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How Long Do Water Heaters Last?

water heater in modern boiler room

We get quite a few calls from people asking how long a water heater should last. It’s an important question as some people want to know how long they can expect their current water heater to last while others want to be proactive and get theirs replaced before any problems occur.

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Water Heater Lifespan

Most water heaters can last anywhere between 6 and 13 years. If your water heater is more than 12 years old, you should expect it to fail any time. The lifespan of your water heater depends on a few things:

  • Water Quality: Lower water quality means more minerals are being trapped in the tank and parts, which causes more buildup and can decrease a water heater’s lifespan.
  • Water Heater Maintenance: Whether this is performed by a professional or you undertake it yourself, regular maintenance can significantly extend the life of your water heater. 
  • Water Heater Repair: The longer you wait to for Santa Cruz water heater repair when it isn’t working properly, the more likely it is to cause lasting damage to you water heat and shorten its lifespan.

Common Water Heater Issues

With such a wide lifespan range, how can you know when you need Santa Cruz water heater replacement? Ultimately, it’s your decision, but there are a few things to look out for that indicate your water heater is having issues:

  • Your water is a strange color or seems tinted. This is often an indication that there’s rust in your water heater, which means it’s nearly time to replace it.
  • There are strange sounds coming from your water heater. Strange noises can indicate that sediment has built up inside your tank.
  • There’s water under your water heater. If you see signs of dampness, your water heater has a leak somewhere.
  • You get intermittent hot water. This can indicate a number of different issues, most of which are best solved by replacing your water heater. 
  • You have less hot water than you had before. This typically mans that one of your tanks isn’t working. Replacing the heater can actually be easier than getting a new tank.

These problem don’t always determine whether or not it’s time to replacing your current water heater, but they do indicate it is at least time for maintenance or repairs. We recommend contacting a professional plumber to look at your water heater and find the best solutions, before these issues get worse.

Is It Time for Santa Cruz Water Heater Replacement?

Eventually your water heater will need to be replaced, no matter how much love and service you’ve invested. But how do you when to throw in the towel and seek water heater replacement services? Here are some things to think about when you’re deciding if it’s actually time for a new water heater:

  • How much are you spending on repairs? As water heaters get older, they often require more and more frequent repairs. Over time, you can spend more on repairs than you would spend on a new water heater. If you feel like you’re calling plumbers for your water heater a lot, ask about replacement instead. Our plumbers will be able to tell you how much a new heater will cost you and whether it might be a good idea for you.
  • Is your water heater the right size? A water heater that’s too small is annoying. You may not be able to shower and run your dishwasher at the same time, for instance. If you are struggling with a water heater that’s not the right size for your home or your family, it may be time to get a new one.
  • Does your water get hot enough? If you like your water pretty hot and it’s just not getting there, it may be time to replace your water heater. Give us a call. We’ll come out and let you know if your water heater problems are repairable or if your heater is just getting older and not working quite so well.
  • How old is your water heater? Most water heaters are built to last around 6-12 years. If yours is older than that, it may be time to think about replacing it. While some people like to wait until the current heater stops working, the truth is that this is a big hassle. If your heater is old, think about replacing it before you run out of hot water entirely.
  • How high are your utility bills? Older water heaters don’t work as efficiently as many of the newer ones. This means that you will spend more on your utilities with an older heater. If you feel like your utility bills are out of control, it may be time to consider getting a new water heater.

For more information, read our blog post on How To Prevent Common Water Heater Problems.

Santa Cruz Water Heater Experts

If you’d like to talk about replacing your water heater, give us a call. Our experienced Santa Cruz plumbers will look at your current heater and give you their expert opinion. If you decide to replace your heater right now, we’ll help you select one that is the right size and type for your home and your needs. Then, we’ll help get it ordered, delivered, and installed according to the manufacturer’s specifications.

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