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SoCo Heating and Cooling Blog

How Long Is Your Tank Water Heater Supposed to Last?

A steady stream of hot water is a modern convenience we often take for granted. But until that blissful shower turns lukewarm, most homeowners don’t give their water heater a second thought. However, like any appliance, water heaters have a finite lifespan.

Here’s a breakdown of how long different types of tank water heaters typically last and how to maximize their efficiency throughout their years of service. Just remember to call our team for water heater service in Castle Rock.

The Lifespan of a Water Heater: It’s All Relative

The average lifespan of a water heater can vary depending on several factors, including:

  • Type of water heater: Gas and electric water heaters have slightly different lifespans.
  • Water quality: Hard water with high mineral content can cause corrosion and shorten a water heater’s life.
  • Maintenance schedule: Regular flushing removes sediment buildup that can impede efficiency and lead to premature failure.
  • Usage: Homes with high hot water demand will naturally put more strain on the water heater.

With these variables in mind, here’s a general guideline for how long different water heaters can be expected to last:

  • Gas water heaters: 8-12 years
  • Electric water heaters: 10-15 years

Types of Water Heaters and Their Lifespan

There are two main types of residential water heaters: gas and electric. Each has its own advantages and considerations regarding lifespan.

  • Gas water heaters: Generally more affordable to operate than electric models, gas water heaters use natural gas or propane to heat water. While they tend to have a slightly shorter lifespan than electric heaters (8-12 years), they often heat water faster due to the power of gas combustion.
  • Electric water heaters: Electric water heaters use heating elements to warm the water. They tend to last longer than gas models (10-15 years) and are typically quieter in operation. However, they can be more expensive to run, especially in areas with high electricity costs.

Extending the Life of Your Water Heater

While all appliances eventually wear down, there are steps you can take to extend the lifespan of your water heater and get the most out of your investment:

  • Regular flushing: Have your water heater flushed by a qualified plumber when receiving maintenance. This removes sediment buildup that can reduce efficiency and lead to corrosion.
  • Temperature control: Setting your water heater to a lower temperature (around 120°F) can help prevent excessive scaling and extend its lifespan.
  • Anode rod maintenance: Some water heaters have an anode rod that attracts corrosion to protect the tank. Regularly inspect and replace the anode rod according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Proper installation: Ensure your water heater is properly installed by a qualified professional to avoid leaks and other problems that can shorten its lifespan.

Thinking about upgrading your water heater? Consider a high-efficiency model that can save you money on energy costs over time. Additionally, tankless water heaters, which heat water on demand, can be a good option for some households, although they typically have a higher upfront cost.

For expert advice and water heater services, consult with licensed technician from SoCo Heating and Cooling. So Cool, So Cozy!

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