Lifespan of Hot Water Heaters | Boston Plumber

February 6, 2019

Hot water heaters are fabulous inventions. In our modern world, it’s pretty hard to imagine having to take freezing cold showers, especially during the Boston winters. But hot water does more than make us comfortable while we suds up, it allows us to wash our sheets in hot water, and wash our dishes in warm to hot water. In other words, beyond comfort, hot water is an important part of killing germs in our homes.

But sadly, hot water heaters don’t last forever and the last thing you want is for yours to give out when you have a house full of guests for the holidays, on a chilly January morning when you’re in the shower, or when you have pressing matters to attend to.

Life Expectancy of Water Heaters

As a general rule, the life expectancy of water heaters is around 8 to 12 years. But the exact “life years” depends on the brand, the location of the unit, the design, regular scheduled maintenance (or lack thereof), water quality, and lastly, how well it was installed.

A lot of homeowners don’t think to maintain their hot water heaters, but regular maintenance is key to extending the lifespan of a water heater. Sometimes, a water heater may break down but all it needs is a simple repair. However, when there’s a leak, or when a unit is more than 8 to 10-years-old, it’s usually smarter to replace the old unit than to repair it and hope it doesn’t fail in the near future.

Is your water heater acting up? If it’s showing any of these signs, it may be a red flag that your unit is about to fail on you.

  1. Water is leaking around the base of the tank
  2. The unit is working erratically
  3. The water isn’t getting hot at all

Before you decide that you need a brand-new unit, make sure you don’t have an electrical problem, such as a tripped breaker or a blown fuse that’s behind the unit’s failure. On the other hand, if you hear hissing or sizzling noises, or if you have a leaky pressure-relief valve, or leaking water supply pipes, it may just need to be repaired.

If your water heater is acting up, contact Winters® Home Services to schedule a service call with a Boston Plumber. We can look at your unit and determine if it would be most practical to repair or replace the unit.