How Long Does a Water Heater Last?

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How Long Does a Water Heater Last?

Some things are more indestructible than others. Take the pyramids in Egypt, for instance. I can’t imagine them coming down anytime soon. Or maybe Superman is a good example… though there is kryptonite…hmmm. Anyway, nothing lasts forever, right? This certainly applies to anything mechanical. And when it comes to your home, this is even more exemplified when it comes to appliances. Stoves, refrigerators, dishwashers, etc. can last for quite a while if properly maintained, but eventually they must be replaced. While that may represent inconvenience in varying degrees, it is nothing compared to the inconvenience caused by a water heater that is operating incorrectly, or even worse, has sprung a leak. So, Masters Heating & Cooling Inc. is here to provide helpful water heater information, including how long a water heater should last and when it should be replaced.


So how long will a water heater last? Well, the answer to that question depends on the make and model and if it has been well-maintained. Water heaters should be inspected, drained and flushed annually. In areas with harder water, doing this every six months may be a good idea. That said, the average lifespan for a traditional gas water tank heater is 8-12 years. A traditional electric tank heater may go as long as 15 years, and if you are thinking about making a switch to tankless, they can operate for 20 years or more.


In addition to keeping the water heater maintained, it is a good idea to prepare for replacement before you are forced to replace it. If you can swing this, it may save you some headache and prevent potentially costly water damage from a water heater leak. Here a few signs your water heater may be in need of repair or replacement:

  1. Strange/Loud Noises. Banging, popping or rumbling noises usually indicates a sediment buildup in the tank. When the water is heated it bursts through the sediment, causing the noises. Eventually, the sediment will cause the tank to corrode and leak.
  2. Water Temperature Issues. A drop in water temperature of the heater’s inability to heat water consistently could mean a failing heating element or a tired heater.
  3. Leaks. Any leaks, resulting in pooled water anywhere near the water heater, usually spells trouble. Have a licensed professional check out the source. If it is a valve or fitting, a simple repair could be in the works. If the tank is leaking, the water heater is at the end.


Masters sells and installs A.O. Smith models, which have brought hot water to the world for 80 years. We also service all makes and models, so if there are repair questions or replacement is needed, don’t hesitate to call our licensed plumbing professionals. And please check us out on our social media platforms!