000 – $9,000 10 – 25 years
Tank Water Heater $500 – $1,200 8 – 12 years
Tankless Water Heater $750 – $2,300 15 –20 years

What Are Indicators Your Water Heater Wants Substitute?

As your water heater nears the tip of its years, it’ll possible present a number of telltale indicators that point out it’s time for a substitute. Frequent indicators your water heater wants a substitute embody those we’ve outlined beneath.


Like most home equipment, a water heater’s age generally is a useful indicator signaling it’s time for a substitute. Because the equipment ages, you may discover numerous points come up, or it may not perform in addition to it used to. If it’s closing in on the tip of its life expectancy or has already surpassed it, you could wish to think about a substitute. 

Usually, you may decide the age of your water heater by analyzing the label on the aspect of your water heater. It ought to embody an set up date that provides you with a ballpark concept of how outdated the system is. 

Alternatively, you may verify the serial quantity. The primary two characters within the serial code are the manufacturing 12 months, whereas the third and fourth characters point out the month (instance 2308 = August 2023). You possibly can decide whether or not the system is at or past its life expectancy utilizing the lifespan chart information for every sort of water heater. 


Minor leaks in your water heater system setup are comparatively regular all through the lifespan of your unit. Nonetheless, as time closes in on the tip of the system’s life expectancy, you could discover extra frequent points like power leaks. 

Verify for leaks by analyzing the system. Search for indicators of water injury on the partitions or ground across the tank. Examine the tank and surrounding pipes for indicators of rust or corrosion. In case you discover water injury or rust, there’s a superb likelihood the system has a leak. 

Some leaks are simply repairable by tightening free connections, changing worn-out valves, or flushing the tank. Nonetheless, if the leak is important and the restore is dear, it is perhaps more cost effective to exchange the system. This manner, you gained’t pour cash into one thing that may possible faucet out throughout the subsequent 12 months or two. 


Your water heater shouldn’t make an extreme quantity of noise. Whereas some noise right here and there may be regular, frequent noise can point out an issue. For instance, buzzing or banging may point out there are parts coming free contained in the system. Repairing this downside will be so simple as tightening the free components. 

Hissing, popping, or rumbling noises can point out different issues. For instance, sediment buildup or scale formation may cause disagreeable noises, however repairing the issue is so simple as flushing the tank or descaling the heating components.

In some instances, loud noises out of your water heater may point out a serious downside that entails a expensive restore. If the system is on the finish of its lifespan, changing the unit is perhaps probably the most logical choice. 


Like most home equipment, a water heater’s efficiency normally begins to wane because it closes in on its final days. You could discover it doesn’t produce scorching water prefer it used to, leaving your private home with out an environment friendly scorching water producer. 

You may discover telltale efficiency points, together with inadequate scorching water, fluctuating temperature, low strain, and smelly or discolored water. 

You possibly can consider the system’s efficiency by checking the temperature, water strain, and water circulation. If these metrics are far beneath commonplace, it is perhaps time to exchange the system. Name knowledgeable to verify the system if you happen to’re not sure whether or not your water heater’s efficiency is as much as par. 

Typically, correcting efficiency points is simple, and a substitute is pointless.  It is perhaps as simple as adjusting the thermostat, cleansing the aerator, or changing the anode rod ― all of it is determined by the issue.

Keep in mind, you may at all times contact knowledgeable if you happen to’re not sure whether or not these indicators and signs point out a substitute is critical. Knowledgeable can totally consider the system to find out whether or not it’s time to exchange it or if you happen to can squeeze a couple of extra years of use out of it with a restore. 

How Can You Prolong the Lifespan of Your Water Heater? (3 Ideas)

A handful of things can affect how lengthy your water heater lasts. In case you keep on prime of those components, you may prolong the lifespan of your water heater, making certain you get probably the most out of your buy earlier than a substitute is critical.

Common Upkeep

Routine water heater upkeep is an integral a part of the maintenance of a water heater. By staying on prime of routine upkeep duties, you may reap the advantages of easy performance, from improved effectivity to fewer breakdowns requiring costly repairs. 

The precise upkeep routine essential in your water heater hinges on components particular to your water heater, together with the sort, location, and residential specifics. Typically, it’s best to routinely examine the system for leaks, hear for irregular noises, and verify for injury and different warning indicators. On prime of that, make sure you take a look at the strain reduction valve for correct perform and drain the tank annually. These checks and upkeep duties will assist stop surprising failures and emergency plumbing prices

Except for the fundamentals, you’ll want to finish upkeep duties particular to your water heater sort. For instance, in case you have a tankless water heater, you’ll want to exchange the system periodically. In case you have a tank water heater, you’ll have to flush the system to take away sediment when it builds up on the backside of the tank. 

Warmth pump cleansing is important for the hybrid fashions, and analyzing the photo voltaic panels for photo voltaic water heaters is important for these fashions. 

Water High quality

The standard of the water in your house can affect the longevity and performance of your water heater. Exhausting water is infamous for inflicting points similar to corrosion, scale, or sediment buildup, so it’s not a nasty concept to check your private home’s water to find out its hardness. 

There are a few methods to check the water high quality in your house, together with utilizing a water hardness package, a pH meter, or a TDS (Whole Dissolved Solids) meter. You need to use the outcomes of the take a look at to make applicable changes to your water. 

You may want to put in a water softener, a water filter, or a water conditioner — it is determined by the standard of your private home’s water. In case you’re not sure the way to take a look at the water high quality or right the difficulty, seek the advice of knowledgeable plumber. 

Vitality Effectivity

Lastly, think about the power effectivity of every unit. Selecting an energy-efficient water heater will be a superb alternative for a lot of householders, as it will probably cut back your power consumption, decrease your utility payments, and reduce environmental affect. 

There are a few methods you are able to do this, whatever the sort you select. For instance, you possibly can decrease the thermostat setting, insulate the tank and pipes to stop warmth loss, use timers or good controllers, or improve to a extra environment friendly mannequin. 

In case you’re investing in a brand new water heater, we advocate in search of an ENERGY STAR label. Alternatively, evaluate the power issue (EF) or uniform power issue (UEF) rankings of every mannequin. 

How Ought to You Select a New Water Heater for Your House?

Selecting a brand new water heater in your house requires cautious consideration. Listed below are a couple of components to remember as you store. 


Dimension is a pivotal deciding issue when looking for a brand new water heater. You’ll want a system giant sufficient to maintain up with scorching water calls for in your house, otherwise you’ll find yourself working out of scorching water too rapidly. Whereas on-demand water heaters are designed to maintain up, sizing continues to be a important consideration. 

There are a few methods to find out the perfect measurement in your house. For instance, you possibly can use the height hour demand technique. Utilizing this mannequin, you’ll decide probably the most quantity of water your family makes use of in a day. For instance, you may run the dishwasher whereas two folks bathe. The full variety of gallons you employ in that peak hour will provide help to decide how giant a system you want in your house. 

It’s vital to notice that the perfect calculation in your house will rely on the kind of system you propose to purchase. The chart beneath outlines a normal concept of sizes and capacities for numerous households. 

Gallon Capability Variety of Folks within the Family
30 to 40 gallons 1 – 2
40 to 50 gallons 2 – 3
50 to 60 gallons 3 – 4
60 to 80 gallons 5+

Gas Supply

Contemplate the gasoline sources obtainable to you. Pure fuel will be a superb choice for many who have entry to pure fuel strains. Nonetheless, if you happen to don’t have entry to those strains, electrical energy is perhaps a strong different. Propane tanks may also present gasoline to energy the water heater and work properly in rural areas. In case you stay in a sunny, heat local weather, a photo voltaic mannequin is perhaps good for you. 

The typical prices of gasoline sources will differ based mostly in your location and different components particular to your scenario. For instance, you may pay round $0.12 per kilowatt-hour for electrical energy and $0.50 for pure fuel, relying on the place you reside in america. On this case, it may very well be cheaper so that you can use an electrical water heater. That mentioned, it takes extra models of electrical energy to warmth water than models of fuel. All of it is determined by components particular to your scenario. Fortunately, an area plumber with expertise in your space and information of native fuel and electrical energy charges will have the ability to inform which choice is greatest in your house. 

Set up

Set up is the final piece within the puzzle, bringing your entire setup collectively right into a functioning system. When putting in a water heater, observe the producer’s directions and native constructing codes to a tee. It will make sure you set up the system safely and accurately. 

Keep in mind to observe security procedures, similar to turning off the ability and water earlier than you get began, safely eradicating the outdated unit, and testing the brand new setup for correct perform. Whereas avid DIYers may have the ability to determine water heater set up on their very own, it’s normally greatest to rent a licensed and skilled plumber to finish this venture. So, get a number of quotes to seek out the perfect water heater set up price

This manner, you’ll get a correctly put in water heater that’s backed by a guaranty and a service plan. 

So, How Lengthy Can You Count on Your Water Heater to Final?

Water heaters aren’t designed to final without end. On common, you may count on to get between eight and 20 years out of your water heater, though the lifespan hinges totally on components particular to your scenario. In case you suspect your water heater is on its manner out, search for telltale indicators that point out it’s reaching the tip of its lifespan. 

In case you’re not sure whether or not your water heater has life left in it or if it’s time for a substitute, contact knowledgeable plumber for help. 

FAQs About How Lengthy Water Heaters Final

How are you aware when a scorching water heater must be changed?

Water heaters normally show a couple of indicators after they’re on their manner out. For instance, you may discover poor efficiency, irregular noises, or leaks.

How usually must you flush your water heater?

Usually, it’s greatest to flush a water heater each six months. Nonetheless, in case you have exhausting water, you may wish to flush it extra regularly.

What’s the lifespan of a water heater?

A water heater can final anyplace from eight to 20-plus years. All of it is determined by the sort you select and the way you preserve it.

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