Licensed Plumber LICENSE #CO88900054
Call For a Licensed Plumber: (317) 859-9999

Water heater lifespan

is on average 8 to 12-years, with replacement generally recommended at 10 years.  There are two exceptions: gas water heaters last approximately 6 to 8 years and tankless water heaters can last 20 years or more.  If you need to replace your water heater, there are many reasons why tankless water heaters are the way to go.  

It’s important to know your water heater lifespan in order to determine the age of your water heater, you must interpret a code in the unit’s serial number.  For example, a Bradford White model water-heater will have a code that looks like this: “BH6511396,” in which the letters B and H signal the year (2005) and month (August) of the unit’s manufacturer.  A convenient guide for most brands can be found here.

If your water heater lifespan is nearing the end of its time, it is best to simply replace the unit before issues arise.  Before the end of their service life, water heaters may work perfectly, but when they reach their expiration date they can suddenly and unexpectedly leak.  When this happens, the water heater leak is more like a flood and can lead to costly repairs from water damage to your property, in addition to the cost of replacing the device itself.  New models are up to 20% more efficient and can save up to $700 in energy costs over the life of the unit, so replacing the unit in this situation makes sense.  Plus, a water heater lifespan generally increases with newer technology.

Even if your water heater lifespan is not near the end of its time, issues can arise as the unit ages.  Common causes of these issues are a lack of regular maintenance, heavy usage, and an excessively high-temperature setting.  Water heaters should be flushed yearly by a qualified and licensed plumber.  This rids the unit of collected sediment that causes corrosion and increases the unit’s efficiency.  Additionally, the pressure-relief valve should be tested yearly.  This is done by lifting the valve’s handle and letting it snap back.  This should release a burst of water into the overflow drain pipe.  If it doesn’t, install a new valve.  If you have a large or busy household that uses a lot of water, the water-heater will experience more wear and tear than one in a smaller household.  This will naturally lead to a shorter lifespan for the unit.  Additionally, setting the thermostat to 120 degrees Fahrenheit reduces damage to the tank caused by overheating.

Important factors to consider a Water Heater Lifespan

Water heaters contain few moving parts, so few things can go wrong.  Some benign issues include the pilot light on a gas water-heater flickering out, the circuit breaker for an electric water heater tripping, the thermostat breaking, the burner or heating element failing, and the valve sticking.  Repairing or replacing any of these parts is inexpensive, but if the tank is more than 10 years old, or if it is leaking, it is best to simply replace the unit.  Signs of a more serious issue requiring maintenance or replacement include:

  • Bad smell of the water
  • Water Leaks
  • No hot water
  • Water is present, but it is not hot enough, or there are frequent temperature fluctuations
  • Rusty color water is coming from the faucet or shower
  • The water-heater is making loud rumbling noises
  • Corrosion and rust is noticed on the walls of the tank

If you notice any of the aforementioned warning signs, especially if your water heater lifespan is more than halfway through its expected time, contact a licensed plumber immediately, as they signal the presence of an issue that could lead to significant property damage and financial loss

Kelson Carter

Article reviewed by:

Kelson Carter, aka, The Prince of Plumbing

Kelson is a 3rd generation Plumbing Contractor. His family business is located in Greenwood, Indiana, and provides Residential Plumbing Service to the Indianapolis Metro market.

Kelson grew up watching his grandfather and father do plumbing. After graduating high school, Kelson went to Trade School and became a Licensed Master Plumber and Licensed Plumbing Contractor. He is also Certified in Backflow Prevention. He currently owns and operates Carter's My Plumber with his parents.


Instagram

Schedule Your Appointment Now

  • MM slash DD slash YYYY
Simple as that. Give us a call today for your FREE estimate & rest assured knowing your plumbing concerns are in the best hands! 
317-859-9999
Annnnd that's a wrap on January! One month down, but we're still keeping those 2023 goals in the front of our minds. How can we help you today? 

Give us a call at 317-859-9999 to get one of the best teams in your home to solve all your plumbing concerns!
Happy ONE year anniversary to Jess! You are a team player, eager to learn, and always willing to lend a hand. Looking forward to another year of growth & development. Give him a big CONGRATS if he's solving your plumbing issues this week! 

317-859-9999
“Hot Water Today or It’s You We Pay!”
317-859-9999 / cartersmyplumber.com
Happy Golden Friday!
Everyone Have a Great Weekend.
Be safe Today!
317-859-9999 / cartersmyplumber.com
It May get a little Chilly and Snowy! Make sure You are Prepared! Because if not, You’ll be calling us! 😁😉

317-859-9999
Happy Four Year Anniversary to Brandon Hair! Brandon keeps us on our feet and is one heck of a Plumber! We are Thankful for you!
“Hot Water Today or It’s You We Pay!”
317-859-9999 / cartersmyplumber.com
“Hot Water Today or It’s You We Pay!”
317-859-9999 / cartersmyplumber.com
Call Today for a FREE Estimate!
317-859-9999 / cartersmyplumber.com
January CARTER CARES water heater has been installed! If you know of someone in need of hot water, please visit our website to fill out the form. At Carters, We Care! www.cartersmyplumber.com
Wednesday Morning Meetings! We are Hyped Up & Ready to Have a Great 2023!
“Hot Water Today or It’s You We Pay!”
317-859-9999 / cartersmyplumber.com
“Hot Water Today or It’s You We Pay!”
317-859-9999 / cartersmyplumber.com
“Hot Water Today or It’s You We Pay!”
317-859-9999 / cartersmyplumber.com
“Hot Water Today or It’s You We Pay!”
317-859-9999 / cartersmyplumber.com
Indy! Having any nagging plumbing issues? Gives us a call and get it fixed to begin the New Year! 

317–859-9999 / cartersmyplumber.com
Happy New Year and Happy Golden Friday!
Five Star Review!!
Five Star Review ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️