How often should a hot water tank be replaced?

12 December 2022


You probably already know that regular maintenance is important for keeping your home safe and comfortable. What you might not realize is that your hot water heater also requires some attention from time to time. Hot water tanks are responsible for heating water to a temperature suitable for bathing or cooking. They are typically installed under the floor of your bathroom or kitchen.

Most homes have two hot water tanks: a primary tank and a backup tank. The primary tank provides hot water during normal use, whereas the secondary tank supplies extra hot water in case of emergency. All types of water heaters require regular maintenance to work properly. If you start noticing problems with your hot water tank, you should consider replacing it.


What is the lifetime of a hot water tank?

A hot water tank typically lasts anywhere between 8 to 12 years. This is the case for gas water heater tanks, although electric water heaters tend to last a few years longer due to the quality of their internal parts. How well you look after your water heater will ultimately dictate its life expectancy. The better you maintain it, with regular draining and flushing, the longer it will last.

How do you know when a hot water heater needs to be replaced?

Knowing when a hot water heater needs to be replaced is essential if you want to ensure that you have a working hot water tank all year round. It is useful to be able to recognize the signs of an inefficient hot water heater so that you can get it checked by a professional plumber as soon as possible and avoid having to pay for costly water heater repairs.

Age of the heater

Your water heater’s age is the number one indicator that it needs to be replaced. Although some heaters might have a life expectancy of beyond 10 years, it is a good idea to get your heater checked every 10 years by a professional. Over a 10-year period, a lot could go wrong with any type of water heater, from internal rusting to loss of heat to leaks.

Even if you don’t think you have a problem with your water heater, it is recommended that a licensed plumber inspects it every 10 years to give you a better idea of its condition. If it doesn’t need to be replaced, the plumber will let you know when it will likely need to be replaced in the future.

Loss of hot water

If you have noticed that family members have started having cold water showers because your current water heater is unable to heat water in the tank, there is probably a problem and you might need to replace your heater. 

A loss of hot water is likely caused by one of three problems:

  • A misadjusted thermostat
  • A broken heating element
  • A tank that’s too small for the size of your house

The first two issues are no cause for concern and can be quickly fixed. However, if your tank is too small, it will continue to fail to provide hot water on demand, so you will need to look into replacing your entire system.

Rising energy costs

When your water heater becomes inefficient, it starts to cost you more money to heat your water. If your energy bills have significantly increased and you can’t pinpoint why, there is a good chance that it is due to a faulty water heater. The best thing to do in this situation is to invest in an energy-efficient heating system to benefit from annual savings on your energy bill.

Below are some of the most energy-efficient models of water heaters:

  • Heat pump water heaters
  • Solar water heaters
  • Tankless water heaters
  • Condensing water heaters

5 plumbing upgrades that will add value to your home


A leaking water tank is a sign that it is coming to the end of its life. If you are seeing collections of water form beneath your tank, it is a sign that it is leaking. You should contact  licensed professionals immediately to assess the problem. Otherwise, it could cause serious structural damage to your property.

The reason your water heater is leaking is most likely due to the expansion of internal elements, caused by the ongoing heating cycles that the tank has been exposed to over extended periods of time. The heat causes the metal to continue expanding which creates small cracks, eventually evolving into large problematic leaks.


How often should a hot water tank be replaced?

Water heater replacement is generally necessary every 10 years. However, the second you begin to notice problems with your tank, you should call a water heater expert to investigate the problem. It is always better to replace your tank if it is causing issues as it will probably be cheaper than paying for ongoing repairs in the long run.


Is replacing a hot water tank easy?

Replacing a hot water tank is easy for professional installers, but should not be attempted by a regular person. Without comprehensive knowledge on how to install water heaters, you could run into some serious problems, the worst being an explosion from a faulty combustion air valve.

The installation of water heaters needs to be done by professionals who know the plumbing  and building codes and understand all types of residential and commercial water heaters, including tankless units and tank water heaters, gas models and electric models, etc. They also need to have electrical skills in order to install an electric unit in addition to carpentry skills to properly fix the tank in place.


How much does it cost to replace a water heater?

The national average for replacing a water heater costs anywhere from $600 to $3,500. However, the average cost of hot water heater replacement is $1,000. The reason the price range is so wide is due to the fact that a lot of factors go into dictating the final cost.

The most important factor in determining the cost of your hot water tank replacement is the type of heater you’re installing. Below are the rough costs associated with some of the most common types:

  • Tankless water heater: $2000
  • Tank-style heater: $1000
  • Hybrid heat pump water heater: $1,500
  • Indirect water heater: $2,000
  • Gas-powered heater: $900
  • Electric heater: $600

In addition to paying for the heater, you also have to pay the labor costs of a professional plumber. Since water tanks are difficult to install, you need a plumber to fit it for you. The average price of installation will depend on the company that installs your tank as some charge a flat rate, whereas others charge an hourly rate.

Repair your water heater


Plumbing services

Whether you need to install a new hot water tank or just require regular plumbing maintenance, Plomberie Pro Drain is here to help. Our professional plumbers have years of experience to ensure you get the best possible service. We promise to get your plumbing up and running in no time.

Our plumbing services include:

Get in touch with us 

© 2020 Droits réservés / Plomberie Pro-drain | Référencement par ProStar SEO