Hot water heaters tend to have a predictable lifespan. Here’s the typical pattern: your water heater starts strong, producing a reliable supply of hot water. Along the way, it’ll require a bit of maintenance and possibly a few small repairs. As the years pass, its performance will gradually decline until one sad day you realize it’s time for a water heater replacement.
On the other hand, your water heater might suddenly go rogue and develop a major issue. In that case, you might need a new tank or tankless water heater sooner than expected.
In this article, we’ll be looking at 2 questions. How long do water heaters last, as a rule? And how do you know when to replace them?
How Long Will Hot Water Tanks Last?
Hot water tanks are the traditional type of water heater. Powered by gas or electricity, they heat incoming water to your preset temperature and then store it in an insulated metal tank till you need it. Life of tanks can be extended by annual flushing and anode rod replacement after 3 years.
Life expectancy: About 10-15 years for Ottawa residents on city water.
How Long Will Tankless Water Heaters Last?
Tankless water heaters use newer technology, heating water on demand. Because these heaters do not store water, they generally last longer than tanks. Tankless systems life will drastically be reduced if they are not flushed regularly every year on well water and 2-3 years on city water. They should have sediment filters ahead of the water inlet and will last longer with water treatment systems in place to lower the hardness in areas with hard water.
Life expectancy: 20 years or more.
Common Water Heater Issues
If you notice any of these issues, beware! They can be danger signals that you need water heater repair or replacement as soon as possible. Try troubleshooting your issue as described below, but if that doesn’t help, you’ll need professional water heater service.
Hot Water Is Too Hot
When your hot water is suddenly much hotter than usual, first check that the water heater temperature has not been accidentally reset. (Ideally, it should be 49° Celsius.) Also, make sure that the thermostats are mounted snugly against the tank for accurate temperature reading. If neither of these actions solves the problem, you probably have a broken thermostat, which an expert should replace.
Hot Water Is Not Hot Enough
Maybe you have the opposite problem — hot water that never seems to get past lukewarm. Again, check that the thermostat is set to the correct temperature and securely mounted first. If those are okay, you might need a new part, such as a dip tube or heating element… or a new water heater. We will inspect your water heater and advise you whether repair or replacement is your best option.
Water Heater Leaking
Leakage from a water heater could be coming from one of several places. Want to play amateur detective? Investigate the source of the leak. Before you start, turn off the gas or electricity and the water supply to your heater. Then check the pressure relief valve, drain valve, intake, and outlet. If water is leaking from any of these components, it can probably be replaced. However, a water leak from the bottom is more serious. Most likely, the tank is corroded, meaning you’ll need a water heater replacement.
Noisy Water Heater
A water heater that pops, rumbles, hisses, or sizzles is trying to tell you something: namely, that your water heater needs some immediate attention. You might have a water flow or water pressure problem. More commonly, sediment from waterborne minerals has built up to a dangerous level. Flushing the system (for tankless heaters and tanks) could solve the issue, but if it’s been neglected too long, the only solution may be water heater replacement.
Hot Water Looks Brown
A rusty or brownish flow that comes only from the hot water faucets is often due to corrosion inside the tank. Go down to the basement and take a look at your water heater itself. Visible rust on the exterior is a strong indication that the heater is about to fail. Call us for water heater replacement ASAP!
We Know Water Heaters!
Still wondering whether it’s time to repair or replace your water heater? Contact Out of This world for expert advice. We offer high-quality water heater repair, maintenance, and replacement to Ottawa homeowners like Amelie M, who wrote the Google Review below:
My whole experience was perfect, from start to finish. For booking the appointment, the lady was compassionate and willing to find a time that suited my family. The first visit, Crispin arrived and diagnosed the issue and told me they would be back another day to change the hot water tank.
The day before, I got a reminder text my appointment was between 9-11 (amazing time slots, unlike many companies that give you a 4-8 hour slot). Around 9:16, I got a text with tracking and a bio on the worker that was coming in. Crispin and Jacob did the switch in under 3 hours and were professional, funny and kind.
I honestly had never heard of this company before but will now be recommending to absolutely everyone and anyone!! 🙂 I’ve had my fair share of terrible experiences, and it was so refreshing to deal with this company. Thanks guys 🙂
Edit: I didn’t think this experience could get any more perfect, but then I received a handwritten thank you note. Honestly just so impressed at their level of customer care, no words!!