How Long Do Water Heaters Last? Age & Replacement

By April 13, 2020May 4th, 2020Plumbing
Water Heater Age & Replacement

On average, a water heater (tank style) lasts about 8-12 years, but that can vary depending on type, where it is kept, and environment.

If you are concerned about having to replace your water heater, do not fret. The average replacement cost of a water heater is only a few hundred bucks and you can learn how to do it yourself in this blog!

Here are some clues you may need to replace your water heater:

  • Rusting & Corrosion – If there is heavy corrosion and rusting, something might be leaking or broken!
  • Drainage – Have you ever drained your water heater using the valve at the bottom? If not, try to do that, if it does not drain there is too much sediment at the bottom. It should be drained yearly! (See picture below)
  • Leaking – This may seem obvious but thoroughly check around the water heater and touch valves/pipes for leaking water.
  • Not Working – Is your water just not hot? It might just need a new element.
  • Age – If your water heater is 10 years old, it might be time to replace.
Draining a Water Heater
Draining a Water Heater

How to Tell the Age of Your Water Heater

You can easily tell the age of your water heater through reading the label. Most of the time the year (last two digits only) are in the serial number or, the label states the manufacturer date.

When in doubt though, use Building Center’s website. The page linked will bring you to the water heater brand names. Select your brand name in order to learn how to read the label.

For instance, on the picture below one style of Rheem labels shows the year is the second set of 2 digits in the serial number.

Rheem Water Heater Age
Rheem Water Heater Age from Building Center

Building Center will also tell you about recalls and HVAC systems!

Newer Water Heater Not Heating?

It could simply be because the element got burnt up. This happens when the water heater is left on while there is no water in the unit. This is a common mistake when houses go vacant; homeowners accidentally leave the breaker on while emptying/shutting off the water.

How to Replace Water Heater Coils

This video by the DYI Guy is perfect to learn!

How To Replace a Water Heater

Replacing a water heater might seem like an easy task, however, it is not always as easy as it seems to be for a homeowner. You should do plenty of research beforehand in order to ensure you have the right tools and equipment.

Water heater tank installation varies by type: electric and gas. Therefore, I have provided two different installation videos for you, one for gas and one for an electric tank.

There are a few safety items we should cover beforehand:

  • Understand the important and how to install a TPR valve.
  • Understand how to properly set the gas flue so all emissions are properly exiting the home.
  • Understand how to turn off the gas and ensure there are no gas leaks.

Once you understand the above, move forward! You should also consider going tankless! Check out our blog on the pros and cons of going tankless.

How to Install a Gas Water Heater

How to Install an Electric Water Heater

Have more questions? Comment below! We are happy to answer.

Aaron Shishilla

Author Aaron Shishilla

Aaron Shishilla is the youngest registered professional inspector in Florida. Coming from a family-owned home inspection company and now the marketing manager at Waypoint.

More posts by Aaron Shishilla

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