can a water heater last 20 years?

When you’re investing in a new water heater, one of your priorities will be to find the model that will last the longest, so that you can get your money’s worth and delay replacing it for as long as possible. In the past, advice used to be that you could find a water heater that would last two whole decades. But can a modern water heater last 20 years? That depends on whether you want a tankless water heater or a traditional water heater with a tank.

Why Don’t Tank Water Heaters Last Longer?

Water heaters that rely on a tank may last only 8 to 15 years. The exact lifespan depends on the model and how well maintained you keep the unit over the years. Water heaters warranties typically cover the unit for five or so years, but you can find models that are covered for ten years. Still, this is a far cry from the 20 years you may want from your water heater.

Unfortunately, tank water heaters have a hard time lasting so long because they are always exposed to heat. They heat continually, whether you are using hot water or not. That much heat is bound to wear down the tank and its components. There is not much manufacturers can do to prevent this problem unless they want to make the heaters very expensive.

That said, if you want to choose the water heater with the longest life, pay special attention to the tank material. The better and thicker the material, the less likely your tank is to leak. A leak in a water heater tank can’t be repaired, so that is the limit on their lifespan.

Ten to fifteen years is still a reasonable lifespan for a water heater, but if you’d rather aim for twenty, then consider a tankless water heater.

What About Tankless Water Heaters?

Tankless water heaters don’t heat continually. Instead, they only heat the water that you ask for. This has several advantages, including that it can deliver hot water for as long as you want and that its components last longer. A high-quality tankless water heater may be able to last twenty years, or longer, so long as it is well-maintained.

How to Extend Your Water Heater’s Life

Maximize your new water heater’s life by getting it maintained regularly. Whether you have a tankless or tank water heater, they will slowly gather sediment that needs to be flush or cleaned. In the case of a tankless water heater, it should have an anode rod that absorbs the sediment, but which needs to be replaced. Your plumber can maintain your water heater in other ways, finding small problems before they wear down the heater or become major, expensive repairs.

However, it’s important to know that water heaters are more likely to need replacement than repair. A tank on a water heater can’t be repaired. In order to get the lifespan you expect from your water heater, you’ll need to ensure that it gets yearly maintenance. The good news is, Simpson Plumbing services water heaters in Manteca, Tracy, Ripon, Lathrop, and more. Call now to learn more, or to schedule service.