How Long Do Water Heaters Last? Everything You Need to Know

There is no magic formula in determining when you need to replace your water heater. But are there guidelines on how long do water heaters last?

The informational guide below will help you determine what you need to look for when it’s time to change your water heater. It will also give you tips on how you can recognize signs your water heater is in its last operational days.

There are plenty of water heater selections in the market and each with varying costs. So how do you determine what kind of new water heater you want and need?

The information below will help you determine how much longer you may have with your water heater. It will also help you figure out what you need to do when your water heater goes out.

When To Replace a Water Heater

Many people replace their water heater well before it needs to be replaced, losing good years the water heater had left. Others wait too long to replace their water heater and have to go days without hot water while they await the purchase and installation of a new one.

The Four Signs to Look For

There are four signs you need to look for when determining if its time to replace your water heater:

  1. Rust spots start to occur on your water heater. Most water heaters are made of steel so when it rusts, you have corrosion taking place. On water pipes and tanks, rust may mean you have a leak coming soon. It doesn’t matter if the rust is from the tank or pipes, the water heater may need to be replaced.
  2. Your water heater starts making noises that aren’t typical. When you start to hear rumbling noises that keep getting louder when the tank is heating water, there is an issue. The noise is because of sediment buildup due to lack of flushing the water heater out. The noise is caused by the metal turning brittle when heating water.
  3. You notice the water is leaking from your water heater tank. When water starts leaking out of your water heater most of the time the heater is at the end of its life span. When you start to see water on the floor around the tank you may have a leak that can cause significant property damage. The damage needs to be fixed as soon as possible.
  4. You notice your water is no longer getting hot even after you adjust the pilot. The loss of heat in your water heater may mean you have a misadjusted thermostat, a broken heating element or a tank that’s too small for your house. Is your water heater more than eight years old? The water heater’s life span is about eight-ten years give or take a couple of years depending on usage, model, and where it is located in your home.

How Long Do Water Heaters Last?

Most homes use their water heater many times during a 24-hour period. Most of the time you use it you aren’t even aware the water heater is part of the process. You’re using it every time you:

  • Take a shower
  • Wash your hands
  • Wash your dishes
  • Run your washer
  • Run your dishwasher
  • Cook

It is estimated in most households each member uses the home’s water heater at least 20 times per day. That’s why its lifespan is only 8-10 years. You can help your water heater age gracefully with proper maintenance, but it is still going to need to be replaced somewhere within that timeframe.

2017 Water Heater Environmental Changes

There are around three or four different types of water heater technologies to choose from. There is:

  • Electric
  • Propane
  • Solar Heater
  • Tankless

For all the above water heaters, in 2017, the Uniform Energy Factor (UEF) was developed by the US Department of Energy. It replaced the Energy Factor (EF) rating that most of us have on our old water heaters. Utah and many other state residents who want to upgrade or replace their home’s water heater will now pay a bit more for their new water heater.

But by paying a bit more for their water heater, they help cut up to 35% pollution emissions by 2024. The lowered pollutions levels are due to the ultra-low nitrogen oxide (NOx) emitters all new water heaters must offer.

Selecting Your Water Heater

You know your water heater’s projected life span, and you also know how to recognize the signs of an aging water heater that needs to be replaced. But what do you look for when selecting your new water heater? What can help you select a water heater that has a longer lifespan?

Consider Water Heater Capacity, Efficiency, and Cost

Many people like to consider very large capacity levels in the new water heater they are purchasing. But it’s important to note that most water heater businesses who repair or provide water heaters can run a capacity test to identify the tank size you need for your best fit.

Hot water tanks do have their new UEF standards in Utah and other states throughout the US. You want to make sure your water heater meets the new UEF standards.

Cost is one of the most important factors to consider when purchasing a water heater but you need to remember the cost doesn’t necessarily represent the quality. Initial purchases of new water heaters have installations costs as well as their respective cost-effective solutions. You want to know what those cost-effective solutions are before signing the dotted line.

Your Next Steps

How long do water heaters last? Now you know the answer. When you start noticing some of the warning signs that your water heater may be going out, reach out to Beehive Plumbing.

You may want to upgrade and update your water heater to meet the new UEF standards. No matter what your reason, our professionals can meet your needs. We are available no matter what your plumbing or water heater emergency.

We can also answer any questions you may have about your plumbing, equipment, or repairs. So reach out to us today. Don’t wait one more day to get hot water when you need it.

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