How Long Does A Water Heater Last (And Why)?

How Long Does A Water Heater Last (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 8 To 12 Years

Many factors affect the life expectancy of a water heater, such as regular maintenance, age, and frequency of its use. Therefore, one needs to remember that a water heater does have a lower service life if it is not maintained properly.

Routine maintenance will involve annual or semi-annual inspections and replacing or flushing out sediment that builds upon the tank’s bottom with every heating cycle. 

Replacing control valves will also be necessary at one point for low-pressure shut-offs if radiant heaters are installed in the installation to prevent cool air from entering it when there is a malfunctioning device.

How Long Does A Water Heater Last

How Long Does A Water Heater Last?

Residential water heater6 and 13 years
Tank water heaters 8 to 12 years

Regular maintenance helps extend the lifespan of the water heater. There’s no finite lifespan for a water heater, but it can last for 8 to 12 years by performing regular maintenance tasks.

These tasks include conducting annual preventative maintenance to address loose screw connections and other potential safety hazards, in addition to using an electrostatic guard filter or another form of water protection to run through the tank system. 

Contact a professional plumbing service on how they can get your non-working hot water up and running again quickly if there are issues.

The average life expectancy of a water heater is 8-12 years. The last thing one wants is for the water heater to stop working on the coldest days of winter when the family needs hot water. One can stay ahead by having someone come out and check it for safety every couple of years. 

Depending on location and the home owner’s local electric provider, this can add up to some expense for replacement costs alone. Insulation and weather also factor into how long it will take for an old water heater to break down. 

For instance, homes in Canada will take about twice as long for a hot water tank to break down than homes in the United States because of the colder climate and harsher climate conditions. 

Replacement parts such as element tanks and iron drums might last two or three years before they need a replacement.

Why Would A Water Heater Last So Long?

The lifespan of a typical water heater is 8 to 12 years. Among all regular household appliances, one appliance that requires an average level of annual maintenance is a water heater.

The answer to its longevity is complicated and varies depending on several factors. Still, the primary reason is that water heaters have been designed to operate optimally for extended periods.

Some older units have not been built so carefully, so they may be prone to wearing out earlier than newer units. Regarding how long a water heater lasts, consider other factors such as usage and care. 

For example, well cared for older units can last up to 12 years, while poor conditions will decrease lifespan considerably. 

The pressure tank has a sensor that monitors temperature. If this temperature reaches and exceeds the set point of 240 degrees Fahrenheit, the tank springs a leak to keep things from overheating.

One can have an electric water heater with no outages if their set point is 160 degrees °F or less. Then one will never have any issues with power going down when running the water.

Some people believe that running your cold water continuously will keep your hot water heated longer, but there’s no data to support this practice. In reality, it wastes more energy and money. One can also release the water pressure value if there is an excessive pressure build-up of the heater after long use with some safety gears.


Sediment can have a negative influence on the efficiency of your water heater over time. Sediment decreases the energy efficiency of the water heater. It can also block your plumbing.

Make sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions before engaging in any of the repairing activities. Sometimes with proper care, the lifetime of the water heater can even be increased by 20 years. 

Sometimes, abnormally low water temperature, which could lead to freezing pipes and expansion tanks, needs to be replaced due to too much stress. This can prevent people from buying new water heaters when they see that they are not hot enough.


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Hi! I'm Nidhi.

Here at the EHL, it's all about delicious, easy recipes for casual entertaining. So come and join me at the beach, relax and enjoy the food.

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