how long does hot water heater last

As a homeowner, it’s important to keep track of the age and condition of your appliances, including your hot water heater. This essential piece of equipment is responsible for providing hot water for your household needs, and when it starts to fail, it can be a major inconvenience.

So, how long does a hot water heater typically last? The answer is not a straightforward one, as it depends on a number of factors. Here are some things to consider:


Type of water heater:

  • There are two main types of hot water heaters: storage tank water heaters and tankless water heaters. Storage tank water heaters have a tank that stores hot water and continuously heats it to maintain a consistent temperature. Tankless water heaters, on the other hand, heat water on demand, without the need for a storage tank.

Storage tank water heaters typically last between 8 and 12 years, while tankless water heaters can last up to 20 years. This is because tankless water heaters do not have the added wear and tear of continuously heating and storing water, and they are generally more energy efficient.

Know more about best tankless gas water heater.

Quality of the unit:

  •  The quality of the hot water heater you purchase can also affect its lifespan. Higher-quality units tend to be more durable and longer-lasting, while cheaper units may not be as reliable. It’s worth investing in a higher-quality unit if you want it to last as long as possible.


  • Regular maintenance is key to extending the life of your hot water heater. This can include tasks such as flushing the tank, replacing the anode rod, and checking for any issues. Neglecting regular maintenance can lead to premature failure of the unit.


  • The location of your hot water heater can also have an impact on its lifespan. If the unit is installed in an area that is prone to extreme temperatures (such as a basement in a cold climate), it may be more susceptible to damage. On the other hand, if the unit is installed in a more temperate location (such as a garage or utility room), it may last longer.

Water quality

  • The quality of the water in your home can also affect the lifespan of your hot water heater. Hard water, which is high in minerals such as calcium and magnesium, can cause build-up and corrosion inside the tank, leading to premature failure. If you have hard water, it’s important to regularly flush the tank and use a water softener to help extend the life of your hot water heater.


  • The amount of hot water you use on a daily basis can also have an impact on the lifespan of your hot water heater. If you have a large household with multiple people using hot water throughout the day, your hot water heater may need to work harder and may not last as long as a unit in a smaller household with less demand for hot water.

Read more about best water heater.

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