You want your water heater to last as long as possible. If this requires a little TLC and some plumbing maintenance service, then that is money in the bank. Routine maintenance is the key to water heater longevity. Keep your eyes open for signs of trouble with this appliance. These include the following:
Rust & Corrosion
Warning Signs of Water Heater Trouble
On the average, you can expect a new water heater to last for about 10 years, give or take a few. If you have an electric heater, the life expectancy is 8 to 10 years. For a gas heater, it is a little less, from 6 to 8 years.
Age is one indicator of water heater life span. Others include signs of rust. Over time, steel water heaters corrode and rust begins to appear on the inside of the heater, as well as in the water. You may notice rusty water coming out of the faucet when using hot water. When corrosion sets in, leaks are not far behind. A tank that is corroded is difficult to repair so it is recommended that you replace the water heater. Find out what is needed by calling in a licensed plumber. Expect this professional to tell you exactly what the problem is, to make recommendations about the solution, and tell you how much it is going to cost.
Have you ever been in the shower and turned on the water only to find that it is cold? It may be that the thermostat or heating element needs to be replaced, or it may be that you require water heater replacement. Always reach out to a professional for an informed opinion. When you do need to buy a new unit, consider a tankless heater that gives you hot water on demand.