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How Long Should My Water Heater Last?

water-heater-tankWhen people ask our experts this question—and it’s a question we hear often—what they usually want to know is if they should have their current aging water heater replaced with a new one. But it’s also something people ask when they get a new water heater so they know what to expect, and how much return they’ll receive from their investment in the new unit.

The question doesn’t have a single, simple answer. “It depends,” is one way to answer it, but that won’t satisfy anybody. Depends on what? And what can be done to see that it last for as long as possible?

Water Heater Types

Water heater longevity is linked to the type of water heater. The most common model found in homes is the storage tank water heater. You’re probably most familiar with this type: a large water tank holds a supply of water kept at a constant temperature. A tank water heater can last for 8 to 12 years if just left alone—but if you arrange for annual maintenance for it, you might be able to double that range. Once a well-maintained tank water heater is older than 15 years is when you should start watching for signs it needs to be replaced.

Tankless water heaters run longer because they work less often and don’t suffer from the stress of storing water. Reaching 20 years or even 30 isn’t uncommon for a tankless system. Warranties for tankless water heaters may even offer lifetime coverage against leaking.

Don’t Neglect Repair Needs

Along with regular maintenance, repairs done as needed are critical for ensuring the longest service life possible from any type of water heater. Letting even a seemingly “minor” problem (and there isn’t such a thing) continue without professional assistance can end up cutting a water heater’s lifespan short.

Issues like limescale in the tank and high water pressure increase stress on the system, rapidly wearing down its parts. The moment you feel your water heater is in some kind of operational trouble, call on the pros. With the problem contained and remedied, your water heater will keep serving you for years to come.

The Replacement Decision

If you suspect your water heater may be beyond what repairs can do, and it’s also old enough to be in the “danger zone,” have one of our professionals take a look over the system and give you an honest assessment if it should be replaced. And if it should, what is the best type of replacement? We recommend looking into tankless water heaters if you currently have a tank model. They provide longer service lives, have lower operating costs and fewer repairs, and they don’t run out of hot water.

For service for your tank or tankless water heater in Pomona, CA or elsewhere in Southern California, call us today. We have 24/7 emergency services for when your water heater is in serious trouble. Don’t worry: we’re always open for business!

Sweetwater Plumbing serves Southern California. We don’t charge by the hour—we charge by the job!

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