When does a hot water heater need to be replaced?

19 May 2021


How do you know when your heating needs to be replaced? A water heater that is maintained on a regular basis and repaired promptly when required will last for several years.

What is the average life of a hot water heater?

A gas water heater can last 8 to 12 years and an electric water heater can last between 10 to 15 years with regular inspection, draining, and flushing.

Although today’s water heaters are better designed than older models, they still need to be maintained on a regular basis in order to last as long as possible.

Can a hot water heater last 20 years?

A tankless water heater can last for up to 20 years, and even longer in some cases. These units, also known as on-demand heating, do not operate constantly to ensure a supply of hot water and, as a result, last longer than their tank-style counterparts.

Without the use of a storage tank, tankless water heaters heat water directly. When a hot water tap is turned on, cold water enters the device through a drain. The water is heated by a gas burner or an electric element. Tankless water heaters have a steady supply of hot water as a result. There is no need to wait for a hot water storage tank to fill up. The performance of a tankless water heater, on the other hand, limits the flow rate.

A tankless water heater has a higher initial cost than a traditional storage water heater, but they usually last longer and have lower maintenance and energy costs, which may offset the higher purchase price. Most tankless water heaters have a lifespan of over 20 years. They also have easily replaceable parts that allow them to last for several years longer. Storage water heaters, on the other hand, last 10–15 years.

However, tankless water heaters (which do not use anode rods) can eventually corrode and your heating will then need to be replaced.

5 signs it’s time to replace your water heater

1. Age of Your Water Heater

In a typical house, how long do water heaters last? Most devices have a 15 to 20 year lifespan. Even if the existing water heater is in good working order, it’s normally safer to replace it if it’s more than 20 years old.

The majority of the heating energy used in your home comes from hot water. If the hot water heater continues to operate inefficiently due to age, it’s a good idea to get it tested by a professional to see if replacing it is the more cost-effective option.

2. Loss of Hot Water Volume

You may be in a situation where you are ready to take a shower but the hot water comes in small spurts and is mostly freezing cold. A low amount of warm water is another good indication that your heating is not working and it is time to upgrade your water heater as you may have faulty parts.

3. Corrosion

Corrosion should not appear on your water heater until it’s very old. If it does appear, it is almost always irreversible, and you will need to replace your water heater.

An electrochemical reaction occurs when copper and steel are connected in the presence of a conductive liquid (the water in the pipe), causing the steel to corrode at the point of connection. Galvanic corrosion is the name for this process. Corrosion occurs when water spills through the seal and meets the steel and copper connections. The steel pipe threads inside the copper fitting attached to it would be dissolved by galvanic corrosion.

4. Water Discolouration

Sediment and mineral build-up inside the heater are probably the most common source of discoloured hot water. Sediment is solid material that has sunk to the bottom of the water heater tank from the water. Mineral build-up happens when minerals in the water cling to the inside of pipes or the inside of the tank over time, accumulating.

Both of these issues will result in tainted hot water. Accumulations of these materials will impair the water heater’s ability to generate the hot water your facility requires, reducing its performance and effectiveness.

The most common approach is to flush the hot water heater’s tank. To wash out sediments and minerals, drain all the water from the tank and run water through the system. Flushing the tank will also solve problems with hot water.

It’s important to remember that solid mineral buildup within the water heater can be difficult to get rid of. The minerals could clog the pipes and reduce the efficiency of the heater. They will most likely accumulate to the point that the heater will need to be replaced.

5. Too Many Repairs

Your home’s water heater should be serviced no more than twice a year. Rather than wasting money to extend the life of your water heater, schedule a new installation. Contact our plumbers to schedule a water heater repair or to get a professional opinion on whether it is time to replace it.

What is the average price to replace a water heater?

A water heater can set you back between $1,000 and $3,000 on average. Installation costs can range from $400 to $2,510, depending on where you live and what type of water heater you buy.

Why is it so expensive to mount a hot water heater?

Since installation requires many different components, replacing your hot water heater is a little more expensive than replacing other appliances. Keep in mind that the heater has to be installed by a licenced plumber.

The following items may be included in the overall cost of your installation:

  • The purchase price of the machine
  • The installation materials
  • A licenced plumber’s services are required
  • Installation permissions
  • The removal of your old appliance (optional)

Does size matter?

The size of the appliance you choose is an important factor that will affect its price. The most common unit of measurement for water heaters is gallons. The size you choose will determine how many people can use hot water in your home comfortably.

If you purchase the wrong size, you will probably run out of hot water or incur excessively large utility bills. In general, the bigger the tank, the more expensive the heater. Here are some of the most popular sizes and what you can expect:

  • 30 gallons: These smaller tanks are ideal for two or three people in small households. Depending on where you live, you can expect to pay anywhere from $300 to $900.
  • 40 gallons: If your household has three to four people, this size might be appropriate. Depending on where you live, these will cost anywhere from $350 to $1,500.
  • 50-gallons: they are recommended for households of four to five individuals. Depending on where you live, you’ll pay anywhere from $400 to $2,300 for this scale.
  • 75 gallons: These extra-large tanks are designed for households with more than five occupants. Depending on where you live, they can cost anywhere from $800 to $3,000.

Rule of thumb: Each person will add 10 gallons for heating!

Water heater maintenance tips

Test the Valve

The pressure-relief valve, which can be found on the top or side of the water heater, should be checked. If the pressure inside the tank rises too high, this valve opens automatically. Place a bucket underneath the discharge pipe on your water heater tank and gently raise the pressure-relief valve’s lever to test it.

Drain Sediments

Drain the tank to remove sediments that have accumulated at the bottom. Sediment buildup reduces the effectiveness of your water heater, shortening its life and increasing your energy bill.

To flush out sediments, two or three gallons of water is normally sufficient, but always let the water flow until no particles are visible in the bucket. Slowly open the drain valve and let the water flow until it is clear and sediment-free.


Repair, replacement and installation of water heaters 

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