How Long Do Water Heaters Last?

p>If you’ve ever dealt with an unexpectedly cold shower on a freezing morning, then you already know just how important a water heater can be! While most units work well without a hitch for years and years, many customers wonder just how long do water heaters last before they need to be replaced. Whether you have a tank water heater or a stand-alone unit, learn more about the different types of water heaters, how tankless water heaters work, and other home maintenance with The BrickKicker.

How Tank Water Heaters Work

Tank water heaters are some of the most popular on the market today, and with good reason. These steel units are durable and effective – as well as budget-friendly. A tank water heater uses either electricity or fuel, like natural or propane gas, to heat the water. The tank also serves as a storage unit, equipped with plenty of insulation to keep the water warm between heating cycles. While the steel tank is incredibly strong, it is prone to corrosion. There are two methods of dealing with this:

  • Each tank comes with glass lining to prevent corrosion from occurring. If a hole forms, the entire tank must be replaced.
  • Tanks also include a magnesium anode rod that is designed to corrode instead of the tank itself. However, once the rod has worn away, it must be replaced.

A storage water heater typically has a lifespan of 10 to 15 years.

How Tankless Water Heaters Work

More and more homeowners are turning to tankless water heaters – also known as on-demand or instantaneous water heaters. Why? These types of water heaters tend to be more energy-efficient, especially for smaller households. While a tank heater warms and stores massive quantities of water at a time, a tankless design only heats water as needed using a gas burner or electric element. Though this affects your flow rate, a tankless heater can produce around 2–5 gallons of hot water per minute! Those with larger households can even install two tankless heaters to improve flow rate. And the energy savings can be well worth the initial investment:

  • For homes that use 41 gallons or less of hot water daily, demand water heaters can be 24 to 34% more energy-efficient than conventional storage-tank water heaters.
  • They can be 8 to 14% more energy efficient for homes that use a lot of hot water – around 86 gallons per day
  • You can achieve even greater energy savings of 27 to 50% if you install a demand water heater at each hot water outlet.
  • ENERGY STAR® estimates that a typical family can save $100 or more per year with an ENERGY STAR qualified tankless water heater.

A tankless water heater can have a lifespan of over 20 years when properly maintained.

Find Out More with The BrickKicker

Not sure if your tank needs a replacement? Thinking about upgrading to an on-demand design? The BrickKicker can help. Contact us to learn how to get the best bang for your buck in your current or potential home. Our certified experts can perform a thorough home inspection to assess any issues and maximize your energy efficiency, so don’t hesitate to reach out!