A hot water heater, like most things in your home, will need replacing at some point. When that time arrives, however, can vary depending on a number of things. The type of heater you have, water quality and maintenance can all affect the lifespan of a water heater.
Tanked vs. Tankless
There are two common types of water heaters, tanked and tankless. Tanked heaters, as the name implies, feature a tank that stores hot water until your ready to use it. As a result of this, tanked heaters suffer a greater rate of corrosion on their components than their tankless counterparts. This leads to tanked heaters usually lasting around 8-12 years. On the flip side, tankless water heaters are designed to produce hot water on demand as opposed to storing it. This means there is less corrosion over time and a longer lifespan of about 20 years. If you’re curious about the age of your water heater, you can look up your unit’s serial number online.
If you believe that your unit is at the end of its lifespan, there are some red flags that you should keep an eye out for. They are:
- Pools of water around the base of the heater
- Hot water that is tinted either red or yellow
- Water doesn’t get as hot anymore
- Rumbling or banging noises
If any of these occur, it’s time to get a replacement heater before you’re left without any hot water.
For water heaters, hard water is the greatest enemy. You can increase the life of your water heater by adding a water softener to your water system. This will help reduce any serious long term damage to your unit. It is also recommended that you get yearly service on your water heater to ensure that it is running smoothly. If you’re unsure about the safety of your unit, call in a professional to assess its ability to run properly.