How Long Does A Water Heater Last?

Installing a water heater is a home plumbing essential but like all appliances, it does have a limited service life. And when your water heater is about to fail, you had better be ready!

Otherwise, you will be facing cold water just when you’re craving a hot shower and – even worse – dealing with possible water damage to your home.

So be prepared and take advice from experienced plumbers. Learn how long a water heater lasts, when to replace your water heater and what you can do to help it last longer.

How Long Does A Tank Water Heater Last?

A conventional electric or gas water heater maintains heated water in an insulated storage tank. The average tank lasts 10 – 15 years. If you’re not sure how old your unit is, check the serial number.

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How Long Does A Tankless Water Heater Last?

Tankless (“on demand”) water heaters are energy savers. They do not have a storage tank, but instead heat water as needed. Because there’s less wear and tear, the best tankless models last at least 20 years, and longer with good maintenance.

Is it time to replace your tankless water heater? Make sure you’re buying the best tankless water heaters in Ontario.

How Do You Know When A Water Heater Needs To Be Replaced?

Look for these warning signs during your regular water heater maintenance, and be sure to contact the experts at Dr HVAC if the life expectancy of your old water heater is reaching its limit. Not only will regular maintenance extend your water heater lifespan, but save you money in the long run on water heater repair costs.


An aging tank water heater (over 9 – 12 years) is often an accident waiting to happen, especially when it’s installed in an area of your home that is vulnerable to water damage. If you need to replace your water heater, let us know and we can help you sort out the best styles, brands, and types of hot water heater for your home and family.

Strange Noises

Sounds of banging or cracking are often caused by sediment deposits in the tank. You can try to remove sediment with a cleaning, but if this isn’t done often enough, it will likely be too far gone to improve entirely. Excess sediment buildup might signal the need for a new water heater.

Lukewarm or Cold Water

A hot water heater’s job is simple: heating water. When hot water heaters just don’t perform as well as they used to, and if you’re having prolonged water temperature issues, it’s time for a new water heater.


Rust on your appliance’s exterior tends to be obvious. Discoloured, metallic-tasting, or rusty water can be a good clue that the tank is corroding on the inside. A rusted hot water tank is too far gone to repair.


A leaking water heater tank is not something that is easily fixed. If your hot water heater fails in this way, it’s better to replace a water heater that is leaking than try and spend thousands of dollars fixing it, especially if it’s nearing the end of its average lifespan.

How To Make Water Heaters Last Longer

Try one or more of the following methods. You’ll help your hot water heater last longer.

Scheduled Tune-Ups

Regular tune-ups help your water heater work more efficiently and last longer. A trained technician is also more likely to spot warning signs that your water heater might be about to fail.

Scale Inhibitor or Water Treatment

If you live in an area with hard water, like Brampton, limescale mineral deposits can harm both conventional and tankless water heaters. These mineral deposits can cause your hot water to be suddenly too hot. Use a scale-inhibiting filter to protect your water heater and help it last longer. Alternatively, install a whole-house water softener or a whole-home water filter.


Drain (“flush”) your hot water heater tank every 6 – 12 months to clear out sediment buildup. While this can be a DIY home maintenance task, if you are unsure of what you’re doing or the tank is being drained for the first time in years, you may want to call a professional.

Anode Replacement

The anode rod, a metal rod inside your water heater, attracts ions and minerals which would otherwise corrode the tank. After 2 – 3 years, have the anode rod checked annually and replaced when it deteriorates. Help your tank last longer; for additional protection, install a second anode rod.


For Fast Expert Service

Are you wondering whether your water heater is still good? Thinking of upgrading to a John Wood tank heater … or installing a Noritz or Navien tankless water heater model? Maybe you’re considering renting your water heater? Or would you just like to schedule a routine tune-up?

We’re here to answer your questions and provide the service you need. No pressure, no upselling – just professional, personalized help.


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