Stepping into a warm shower is one of those simple pleasures that we don’t fully appreciate until it’s gone and we have to experience the cold shock of frigid water. Water heaters don’t last forever and do eventually give out at some point, so in the hopes of avoiding that frigid shock, many of our customers ask us “how long will my water heater last?”

While there is no exact answer because every unit is different, the general answer to the question “how long will my water heater last?” depends on the type of water heater you have and how well it’s been maintained. The average lifespans for each style are:

  • Gas Water Heater – 10 years
  • Electric Water Heater – 12 years
  • Tankless Water Heater – 20 years

These are the average lifespans based on regular use and adequate maintenance. There are also some warning signs that could indicate that the lifespan of your system is not too much longer.

Replacement Warning Signs

Limited Hot Water
One of the first signs you’ll notice that will indicate that your water heater is on its last legs is if you frequently run out of hot water. Obviously, if someone else has taken an extremely long shower before you, or you are showering while running the washing machine, the cause likely isn’t your water heater. However, if you run out of hot water halfway through your showers and there are no other factors at play, you might want to think about getting a new system.

Leaking
If you start to notice water dripping off of your system or pooling around the unit, it likely means that there is some form of internal leak, and it’s time to replace your system. Contact your plumber at the first sign of a leak because small leaks can turn into a big problem if left unresolved.

White Water
No, we aren’t talking about rafting. White or cloudy water coming out of your taps could be an indication that there is excess sediment in your water heater, and it is time to replace it. The discolouration is sometimes accompanied by a foul odour as well, but if you’re lucky, it could just be due to your region having hard water. Either way, it’s best to have a plumbing professional make that determination.

Strange Noises
A healthy unit should make very little noise, so if you start to notice yours making popping, grumbling, or hissing noises, it might be time to find a replacement.

Worried your water heater might be on its last legs?
Fahrhall has the solutions and equipment to help!

Fahrhall Plumbing has been proudly serving the Windsor-Essex & Chatham-Kent regions’ plumbing needs for over 50 years. Our team is committed to providing our customers with experience they can count on and a reputation they can trust.

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