How Long Do Water Heaters Last?

By Winters Home Services

As a homeowner, it’s important to know certain things about your home. For example, you should know how often to change the furnace filters, how many wash cycles your washing machine has in it, how many smoke alarms you should have, and how long your hot water heater should last.

We can all agree that hot water is one of the best parts of indoor plumbing, especially during the fall and winter months. Not many of us could stand taking cold showers during the Boston winters, so hot water is right up there with the rest of our indoor plumbing as far as household priorities are concerned.

When Hot Water Heaters Fail

Most people don’t have a warning before their hot water heater fails. Usually, it just goes out one day and they have to act fast to find a replacement. Otherwise, showers and baths become unbearable. However, there are a few clues or signs that homeowners can look for and we’re not just talking about a pool of water under the water heater.

Is it possible to avoid having your hot water heater give out on you when you least expect it? Absolutely! Here are the signs that indicate your hot water heater may be on the verge of failing on you:

  1. You have an old hot water heater. To find the age of your hot water heater, look for the water heater’s serial number, which includes the date it was manufactured. Since the date is a special code, check the manufacturer’s website to learn how to decipher it. Generally, hot water heaters last about 10 years. If your unit is more than 10-years-old, it’s probably best to replace it.
  2. If your water heater is more than 10-years-old and it’s located in a place that can cause major damage to your home if it leaks, we highly recommend replacing the unit before it starts leaking and causing damage.
  3. If rusty water is coming out of the hot side of your home’s pipes, this could be an indicator that your water heater is rusting on the inside and a leak may be in your future.
  4. If you can hear rumbling or banging noises from the water heater, this could be a sign that sediment has built up at the bottom of the tank. When you hear these noises, it usually means that a unit has reached the end of its life.
  5. If you notice water around the bottom of the unit, the tank or temperature/pressure overflow pipe may be leaking.

If you are concerned that your water heater is 10 or more years old, or that it just hasn’t been operating as efficiently as it should, a Boston plumber at Winters® Home Services can inspect the unit and determine if a repair or replacement is in order. Contact us today!

Further Reading: Why Do Water Pipes Burst in the Winter?