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How Long Do Water Heaters Last & What Are The Newest Trends In Replacement?

Do you need to replace your water heater? Better check now, BEFORE it breaks down. Get the straight facts.

When was the last time you thought about your water heater? How many times have you asked yourself, “How long DO water heaters last, anyway?” If you’re like most people, the answer is last… never. Despite the fact that we use hot water everyday for a variety of tasks, it’s an “out of sight, out of mind” appliance. You may run hot water in your kitchen to soap up dishes, in the restroom to wash your hands, or run a bath, and in the laundry room to clean a load of towels. Because it’s as easy as turning a nozzle, you probably don’t think about the mechanics of how water is heated. Although this may not be the most exciting topic for homeowners, it’s an important one. You should replace your water heater before it kicks the bucket. That way, you’ll avoid a disturbance in your daily routines — as well as any potential safety hazards.

In this article, we’ll cover the average lifespan of water heaters, and talk about what you need to know about replacing a water heater. We’ll discuss the differences between gas vs electric water heaters and even share some of the top-rated water heater brands to buy. Okay, onto this very HOT topic!

How Long Do Water Heaters Last?

A water heater lasts 8 to 12 years on average, according to most popular manufacturers. Of course, this varies based on number of home occupants, frequency and amount of water usage, and climate. Sometimes, an issue is obvious to spot and must be addressed right away: Tap water doesn’t heat up at all (there’s nothing quite as motivating as a cold shower on a winter morning). But often, the signs of damage are more subtle: Your water may take longer than usual to get sufficiently hot, or the hottest tap setting still feels lukewarm. These mild annoyances are too-often overlooked by homeowners until the situation escalates and a total replacement is necessary.

Repair or Replace A Water Heater

Have you ever experienced a broken laptop or cell phone? If the device is more than a few years old, chances are the technician will suggest that you don’t bother repairing it. They’re not trying to upsell you, but rather, attempting to save you money in the long term. This is because the technology changes so much over the course of a year, you’re better off investing in something with greater efficiency that will last longer.

Water heaters are like that (well, except for the fact that they’re not great at streaming movies). If your water heater breaks and is in the 8-10 year age range, it is probably time to research replacement models. Consider this the heater’s swan song, and make an appointment with your local heating/cooling/plumbing company to talk about buying and installing a new water heater.

However, if your water heater breaks and it was installed within the last 5 years, it could be a good investment to repair it, rather than replace. You may still be under the manufacturer’s warranty, which is why it’s a smart idea to save all documentation and paperwork regarding big home updates.

What Water Heaters Are Best?

You may be wondering which is better: a gas or electric water heater. As with most home installations and appliances, there are pros and cons to both. If your house is currently fitted for gas and electric, you have your pick. However, if you don’t currently have gas at your home, the choice is simple: You’re getting an electric heater.

When considering what water heater to install, know that most gas water heaters cost more as an initial investment. However, due to the cost comparison of natural gas to electricity across the country, most owners who use gas models find that their monthly bills are lower. What brands are best? Here at Blanton’s Air, we love Rinnai’s high efficiency, tankless, and hybrid water heaters, as well as Bradford White’s selection of both electric and gas water heaters.

Let’s summarize: How long DO water heaters last? Although it depends, 10 years is a good average. If your water heater breaks in the earlier part of its lifespan, homeowners should consider repairing it. However, the older a water heater gets, the more likely it is to break again, or work inefficiently. Call (910) 822-2866 to reach your friendly plumbing professionals at Blanton’s and repair or replace your water heater today.

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