How Long Does a Water Heater Last?

You likely don’t think about your water heater at all until it quits working. And you’re facing frigid showers. It works hard to provide your Columbia home with heated water around the clock, and, as expected, it will stop working eventually.


Here’s how long you can expect your water heater to last and some clues that yours is nearing the end of its life. Ultimately, how long your water heater will keep running depends on what kind you rely on and how often it’s working.

Tank Water Heater

Most homes have a tank water heater that retains 40 to 50 gallons of water. This style continuously warms water, so it’s always at the proper temperature when you want it. Tank water heaters are very common due to their cheaper cost, but they don’t typically work as long as other types.

Here’s how much time you can expect yours to last:

Tank water heaters can fail due to numerous problems, but a rusted tank is one of the most common. Your water heater has a special part called an anode rod that draws corrosive fragments from the water. Eventually, the rod will oxidize, and particles will build up at the bottom of your water heater, rusting out the lining within the tank.

Tankless Water Heater

A tankless water heater has a much bigger working life than its tank-style equivalents. These water heaters can last up to 20 years.

Along with running for a greater amount of time, tankless hot water heaters are extremely energy efficient. In lieu of retaining huge amounts of water that’s reheated constantly, a tankless model warms up water when you need it. This does away with standby heating and the mark it makes on your monthly gas and electrical expenses.

You might not know this, but heating up water accounts for a big chunk of your utility bills. In fact, it’s the second highest source of energy use in a regular residence, according to ENERGY STAR®.

Tankless water heaters are more expensive than tank water heaters, but they have long-term energy savings. They are typically 24% to 34% more efficient than a water heater that retains water, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

4 Indications Your Water Heater is Wearing Out

Your hot water heater will begin to show indications that it needs to be replaced. Here’s what to watch and when to contact a plumbing professional like Midland Air Service Experts.

1. Inadequate Enough Hot Water

This is one of the most typical symptoms that your water heater is wearing out. You may notice heated water getting depleted faster, or that you need more time for water to warm up.

2. Leaks

We recommed calling a plumber if you’re having water leaks or water pooling near the bottom of your water heater. Sometimes you may just need to have connections secured or a component replaced, but it could also be a indication the tank is broken.

3. Water is Cloudy

If you are in a location with hard water and don’t have a water softener, you’re probably accustomed to having cloudy water. But if your water unexpectedly goes from clear to cloudy or starts smelling metallic, you should have your water heater examined by a professional to prevent damaging leaks. Immediate changes in your water clarity means sediment is probably accumulating in the tank and corroding it.

4. Weird Noises

It’s common for your water heater to generate some noise as it works. But popping and rumbling is never normal and is a symptom you need specialized support. As sediment accumulates in the tank, your water heater has to work harder and may consume added energy in the process.

Midland Air Service Experts Makes Water Heater Replacement Simple

Procrastinating water heater replacement puts you at risk of leaks that can damage your house. Not to mention, the annoyance of lacking warm water. If your water heater is outdated or showing signs it needs to be replaced, contact our Experts at 803-399-7208 to schedule a free home comfort assessment. From capacity to energy efficiency, we’ll discuss all the options so you can make the right decision for your home.

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