It's important homeowners know how to take care of your water heater to maximize your water heater lifespan. Just because you don’t see your water heater on a daily basis, doesn’t mean it should be out of sight and out of mind. They require attention and maintenance to stand the test of time. Speaking of time — exactly how long do water heaters last?
Water heaters last 10 years on average. While their exact lifespan depends on the quality of your care, none last forever. They wear down as they age and inevitably will break over time. Regular maintenance, however, can extend your water heaters lifespan up to several years before a replacement is necessary.
How Old Is My Water Heater?
If you can’t remember how old your water heater is, the manufacturer’s sticker (which is usually placed towards the top of the tank) will tell you. This sticker contains the serial number, which is a 10-digit string of letters and numbers. However, all you need is the first 3 characters to clue you in to the age of your water heater.
An example of a serial number would be, “C180493278.” The placement of the letter in the alphabet indicates the month of its manufacturing. C is the third letter in the alphabet, representing the third month of the year, which is March. The following two numbers indicate the year it was manufactured. In this case “18” would stand for 2018. Therefore, March 2018 would be the age of a water heater with this serial number.
DIY Water Heater Maintenance Tips
If you are comfortable working on your water heater without the help of a trained professional, there are a few things you can routinely do to maximize its lifespan.
- Check the water’s temperature.It should not be set much higher than 150°F. Water that is too hot could have a damaging impact on the rest of the system.
- Check the pressure relief valve.Lift and lower the lever every now and again. If water begins draining, wait until the water has fully stopped before closing the valve again.
- Insulate hot water pipes.Foam insulation sleeves keep the heat from escaping, so all of the warmth and energy will be conserved to keep the water hot. If your showers are never quite warm enough, this will make them more comfortable. It can also lower your utility bills.
However, if your water heater is leaking and you think it may be a danger to you or your family, keep your distance and call a professional immediately.
How To Drain A Water Heater & How To Flush A Water Heater
Draining and flushing your water heater annually can do wonders for its lifespan. Follow these steps to know how to drain a water heater.
- Turn off the tank’s power and water supply.
- Connect your garden hose to the hose bib located near the bottom of the water heater. Extend it outside, to a nearby floor drain, or into a large bucket.
- Run hot water in a nearby faucet to allow oxygen into the tank.
- Open the drain valve.
- Allow the tank to fully drain before removing the hose from the drain valve.
- Flush the remaining sediment by reopening the cold water supply valve until the water runs clear.
- Disconnect the hose and close the drain valve.
- Fill the tank by reopening the cold water supply valve.
- Turn your water heater’s power back on.
How Much Does It Cost To Repair A Water Heater?
If you don’t take care of your water heater and something breaks, the average cost of a repair is nearly $500. However, depending on the size and complexity of what needs to be repaired, the expenses could be much higher.
How Often Should Water Heaters Be Replaced?
A water heater should be replaced roughly every 10 years. When it starts showing signs of wear and tear or has reached that magic 10 year mark, but has not yet caused any expensive leaks or damages, you may want to begin your research for a replacement.
Don’t Let Your Hot Water Heater Become A Hot Mess
If you’ve found yourself asking, “how long do water heaters last,” that means you may have begun noticing issues with your tank. Water heaters are an extremely important part of every home and should be taken care of routinely. Maximize the lifespan of your water heater through regular water heater maintenance. If you feel uncomfortable performing the maintenance yourself, or the time has finally come to install a replacement, the trained professionals at John C. Flood know just what to do.