Like any other home appliances, your water heater also needs maintenance and changes as time passes. A common question is how to do maintenance on the water heater or when to change the heater.
If you don’t change the heater in due time, it can cause some accidents. Statistics show that any water heater fails or accident can cost an average of four thousand dollars. So it is very much a necessity to change the heater in time.
How Long Water Heaters Last?
A water heater lasts about eight to twelve years. With proper maintenance, it can last up to 15 years. Yes, you can use the heater for more than twelve or fifteen years but it is an accident waiting to happen.
How to Know You Need to Change the Heater?
Depending on some sign you can tell that it is time to change the old heater to a new one. If you find any of the signs then you should change the heater as soon as possible.
One of the main signs is getting rust with the water. It turns the water yellow. If you find rust in the water then it means that the heater has started to corrode from the inside. If you keep using it then the water will leak and flood the area.
The rusting process depends on the water. If you have hard water coming through the heater then it will start to corrode faster than soft water since hard water contains a lot more minerals and chemicals which contributes to the corrosion.
If your water heater tank leaks then it is time to change the heater. If you leak anywhere other than the tank, then it is fixable. But the tank leak can not be fixed. You have to change it sooner or later. You may be able to temporarily fix the leak but it is not safe to keep a leaking tank.
No Hot Water
If your water heater fails to produce hot water then it is a good indication that you need to change some parts of the heater or if it is an old heater changing the unit fully will be a better choice.
If you don’t get hot water from the heater, it can be because of the heating element or dip tube failure. Changing whichever is at fault will fix the problem.
How to Do Maintenance on the Heater?
If you do proper maintenance then the heater can be run longer than usual. You need to do a check up on a few things and possibly swap them if needed.
If you have a tankless water heater then there is no anode rod. An anode rod helps the heater tank to prevent corrosion from the inside. So, you have to check up on the anode rod at least once every year.
As time passes, the anode rod begins to deteriorate due to corrosion. So, if you find the anode rod has become naked then replacing it would help the heater tank to function properly for longer.
The heating element is what heats the water and makes it hot. It is better to do a checkup on the heating element every year. If the heating element starts to corrode or gathers minerals then consider cleaning or replacing it.
Every year you should empty the water tank and clean the tank to get rid of all the minerals that build up inside. As we have discussed before, minerals build up will cause the tank to corrode faster.
So, cleaning up the minerals build up every year will get rid of the substance that increases corrosion and keeps the tank safe. That way you can prolong the lifetime of the heater.
How Long Does a Dip Tube/30 Gallon/50 Gallon in Water Heater Last?
In terms of lifetime, according to the experts, dip tube water heaters lasts about 15 years. 30 or 50 gallons regardless, you have to change the heater after 8 to 15 years depending on the condition of the product.
Having an 8 to 15 years lifetime doesn’t mean you have to change it as soon as it reaches 15 years mark. If your heater is 15 years old and still functions well without any problem, then that is great news. You should maintain the heater properly to get a few more years out of it.
How Long the Water Stays Hot?
If you have a 30 gallons water heater you will get about 19 minutes of hot water from an electric heater. But if you have a gas heater instead you should be getting 30 minutes of hot water from the same capacity.
The same logic goes for the 50 gallons heater. You will be getting about 30 to 31 minutes of hot water from an electric 50 gallons heater and 50 minutes of hot water from a gas one. It is also worth mentioning that, a 50-60 gallons water heater is enough for a family with four members.
Should You Replace 30 Year Old Water Heater?
The short answer is, you definitely should. Most of the water heaters have a life expectancy of eight to fifteen years. But with proper maintenance, it can be increased by a few years.
Risks of Using 30 Years Old Heater
Using an overdue product can lead to causing some terrible accidents. 30 years is too long of a time to use the same water heater. It is very likely on the verge of failing.
If the heater fails then it will flood the whole basement and can cause a massive headache and can cost a lot to clean everything up with a new heating unit. Most of the heater fails that have been reported are around 22 years old.
Why You Should Replace It?
You can take your time to find a suitable heater for your home if you replace it now. You never know when the heater is going to fail. If it happens when you are out of the city or your house, it can get pretty hectic.
So, replacing that 30 years old heater may seem like not much but it will save you from a massive headache when it eventually fails. By doing it, you will also prevent any potential accident and save money that would have been needed to spend in case of a failure.
Q: How long does a water heater last?
Ans: A gas heater lasts 8 to 12 years whereas an electric heater lasts 8 to 15 years.
Q: What are the signs of a heater failure waiting to happen?
Ans: Tank leakage and rusty water are the main signs. Because they indicate corrosion inside the tank.
Q. Do I have to replace my water heater if it smells like burning plastic?
Ans: It is not necessary to replace the heater for smelling like burning plastic rather find out the reason for smelling like burning plastic and take action.
So, if you have a heater that is longer than fifteen years old, you should keep a proper eye on it. If you can find any signs of corrosion then changing the heater is the best way to keep your family safe and prevent a potential heater failure which can cause a massive economic setback.