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How Long Should Your Water Heater Last For?

The average lifespan of a gas water heater is eight to 10 years and 10 to 12 years for an electric model. The lifespan of any individual system depends on your frequency of maintenance, as well as water quality and usage. Read on to determine the potential lifespan of your water-heating system and the steps it takes to maximize system efficiency and lifespan.

Telltale Signs of an Aging System

The performance, system condition and age of your water heating system can help determine if it’s worth the investment to repair, or if you should simply replace it with a new system. Inspect the surface area around piping, valves and the thermostat dial. If any of these areas contain corrosion, your tank is likely leaking. If drips and leaks go unchecked, your tank may rupture.

Corrosion and rust on the sides and bottom of your tank may indicate interior deterioration. If this is the case, your system should be replaced immediately.

Maximizing Lifespan and Efficiency

Like any appliance, water heaters require regular maintenance for efficient operation through the years.

    • Annual professional maintenance includes draining your tank and clearing the bottom of sediment, scale and debris. If you hear popping from your tank, it needs to be drained.
    • The anode rod, which protects the tank’s lining, should be replaced every two to three years. Gas components should also be checked and cleaned.
    • Mini flushes should be performed every other month to help keep your system clean. Hold a bucket beneath the drain located at the bottom of your tank, and drain up to one gallon of water.
    • Check the hot water temperature at the most distant faucet. If the temperature is above 120 degrees, turn back the thermostat until the temperature is at 120 degrees.
    • Insulate the inlet and outlet pipes on top of your tank with fiberglass wrap. Check visible hot water pipes through your home, and insulate as needed.

If your old water heater is acting up, or if you’re in a repair or replace dilemma, contact the experts at Wolff Mechanical for assistance. We serve residents in all of Central Arizona.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Phoenix Valley area of Arizona about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). 

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