Major Factors That Determine Water Heater Lifespan


A water heater's warranty gives a rough indication of the water heater's lifespan. However, your water heater's warranty may be longer or shorter than the warranty term. Below are some of the major aspects of your water heater that determines its lifespan.

Water Quality

The water quality is significant for two main reasons.

1. Mineral Content

The water you use has some dissolved minerals in it. The minerals settle at the bottom of the tank every time you use the water heater. Over time, the minerals accumulate on the bottom of the tank and reduce the efficiency of the water heater. The water heater then has to use more energy than usual to heat water, which shortens its lifespan.

2. Water Corrosivity

Most parts of the water heater are metal, and metal corrodes. The type and amount of chemicals in the water determine how corrosive it is. Your water heater will last a long time if your water is noncorrosive.

Water Heater Type

The make and model of the water heater also determine its lifespan. Here three critical aspects of the water heater that determine its longevity:

1. Energy Source

The energy source determines the ease with which the water heater converts energy to heat, which determines its longevity. For example, electric water heaters last slightly longer than gas water heaters.

2. Water Heater Construction

The quality of the construction and materials also affect durability. For example, some manufacturers line their tanks with glass and use sacrificial anodes to minimize the risk of corrosion.

3. System of Operation

Water heaters come in two basic types – tank systems and tankless systems. The tankless systems last slightly longer than the tank systems since the former don't store hot water, which means reduced risk of corrosion and damage.

Water Heater Placement

The location of the water heater determines its susceptibility to damage. Specifically, the location determines:

  • Flood risk. Constant exposure to flooding increases the risk of corrosion.

  • Air circulation. Proper air circulation is necessary for efficient combustion (necessary for fuel-burning water heaters).

For example, a water heater in a dry basement would last longer than a water heater in a basement that experiences frequent floods.

System Maintenance and Service

The quality of maintenance and service has a great impact on your water heater's longevity. Here are specific examples of how maintenance and service affect the water heater's lifespan:

  • Regular flushing of the water tank removes sediment buildup that would accelerate damage to the tank and heating element

  • Regular inspection and replacement (in necessary) of the anodes prolong water heater efficiency

  • Regular inspection and test of the relief valve (temperature and pressure) ensure the tank doesn't experience damage due to overheating and high pressure

  • Adequate insulation of electric water heaters maintains water temperature and reduces the strain on the system

  • Regular cleaning of the pilot light ensures proper ignition and efficient combustion

In short, proper administration of maintenance and services ensures the water heater doesn't overwork and suffer an early breakdown.

Water Heater Usage

Lastly, your water heater will last a long time if you don't overuse it. All water heaters suffer regular wear and tear. Exposure to water, combustion cycles, and heating element temperatures all contribute to the wear and tear of the system. The rate of wear and tear increases if you use the water heater heavily and increase the frequency of its duty cycles.

Choose the right water heater, ensure a professional installation, maintenance, and service it to prolong its lifespan. Water Heater Pros can help you with all these things. Contact us today, and we will help you install and take care of your water heater to ensure it lasts as long as possible.

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