How long do water heaters last - factors to consider

How long do water heaters last?

How long do water heaters last? The question is not always easy to answer because several factors can cause one heater to last longer than another. At Iron Mountain Plumbing, we build our reputation through our unmatched skill in repairing and maintaining St. George’s water heaters, sump pumps, gas lines, plumbing, and more. Whether you are looking to upgrade your current water heater or trying to get a few more years out of it, let the experts at Iron Mountain Plumbing help you today.

The Typical Lifespan of a Water Heater

A water heater typically lasts about ten years, but some can fail years earlier while others may last for twelve years or more. Nobody can predict for sure when any particular water heater will fail. However, a proactive approach to caring for your water heater can reduce the number of repair bills and limit your risks. If you have questions about your water heater or you notice any warning signs of water heater failure, talk to one of our professionals about a quality, affordable replacement.

Estimating How Long Your Water Heater Will Last

Keep these nine factors in mind when budgeting for eventual water heater repairs and replacement or buying a home with an existing water heater. Be prepared with enough money in your emergency fund in case your answer to the question “how long do water heaters last?” turns out to be overly optimistic. 

1. Usage

Every time the water heater elements turn on, the activity adds wear to the heating element, the combustion chamber, and the water tank. Families and businesses that use less hot water tend to get more years out of their water heaters. Setting the water heater’s thermostat to a lower temperature setting can reduce demand on your water heater and lower the risk of scalding injuries.

However, it might be a good idea not to leave your water heater unused for months, especially during the winter. Running hot water periodically for seasonal properties can keep the heater running smoothly when you start using the property again. Before you start your water heater after a long absence, check for signs of rust and damage.

2. Hard or Soft Water

The hardness of water refers to sediment, or scale, that naturally dissolves in the water. If you have hard water, sediment can build up in the water tank, pipes, and valves. These sediments can reduce the water heater’s efficiency, forcing it to work harder and taxing crucial components.

Installing a whole-house water filter or water softener can remove sediment and increase the longevity of your water heater.

3. Maintenance

Regular maintenance, including flushing the water heater, descaling, and replacing parts as they wear out, reduces strain on the water heater and can add years to its life expectancy. It is prudent to have a professional inspect your water heater every year along with your HVAC system.

4. Manufacturer

All brands of water heaters are not equal. Quality construction, safety features, and durable materials can make the difference between a clunker and a dependable heating system. Some water heaters have a self-cleaning feature that flushes the tank and removes sediment buildup.

Installing a quality brand can give you the benefit of an extended warranty and peace of mind. Investigate the reputation and reliability of the water heater manufacturers you are considering, and don’t be afraid to ask them, “How long do water heaters last at your company?”

5. Climate

The weather conditions in your area can affect the lifespan of your water heater, especially if your heating and cooling system is inconsistent. Extreme cold can cause fatigue and damage to metal parts of the water heater and damage seals. Low ambient temperatures can cause the water heater to strain to maintain an appropriate water temperature.

6. Installation

Having a professional technician install your water heater reduces the risk of problems with the electrical system, water hookups, and other parts of the water heating system. Talking to an expert before you buy a water heater makes it more likely that it will be a good fit for your home and your lifestyle. If you believe the contractor who installed your water heater made a mistake, have a heating maintenance technician inspect it and make any necessary repairs.

7. Type of Water Heater

Of the two main types of water heaters, tankless water heaters can last longer and save money. Tankless water heaters do not store water like conventional tank water heaters, meaning they do not start heating water until you turn on the tap.

Tankless water heaters might not be ideal if you need large volumes of water at once, but they can be attractive for most homeowners.

8. Benefits from Upgrading

Some water heaters need replacement because they are obsolete. Even if your water heater still functions, its inefficiency, unreliability, and lack of modern features could be a reason to get a new water heater.

Consider the benefits of smart water heater technology that makes it easy to keep your water heater going strong. With internet access, you can turn off your water heater or change the temperature from just about anywhere.

9. Emergencies

Even the best water heaters can fail due to flooding, fires, and other accidents in the home or workplace. Maintain adequate homeowner’s insurance and have an emergency fund on hand in case a disaster requires you to replace your water heater without warning.

Get a Long-Lasting Water Heater from Iron Mountain Plumbing

How long do water heaters last? As long as possible if you have Iron Mountain Plumbing in your corner.When it is time to replace your water heater, or you need water heater repair in the St. George, UT, area, rely on Iron Mountain Plumbing. We will help you select a long-lasting, durable water heater or heat pump that will get you through even the coldest winters. For a consultant with a qualified water heater technician, call Iron Mountain Plumbing today at 435-990-4418.

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