What Is the Life of Water Heater and When Should You Replace Them?

Usually, people have a misconception that whenever the water heater does not heat then it should only be replaced. However, the actual truth is that only few parts of water heater need replacement.

To resolve most of the common problems of water heater, a few components must be replaced.

As a thumb rule, water heaters will not last longer than 10 – 15 years, and if you ask me “How long water heater lasts?”, then precisely it will really depend on a number of factors.

If you normally follow the general maintenance of the heater and water tank as per the guidance is given by the manufacturer then you can easily extend its life for few more years.

If you use fiberglass tank with water heaters then too you can increase the life of the water heater substantially.

Often people tempt to purchase low-price model but remember they come with a warranty of only 5 or 6 years however if you spend little more for a better model then they will offer 10 to 12 years warranty.

There are 2 primary reasons for the breakdown of water heater tank.

  1. Over pressurization

If psi of water in the tank will exceed its specifications then too heater tank may fail. Overpressure is usually caused due to excessive heating and also too much extra pressure at its inlet.

You must maintain the temperature at 140ᵒ F or lower to avoid overheating issues, and also at the inlet, install adjustable valve to decrease water flow.

  1. Sediment buildup

Other reasons for tank failure are due to buildup of sediment inside the tank. Even chemicals and other contaminants in water may eventually cause rust or corrosion inside the tank, that may cause leaking.

If any minor leak occurs, then the pressure inside your tank will force the water and slowly increase the amount of leakage.

Decide whether gas or electric?

Typically, electric water heaters may last for few years than any gas models, but that may not always be the case. Gas heaters are usually more economical and environmentally friendly than electric. However, they have more components which may fail or wear out.

There are few hidden costs

While replacing your water heater, you must bring the water heating system as per current building codes. The water heater gas valve replacement cost may not be directly a part of water heater cost, but they must be calculated to find the estimate of your total expense.

Following are a few unexpected costs:

  • Mountings and brackets of water heater
  • Size and type of ventilation system
  • Upgrading plumbing code
  • Drain pan under the unit

How to know when you must replace a water heater?

Generally, repairing or replacing are 2 options when any problem occurs. Since the tank is only one part of the whole system, which can actually compel you to replace water heater, so be sure that you must troubleshoot before you decide to buy new unit.

Any water heater which does not generate sufficient hot water can always be repaired by either replacing thermostat or any other components and also replacing the components of any water heater may generally cost much less than a new unit.

In general, if the unit is under use for 10 years or above or is leaking from the tank then you can fix the one.

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