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How Long Do Water Heaters Last on Average?

Traditional hot water heaters typically serve reliably for 8-12 years, while tankless models often outlast them.

However, with proper maintenance, such as annual flushings and anode rod replacements when needed, your heater could extend its lifespan up to 15 years. Factors like water quality, usage patterns, and the model itself significantly influence how long your water heater can last.

Warning Signs Your Water Heater is Failing

Identifying the signs of a failing water heater is essential for prompt issue resolution.

Paying attention to subtle changes in performance, strange noises, dripping water and more can help identify signs of failing hot water systems before they become catastrophic failures.

We will outline key indicators of a failing heater and provide troubleshooting tips. Early detection of a malfunctioning pilot light can also prevent subsequent damage from leaks and flooding.

Staying alert to signs of hot water heater distress prepares you to arrange repairs or budget for a new system before experiencing hot water shortages.

Insufficient or Inconsistent Hot Water

Receiving insufficient or inconsistent hot water is a troubling sign of hot water heater malfunction. As units age and components like the heating element or thermostats degrade, they become less efficient at heating up water properly.

You may notice that hot water runs out more quickly than before, even without a change in your usage habits. Or the water temperature might be fluctuating, alternating between hot and lukewarm randomly. Running out of hot water when showering or doing laundry indicates potential heater failure.

Sediment accumulation inside the tank can also contribute to these issues over time. Minerals from hard water and rusty deposits can build up at the bottom of the tank, insulating the water from the heat source. Annual flushings can help clear out mineral deposits and sediment and prolong your heater’s life.

If you’re getting less hot water than before or have unstable temperatures, its time to assess what heater needs you might have; contact a professional to inspect your system. They can troubleshoot issues with elements, thermostats, valves and more. Catching problems now could allow for needed repairs instead of a full replacement, especially if there are indications of your hot water heater going out.

Strange Noises or Rumbling

Hearing strange new noises coming your water heater is alarming and can be one of the signs the water heater needs attention. These noises are usually caused by sediment that has built up and hardened in the bottom of your tank over time.

Heating elements activating can cause rumbling noises due to the expansion and contraction of mineral deposits, indicating sediment buildup. This sediment buildup makes your unit work harder and less efficiently to heat water properly. It can lead to premature burnout of elements and thermostat problems.

Annual flushing can help prevent noisy sediment buildup. But if your water heater is already making odd sounds, you likely need professional water heater repairs to descale the tank. The heating elements may also have reached the point where it needs replaced.

Rumbling from your hot water system is never normal, even in older units. Strange noises signal excess wear and tear so it’s best to act now before more expensive issues arise down the road.

Rusty or Discolored Water

Seeing rusty, brown or discoloured water coming from your taps or faucets is a clear sign your water heater is no longer performing optimally. It likely means corrosion and sediment from inside your tank is being stirred up and released into your hot water supply, a telltale sign your water heater is going awry.

Over time, the metal tank of a water heater corrodes from the inside. As rust flakes off the walls of the interior lining, it contaminates your water supply, resulting in dirty brown or metallic-smelling hot water.

Rusty hot water raises a red flag and when it comes to health, it is not safe for consumption. The sediment can clog plumbing fixtures too. More importantly, Significant corrosion is a severe warning when comes to your water heater about may be at the brink of failure, and it poses a risk to your home.

Tanks that are corroding will eventually leak or rupture altogether. You may end up with serious water damage if a blowout occurs, a scenario indicative of your water heater going out. Don’t ignore rusty water - it’s pivotal to replace your water heater as soon as possible to avert disaster.

Water Leaks

Visible signs of insufficient hot water production from your unit are worrisome and demand immediate attention. Leaking water indicates tank corrosion, damage or component failure. Catching minor leaks early allows for repairs; however, larger leaks are an indication that you need to check the heater before it goes bad, necessitating a full replacement.

Small leaks, which may start as a few drips, can be a prelude to the fact that your heater is about to fail.

If you spot a leak, promptly seek the professional repair services necessary. If your water heater is about fail, an ageing, damaged tank puts your home at risk of catastrophic water damage. By replacing your old heater promptly, you could save money and avoid future headaches.

If you detect a rotten egg smell, particularly around your gas hot water system, it’s crucial to evacuate immediately and contact authorities. Never assume gas leaks are harmless - take action now before potentially deadly consequences occur.

When to Call a Professional Plumber

When you observe signs of a failing water heater, it’s critical to call in a professional plumber. Strange noises, leaks, rusty water, insufficient hot water, and dropping water pressure all signal potentially serious issues that require urgent attention.

Our licensed Marrickville plumbers are skilled in inspection and installation to ensure your hot water system functions optimally. We can then advise you on the best solution, addressing issues coming your way from your water heater with repairs, maintenance, or full unit replacements.

Acting now at the first signs of failure helps avoid catastrophic damage and ensures you regain a reliably working hot water system.

In particular, contact our team immediately if you’re unsure about the signs water heater issues present, like if you smell gas, see standing water around the heater, or experience very low water pressure. These hazardous situations can quickly escalate if left alone. Let us assess and address the problem promptly before it worsens or endangers your home.

Our priority is restoring your access to hot water quickly and cost-effectively. With over a decade of experience in the Sydney area, we’re equipped to troubleshoot hot water systems comprehensively.

Preventative Maintenance to Extend Lifespan

Regular preventative maintenance, especially for water heaters over 10 years old, can greatly prolong their lifespan. Simple annual tasks like flushing out sediment or replacing anode rods prevent major issues down the road, thus nurturing water heater its longevity.

It’s advisable to inspect your heater prior to annual servicing and perform maintenance according to the manufacturer’s guidelines. Flushing the tank prevents mineral buildup that reduces efficiency. Replacing anode rods is crucial because the rods corrode before the tank does.

Additionally, assess fittings, pipes, and valves for leaks on an annual basis. Addressing minor drips as soon as possible prevents extensive corrosion damage. Listen for strange noises as well.

Consider upgrading to a new hot water heater if your heater is over 10 years old. Newer heaters are more energy efficient and come with the peace of mind of extended warranties—important factors when considering how much does the long-term operation cost. Our Smithfield plumbers can install a suitable replacement model once your old unit reaches end of life.

Regular maintenance ensures the longevity of your water heater. Catching small issues now saves you money over time and ensures you keep enjoying reliable hot water delivery.

Flushing the Water Heater Tank

Flushing your water tank periodically helps remove sediment buildup and prolong the life of your hot water heater. We recommend flushing once a year to clear out minerals and rust that accumulate at the bottom of the tank, ensuring you consistently get hot water over time.

Flushing, an essential practice every ten years or so, only takes about 30-45 minutes.

Begin by disconnecting power to the water heater and shutting off the water supply before checking your water lines. Attach a garden hose to the drain valve at the bottom of the tank and route it to a floor drain or outside area. Open the drain valve completely and let the cold water flow out until it runs clear. You may need to open hot water taps inside the house to allow more water to drain out.

After draining, close the valve and refill the tank by turning the water supply back on. Doing this maintenance yearly helps remove corrosion and sediment so your heating elements function efficiently.

Restore power once it’s full, and you’ll notice hot water in your showers and taps lasts longer between heating cycles.

If you’re not confident in performing the flush or own a tankless system, our Marrickville plumbers can assist you. Keeping your system maintained ensures you get consistent hot water delivery.

Inspecting and Replacing Parts

It’s crucial to periodically inspect important components on your water heater to ensure proper functioning and longevity. Two key parts that may need replacement are the anode rod and T&P relief valve.

The anode rod is a sacrificial metal rod inside the tank that corrodes before the tank itself does. Checking it yearly and replacing if severely corroded prevents premature tank failure. Use pipe tape on the threads when installing a new rod.

Likewise, test the TPR valve (temperature pressure relief valve) to ensure it can competently release excess pressure. This valve is a safety component that opens if the temperature pressure levels get too high. Replace it every 2-4 years or if it’s showing corrosion or failure to operate smoothly.

Replacing small but vital components is much cheaper than buying a whole new system. Our professional Marrickville plumbers have the expertise to inspect your water heater and identify parts needing replacement. We carry a full stock of supply store parts to get your unit working safely for years to come.

Water Heater Replacement and Upgrade Options

If your water heater tank exceeds ten years or exhibits several warning signs, it may be at risk of failure and should be evaluated for potential replacement. Continuing to invest in repairs for an ageing unit often ends up more expensive in the long run than upgrading to a newer, more energy efficient model; assessing this decision right away can save costs.

Newer conventional tank water heaters feature enhanced insulation, minimising standby heat losses. While the initial investment is higher, tankless water heaters provide on-demand hot water without the need for a storage tank.

Consider upgrading to a tankless water heater for long-term benefits.

Tankless heaters have a long lifespan of 20+ years and save on energy costs over time. Their compact size offers greater flexibility in installation. Replacing your old unit with a tankless system provides continuous hot water and long-term energy savings.

The professionals at Marrickville Plumbing can recommend the ideal replacement water heater for your home requirements. We handle full installations and offer discounts on tankless water heater upgrades.

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