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Water Heater 101: How Old Is My Water Tank?

Nov 20, 2019

Like any appliance, a hot water heater will deteriorate over time and eventually require replacement. Most people dislike cold showers, so ideally, you should detect a failing water heater and replace it before it completely breaks down.

Delaying the replacement of your unit could lead to bigger problems. These might include leaks and resulting costly water damage to your home. (If you have a leaking water heater, follow these instructions). However, there’s a common misconception about water heater replacement that could save you money.

Not all issues with such an appliance necessitate a full replacement. You can repair most problems or resolve them by replacing a few components. Two scenarios warrant a water heater replacement: outgrowing your current unit’s capacity and the tank starting to leak.

How Many Years Does a Hot Water Tank Last?

Most water heaters have a lifespan of about 10 to 15 years, although this varies. Some appliances may last longer or encounter problems much earlier.

Annual maintenance can extend your water heater’s life. This includes flushing it yearly and adhering to the manufacturer’s maintenance guidelines. You can do this maintenance yourself or hire a professional.

Fiberglass tank water heaters typically have a longer lifespan, and some even offer a lifetime warranty on the tank. Warranty length is significant for water heaters. While some lower-priced models offer only a five-year warranty, spending more initially can get you a 10-12 year warranty.

Note that more expensive water heaters usually include heavier anode rods, crucial for the tank’s internal health.

Gas vs. electric water heaters may have different lifespans. Generally, electric models last longer due to fewer components that can fail. However, consider that gas water heaters are often more economical and eco-friendlier.

Why Water Tanks Fail

You’ll need to replace your water heater if the tank fails, unless you’re upgrading to a larger or tankless unit. Tanks typically fail due to over pressurization or sediment buildup.

Over pressurization can cause a tank to burst. Installing a valve can prevent this. Sediment buildup leads to rust and corrosion, eventually causing leaks. Once a leak starts, it worsens due to the tank’s pressure.

Is It Time to Replace?

Deciding between repairing and replacing your water heater depends on the problem. Always consult a professional for troubleshooting before purchasing a new appliance.

A failed tank is the primary reason for a full replacement. For other issues, like reduced hot water, component replacement often suffices.

How Much Does It Cost to Replace a Water Heater?

The cost varies based on several factors, including the appliance’s price, labor costs, new mounts or brackets, a drain pan, and plumbing upgrades to meet code.

If you’re facing water heater issues and need guidance, Fast Water Heater Company is here to assist. Call us at 1-866-465-7442 or contact us online. We’re available 7 days a week in most service areas.

Call (425) 636-7038
for fast service


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