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How Long Can I Expect My Water Heater to Last?

water-heater-tank

Your water heater does one of the most important jobs in your house. It’s so important that you probably don’t think about it much. When you turn on the shower in the morning to get a fresh start to the day, hot water flows from the showerhead. After dinner is over, you have hot water from the kitchen sink tap to make cleaning utensils and dishes easy. Hot water when you need it is part of your daily routine, as expected as getting electricity when you flip a switch. 

But you will notice your water heater when it fails to deliver hot water. These occasional hiccups in operation are reminders that no water heater lasts forever. Eventually, you’ll need to schedule a water heater replacement in Vancouver, WA

How many more years can you expect your water heater to keep doing its job? A good question! We can give you an idea of its service life expectations below.

The Old Cast Iron Water Heater Days

If you’ve ever heard someone tell you a water heater can easily last 30 years and may reach 50, they’re telling the truth … about water heaters from another era. The standard for water heaters in the early to mid-20th century were cast-iron models. These bulky systems were built for durability and making it to 30 years was normal. 

Today’s water heaters aren’t built for that level of longevity. Instead, they’re built for energy savings, smaller size, lower cost, and safety. It’s a good trade-off. You may not keep your water heater for as long, but you’ll pay less to run it over its service life and have more reliable performance from it. 

The Modern Water Heater

Because of the different types of water heaters on the market, there’s a range of possible life expectancies. Several factors also affect longevity, such as the amount of use and the quality of the local water. (Hard water is especially damaging to water heaters and can significantly shorten their lives.) 

What most people think of as the standard water heater is a storage-tank water heater. Gas storage tank water heaters are the most common in homes, and they can last around 10 years, sometimes 15. Electric water heaters wear down slower because they don’t have the concern about gas combustion reacting with the metal. You can expect an electric water heater to last two years longer on average than a gas water heater. This also applies to heat pump water heaters, which use electricity to run but consume less of it.

What about tankless water heaters? These systems have many advantages that have caused their popularity to increase over the last decade. One of those advantages is longevity. Tankless water heaters consume less energy (either gas or electric) and don’t have the physical stress of water storage. A tankless water heater can often last for 20 years. 

Important Reminder!

No water heater will reach its estimated service life unless it receives routine maintenance and prompt repairs when necessary. Work with our professionals to see to your water heater’s needs and we’ll help it live a long, useful life. 

Clawson Heating & Air Conditioning is “Connecting People to Comfort”! Call us for water heater service. 

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