How Long Does a Water Heater Last?

You likely don’t think about your water heater much until it gives up running. And you’re facing chilly showers. It works hard to provide your Rochester family with hot water 24/7, and, as expected, it will eventually wear out.


Here’s how long you can expect your water heater to last and some early signs that yours is needing to be replaced. Ultimately, how long your water heater will keep running depends on what kind you have and how often it’s on.

Tank Water Heater

Many households have a tank water heater that holds 40 to 50 gallons of water. This type constantly makes water warm, so it’s always at the correct setting when you desire it. Tank water heaters are very common due to their cheaper cost, but they don’t often work as long as other kinds.

Here’s how many years you can expect yours to work:

Tank water heaters can quit working because of numerous issues, but a corroded tank is one of the most frequent. Your water heater has a special piece called an anode rod that extracts corrosive grit from the water. Down the road, the rod will rust, and grit will increase at the foundation of your water heater, eating through the lining inside the tank.

Tankless Water Heater

A tankless water heater has a much longer working life than its tank-style counterparts. These water heaters may run as many as 20 years.

Besides running for a greater amount of time, tankless hot water heaters are very energy efficient. As opposed to keeping large amounts of water that’s warmed constantly, a tankless model warms water when you need it. This eliminates standby heating and the mark it makes on your monthly energy expenses.

You might not be aware, but warming water is a large portion of your heating and cooling bills. In actuality, it’s the second largest source of energy utilization in a standard house, according to ENERGY STAR®.

Tankless water heaters are higher priced than tank water heaters, but they have lifelong energy savings. They are typically 24% to 34% more efficient than a water heater that retains water, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

4 Signs Your Water Heater is Going Bad

Your hot water heater will begin showing signs that it’s breaking down. Here’s what to look for and when to call a plumbing specialist like Strogen's Service Experts.

1. Inadequate Enough Hot Water

This is one of the most common signs that your water heater is wearing out. You may notice heated water getting used up faster, or that it requires additional time for water to heat up.

2. Leaks

It’s time to call a plumber if you’re noticing water leaks or water accumulating around the bottom of your water heater. In some cases you could just need to have connections secured or a component replaced, but it could also be a symptom the tank is compromised.

3. Water Looks White

If you reside in a region with hard water and don’t have a water softener, you’re likely familiar with having cloudy water. But if your water unexpectedly goes from clear to cloudy or starts smelling metal-like, we recommend having your water heater inspected by a professional to prevent damaging leaks. Immediate changes in your water clarity means sediment is possibly accumulating in the tank and corroding it.

4. Odd Noises

It’s expected for your water heater to create some noise as it works. But popping and rumbling is never normal and is a sign you should get professional support. As sediment builds up in the tank, your water heater has to work harder and may need added energy in the process.

Strogen's Service Experts Makes Water Heater Replacement Simple

Putting off water heater replacement puts you at risk of leaks that can damage your house. Also, there’s the irritation of not having hot water. If your water heater is old or showing hints it needs to be replaced, contact our Experts at 603-923-4570 to get a free home comfort assessment. From capacity to energy efficiency, we’ll review all the options so you can make the right decision for your home.

chat now widget box