How Long Do Most Hot Water Heaters Last

How Long Do Most Hot Water Heaters Last

If there were no water heaters, most people would never take showers cause technically, bathing with cold water is no fun. While many homeowners do not pay much attention to their water heaters, staying on top of the device’s condition should be a prime concern. Our emergency plumbing hotline receives hundreds of calls each month for property owners that are dealing with hot water heater issues.  The durability of the water heater relies on several things, including how you maintain it. Water heaters are intended to serve for more than a decade, even with frequent usage, regardless of the type of the tank. It could either be a tank or a tankless water heater.

How Long Do Most Hot Water Heaters Last

Tank Water Heaters

Conventional tank water heaters have a longevity of 8 to 12 years at best. It can, consequently, survive for more than 15 years if properly utilized and managed. The tank’s internal lining is protected from corrosion by an anode rode that absorbs abrasive substances from the water. Unfortunately, the rode will wear out after a long usage period and may no longer perform properly. The abrasive particles land on the inside coating of the tank, especially the bottom, and ruin it. The tank may then begin to leak, leading to severe losses.

Tankless Water Heaters

Tankless water heaters use cutting-edge innovation to outlast traditional tank water heaters. The typical longevity of tankless heaters is 20 years. However, if carefully controlled or managed, some can survive for more than 30 years. The capacity of such types of heaters to boil water on request has obtained the byname on-demand heater. They have better durability compared to tank water heaters mainly because they don’t have to operate all the time to maintain the heat in the water. Corrosion can still occur in tankless water heaters after some time, although it happens gradually.

Factors to Consider When Determining the Longevity

The longevity of most water heaters is influenced by a few factors, and these can be positive or negative. Most are things you can control; therefore, you should consider if you want to prolong the water heater’s life.

Water Quality

Hard water reduces the lifespan of a water heater tank by two years. This is because hard water contains minerals that accumulate to form limescale in the water heater, making it less efficient. To eliminate this problem, you can use water softeners.

Care and Maintenance

After several years, the water heater might malfunction if you do not schedule regular repairs and care. Water heaters that are well-maintained, on the other hand, can live even longer than predicted. Just like you care for your other devices in the house, a water heater tank should be serviced frequently.

The Material Used to Make the Tank

If your tank were created with strong material, it would likely last longer than a poorly made tank. Fiberglass is the best material to use when it comes to water heater tanks, so keep that in mind when buying yours. Unlike steel which is likely to erode after some time, fiberglass can be resistant to corrosive agents.

Power Sources

Based on the company’s standards, heating systems can source power from electricity or natural gas. Heating systems powered by electricity last roughly 1-2 years longer than those fueled by gas. 

Installation Location

If you put the tank in a chilly basement, it will strain more to maintain the proper water temperature. Water heaters in climate-controlled homes have a longer lifespan.


Some brands make better tanks than others, so it might be of help to research the best brands to buy or call your local plumbing professional for advice. Make sure the brand you settle on has an excellent reputation to assure you of its longevity.