How Long Does a Water Heater Last?
Is It Time to Replace Yours?
Water heaters do a lot in a home, but they’re easy to take for granted—at least until something goes wrong. But you shouldn’t take your water heater for granted. Consider this: In the average home, heating water accounts for roughly 20% of the energy bills. From supplying water to bathe, wash hands, clean clothes, wash dishes, and more, your water heater works hard. And your water heater works even harder during the winter months because the water it has to heat starts off colder.
Fortunately, most water heaters don’t just fail. There are usually warning signs beforehand. One thing you should know is how old your water heater is. There are also some things to look out for if you’re worried your water heater is nearing the end of its life. Let’s take a closer look at some of them.
The Lifespan of Water Heaters
A typical tank water heater lasts about a decade. Some can last up to 13 years, but once yours starts nearing the ten-year mark, you should pay special attention and look out for any signs it’s nearing the end of its life. Your water heater plays an important role in your home. It’s the reason you can enjoy hot showers and keep your hands, clothes, and dishes clean.
Is It Time to Replace Your Water Heater?
It’s more than an inconvenience to be without hot water—especially during the winter. And if your water heater fails and causes thousands of dollars in water damage, that’s even worse. It’s better to replace your water heater before it breaks down. It will be less stressful and expensive for you that way.
The good news is that your water heater probably won’t conk out on you out of the blue. Usually there are some clear warning signs you can look out for that will tell you it’s time to call in the professionals to repair or replace your water heater.
Here are five signs water heater replacement may be in your near future:
- There’s an unexplainable increase in your energy bills. If you notice an increase in your energy bills that can’t be explained by a rise in fuel prices or usage, then your water heater may be the culprit. Water heaters become less and less efficient over time. Upgrading to a new highly efficient water heater will benefit your budget in the long run.
- You notice leaks or rusty water. If there are puddles under your tank or it’s producing rusty water, that’s a sign of corrosion. This is a common problem with steel tanks. Don’t ignore a leaking tank. It is probably very close to the end of its life. Call Black Bear immediately.
- You have hard water stains. If there are white marks on your silverware and glassware when they come out of the dishwasher, there may be lime buildup in your tank. This is a problem that will decrease your water heater’s efficiency and shorten its lifespan.
- Your water heater is making strange noises. Growling or gurgling sounds coming from your storage tank often happens when there is a build-up of sediment. This is a serious problem. If you ignore it, you could end up having to pay for expensive repairs or replacing your water heater before its time. Don’t wait to address this problem. Contact Black Bear ASAP.
- Your water heater is ten years or older. With proper maintenance, a water heater can last an average of 10 years. However, even if you’re not noticing any troubling signs listed above, once your water heater reaches the decade mark, it’s time to start thinking about replacement. Your new water heater will run more efficiently and reliably—saving you money on your energy bills and giving you peace of mind.
Black Bear offers water heater installation and repair. We also provide emergency and same-day service to our customers in and around Sullivan County, northern Orange County, and eastern Ulster County.
Don’t wait for the worst to happen. If your water heater needs care, contact the Bear and we’ll be there.