Water heaters are essential appliances that provide hot water for various daily activities. Whether we need it for showering, cooking, or cleaning, we rely heavily on water heaters to deliver a steady hot water supply. However, like any other equipment, water heaters have a limited lifespan, and various factors influence their longevity.
In Arizona, where it’s dry year-round, water heaters face unique challenges impacting their performance and longevity. Let’s explore the state’s average lifespan of water heaters, the importance of maintenance, and what steps you can take to extend your life.
Water Heater Life Expectancy and the Value of Maintenance
In 2021, the U.S. commercial water heater market exceeded $603 million, proving the importance of this appliance. Water heating contributes to around 20% of energy use in homes, and while it’s ideal to reduce hot water use, maintaining a well-functioning heater is just as important.
Neglecting regular maintenance can eventually lead to wear and tear, reducing the water heater’s lifespan. It also affects the heater’s performance, leading to higher energy bills. The following benefits highlight the importance of regular maintenance:
- Longer lifespan of components: Regular maintenance ensures that the water heater and its parts function optimally.
- Optimum safety: Routinely checking the equipment allows you to detect any potential signs of damage or corrosion that can lead to leakage, flooding, and other hazards.
- Lower energy costs: With regular maintenance, the water heater works efficiently, reducing energy consumption and costs.
- Reduced repair costs: With routine maintenance, you can address minor problems before they become major, expensive repairs.
How Long Does an Average Water Heater Last?
The average lifespan of a water heater is ten years. However, this estimate can differ based on the type of water heater, such as tank water heaters or tankless water heaters. The installation quality is also crucial in determining the average lifespan and the homeowner’s maintenance efforts.
Water hardness can also affect the lifespan of a water heater. Hard water is known to reduce the efficiency of a water heater and cause mineral deposits to accumulate on its components, reducing their overall life expectancy. In areas with hard water, like Arizona, mineral deposits can accelerate the wear and tear of the tank. Most of Arizona’s regions have a 200 to 10,000 PPM water hardness.
What Can I Do To Extend the Life of My Water Heater?
While you may not be able to control the mineral content in the water, you can take several proactive steps to extend the life of your water heater, especially in Arizona’s challenging environment. Here are five tips to help you get the most out of your water heater.
- Flush and Drain the Tank Regularly – Sediment buildup is a common issue with water heaters. Flushing and draining the tank at least once a year helps to remove these sediments, reducing strain on the heating element and preventing corrosion.
- Check the Anode Rod – The anode rod protects the water heater’s interior from corrosion. It attracts corrosive elements, sparing the tank walls from damage. Inspecting the anode rod regularly and replacing it when necessary can significantly prolong the life of your water heater.
- Insulate Exposed Pipes – In Arizona’s hot climate, the water inside the pipes can absorb external heat, causing the water heater to work harder to sustain the desired temperature. Insulating exposed pipes can help retain the heat and reduce the workload on the water heater.
- Install a Water Softener – Installing a water softener can be beneficial if you’re dealing with particularly hard water. Water softeners reduce the mineral content in the water, minimizing mineral deposits in the water heater and prolonging its life.
- Repair or Replace Your Water Heater When Necessary – Putting off repairs or replacements can cause significant damage to your water heater and even shorten its lifespan. Water heater repair is necessary when you notice a drop in hot water pressure, excess noise from the tank, or any other signs suggesting an issue with your water heater.
If a repair isn’t feasible, replacing the water heater is best. Professional water heater installations — unlike DIY installations — can help ensure a properly-sized water heater and a secure installation. Experts can also help you find more energy-efficient models, which could save you money on energy bills in the long run.
Get Water Heater Help From The Plumber Guy
Despite all the preventive measures you may take, water heaters will inevitably reach the end of their lifespan. When that time comes, seeking professional help is essential to ensure a smooth replacement process. If you reside in Glendale, Surprise, Peoria, Goodyear, Sun City or Phoenix Arizona and are unsure about the state of your water heater, The Plumber Guy can offer expert assistance.
Whether you need a new water heater installation or a “plumber near me” check-up on your existing one, The Plumber Guy’s experienced plumbing specialists can provide reliable service. Call us at (623) 300-2365 to request a new water heater price quote or schedule a visit from our professionals to assess your current water heater’s condition!