Hot water heaters typically last between 7–20 years or longer, depending on what type of water heating system you have.
- Standard water heater systems have a life expectancy of 7–10 years, perhaps even 12 years or more with regular maintenance.
- Tankless/On-demand water heater systems can last 15–20 years or more, may save $100/year or more in energy consumption, and pay for themselves within 10 years due to the energy savings.
Do You Need a Hot Water Heater Replacement?
Are your showers turning cold far too quickly for your liking? Is this a sign that you need a water heater replacement? It just might be, but how can you tell? There are several other reasons you may want or need to look into and schedule a new hot water heater installation.
The age of your water heater might be obvious or should at least be an easily found piece of information. Take a look at the sticker on the side of the water heater for the item number or the year listed that will give you a better idea of when to replace a water heater.
In addition to age, some more common reasons you should watch for and that indicate a replacement is needed are:
- Improper installation
- Erratic functioning (sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t)
- Rumbling/rattling noises
- Tinted water or rust (visible on parts and pipes)
- Want/need to cut energy costs
- Desire for an upgrade
What Should I Consider When Planning a Water Heater Installation?
Now that you have determined the age and/or the reason you need a hot water heater replacement, your next step is to determine what type of system is best for your home.
You should consider the following in your decision to replace a water heater:
- Size: For example, standard systems can hold 20-80 gallons of water.
- Fuel type and availability (natural gas, propane, fuel oil, electricity)
- Energy efficiency:
- Standby heat loss is the energy wasted heating water not being used in standard hot water heaters.
- Gas tankless water heaters have higher flow rates, but choosing between a standing pilot light (uses more gas) and an intermittent ignition device (works more like gas stove ranges and ovens) is a key factor in your decision and your budget.
- Costs (purchasing, operating, savings)
- Code/laws for gas or electric water heater installation
How Long Should a Water Heater Last? Additional Factors
It is important to know much water supply you regularly use as well. All of this information will help you determine whether you need standard or tankless, gas or electric, and one or more (tankless) water heaters. It will also help you avoid overtaxing your water heater by taking a shower, running the dishwasher, and doing laundry all at once, for instance.
Lastly, it is not recommended to make this a DIY job. Call on a professional plumber to fulfill that important “Water Heater Installation Near Me” and schedule your hot water heater installation today.