Like any other appliance, a hot water heater will break down over time will eventually need replacement. Few people appreciate taking cold showers, so ideally, you’d want to identify a failing water heater and get it replaced before it stops working altogether.
If you wait too long to replace your unit, it could lead to larger issues. Some of these might include leaks and costly water damage to your home. (Follow these instructions if you have a leaking water heater). But there is a common misconception about water heater replacement that could save you some cash.
Not every problem with an appliance like this requires a full replacement. Most issues can be repaired or resolved with the replacement of a few components. There are two times when it makes sense to replace a water heater – when you’ve outgrown the capacity of your current unit and when the tank itself begins to leak.
How Many Years Does a Hot Water Heater Last?
Most water heaters aren’t designed to last beyond around 10 to 15 years. This is an estimate, and anyone’s mileage can vary, meaning an appliance can last much longer or develop issues years sooner. It just depends.
You will probably get some additional life out of your water heater if you perform annual maintenance on the unit. This involves flushing it once per year and keeping it maintained according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. This can be a do-it-yourself task, or you can bring in a professional to get the job done.
A fiberglass tank water heater is likely going to have a longer useful life, and some models even come with a lifetime warranty on the tank. When it comes to water heaters, warranties matter. Some lower-priced models have just a five-year warranty while you can spend a little more upfront and get a water heater with a warranty of 10-12 years on the tank.
It’s important to note that more expensive water heaters also generally come with anode rods that are heavier. These are a vital component when it comes to the health of the inside of the tank.
There may also be a difference in the life expectancy of gas vs. electric water heaters. Everything else being equal, an electric water heater generally lasts longer because there are fewer components that can fail or wear out. However, you’ll need to weigh this against the fact that gas water heaters are considered more economical and environmentally-friendly to operate.
Why Water Heater Tanks Fail
Unless you just need a bigger water heater or want to switch to a tankless unit, you’re going to need to replace your water heater if the tank fails. There are two main reasons that this happens.
Overpressurization. If the psi of the water in your tank goes above its specifications, this can cause a tank to burst or otherwise spring a leak. Many of these situations can be avoided with the installation of a valve to prevent overheating.
Sediment Buildup. Contaminants and sediment in the water can cause rust and other corrosion to build up in the tank, which will eventually lead to a leak. Once you have a leak, further pressure from the tank will make the problem
Is It Time to Replace Your Water Heater?
When you have an issue with your water heater, this begs the question of whether to repair the issue or opt for a full replacement. Your choice will depend on the nature of your problem, so it’s vital that you have a professional troubleshoot before you decide to buy a new appliance.
A failed tank is the only reason that you should have to fully replace a water heater due to a breakdown. If there are other problems, such as less hot water than before, it can generally be fixed with other components.
How Much Does It Cost to Replace a Water Heater?
The cost to install in a new water heater varies depending on a wide range of factors. Of course, the first one is the price tag of the appliance itself. Other items that you’ll need to consider include the cost of labor, new mounts or brackets, a drain pan, and upgraded plumbing to meet code.
If you are having problems with your current water heater and aren’t sure where to begin, the experts at Fast Water Heater Company are standing by to help. Give us a call now at 1-866-465-7442. We are open 7 days a week in most service areas.