Can A Hot Water Heater Last 20 Years? (The Answer Might Shock You!)

Need to Hire a Plumber?
Get a free estimate online from top local home service pros in your area.
Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that at no cost to you, we may receive a small commission for made purchases.

Hot water heaters should be checked every year or two. Are you sure that your hot water heater is still working properly? What can cause problems?

Is there anything else that you need to watch out for when it comes to maintaining your hot water heater?

For the average homeowner, these questions are bound to race through your mind and keep you awake at night.

After all, your hot water heater is responsible for keeping you warm! 

To ensure that it stands the test of time, you need to take good care of your hot water heater.

Make sure you check its operating temperature, clean it regularly, and replace filters if they get clogged. But just how long can it last?

Can hot water heaters last 20 years? This article will answer all of your questions about how long a hot water heater can last.

How Long Do Hot Water Heaters Last?

The lifespan of a hot water heater (see also ‘How Long Does It Take For A Hot Water Heater To Fill Up?‘) depends on many factors. The first thing you have to consider is whether or not you are using a gas-fired or electric model. 

Electric models tend to last longer than their gas counterparts because they do not emit carbon monoxide.

Gas-fired units also use less energy than electric models, so they can last even longer.

Another factor that determines how long a hot water tank lasts is the type of material used in its construction.

Steel tanks typically last between 10 and 15 years, while fiberglass tanks may last up to 30 years. Plastic tanks usually fall somewhere in the middle.

A third determining factor is the amount of water being heated by the hot water heater.

If you are heating large amounts of water then you need to make sure that the capacity of your unit is adequate.

What Is The Difference Between Gas And Electric Heaters?

Gas and electric hot water heaters are two of the most common types of hot water heaters available today. Both types of heaters work by heating up the water inside a tank. 

The main difference between the two types of heaters is the fuel source used to generate energy.

Electric water heaters use electricity to produce heat while gas hot water heaters use natural gas to create the same amount of heat.

Electric hot water heaters are generally cheaper than gas hot water heaters. They are also easier to maintain and repair.

Additionally, electric hot water heaters tend to be quieter than gas hot water heat pumps.

Gas hot water heaters are often preferred over electric hot water heaters because they provide greater efficiency.

Gas hot water heaters are also less expensive to operate than electric hot water heaters.

If you live in a cold area where winters are harsh, then you probably want to invest in a gas hot water heater (see also ‘ Best Hot Water Heater For Hard Water ‘).

However, if you live in a warm climate, then you probably would prefer an electric hot water heater (see also ‘Electric Hot Water Heaters Buying Guide & Review‘).

Do You Need To Replace Your Hot Water Tank?

If you live in a cold climate, then you might want to consider replacing your hot water tank with a more efficient one.

These units are designed to keep warm water at a constant temperature regardless of outside temperatures. 

They are also equipped with thermostats that automatically adjust the temperature whenever the ambient air gets too cool or too hot.

If you live in a warmer climate, then you don’t necessarily need to worry about replacing your hot water tank.

However, you should take note of any leaks around the base of the tank. Leaks can lead to corrosion and rusting of the metal parts inside the hot water heater.

What Other Factors Affect How Long A Hot Water Heater Will Last?

Can A Hot Water Heater Last 20 Years? (The Answer Might Shock You!)

Other things can affect the lifespan of a hot water tank.

For example, if you leave the tap running constantly, this could eventually damage the internal components of your hot water heater and shorten its lifespan.

You also need to pay attention to the age of your hot water heater as well. Older models may not work as efficiently as newer ones.

When Should I Replace My Hot Water Tank?

Several signs indicate when it is time to replace your hot water tank. One of these is when the water level starts to drop. 

Another sign is when there is excessive noise coming from the unit. If either of these occurs, then you should call a professional plumber to inspect the problem.

Other signs include:

• When the hot water begins to smell bad.

• When the hot and cold faucets begin to leak.

• When the unit does not heat water quickly enough.

• When the temperature gauge stops working properly.

• When the thermostat fails to turn off the burner.

Replacing A Hot Water Tank

Before you start replacing your hot water tank, you will need to shut off all power to the house. This includes electricity, natural gas, and propane.

Once you have turned off the power, you will be able to safely remove the old hot water tank.

Next, you will need to disconnect the electrical connections for the new hot water tank. Be careful not to touch the electrical wires during this process. 

After you have disconnected the wires, you will need to install a temporary cover over the hole where the hot water tank was located.

The next step is to lift the hot water tank out of the hole. Then, you will need to cut away the insulation on the bottom of the tank.

Remove the bolts holding the tank down and remove the tank. Finally, you will need to clean up the area around the tank.

Once you have removed the old tank, you will need a replacement tank. There are many different types of tanks available today.

Some of them are made of plastic while others are made of stainless steel. You will need to decide which type of tank best suits your needs.

Once you have decided what kind of tank you want, you will need to purchase it.

Before installing the new tank, make sure that the hole in the wall is large enough to accommodate the tank.

Installing Your New Hot Water Tank

After you have purchased the new tank, you will need some tools to help with installation. The first thing you will need to do is to drill holes into the wall. 

Make sure that the holes are at least 1/2 inch deep and 3 inches apart. Next, you will need to insert screws through the holes so they are flush with the surface of the wall.

After you have installed the screws, you will need to attach the top of the tank to the wall. To do this, you will need to use an adhesive or silicone sealant.

If you choose to use silicone, you will need to apply it to both sides of the tank before attaching it to the wall. Apply the silicone evenly across the entire surface of the tank.

Finally, you will need to connect the pipes to the tank. Connecting the pipes to the tank is very similar to connecting the pipes to the existing hot water tank.

However, you will need to ensure that the pipe is connected to the right side of the tank.

You will also need to connect the drain line to the back of the tank. This is done by using a tee fitting.

You will need to take care when you are installing the new hot water tank because if you damage any part of the tank, you could cause serious problems.

If you follow these steps carefully, you should be able to replace your hot water tank without causing any issues.

How Much Does It Cost To Install A Hot Water Heater?

Installing a hot water heater is one of those things that most people don’t think about until they need to do it. 

When you are thinking about buying a new hot water heater, there are several factors that you need to consider.

One of the most important factors is how much money you have to spend. Another factor is whether or not you plan to add more fixtures to your home.

When you are looking at the price of a hot water heater, you will find that prices vary greatly from company to company. 

For example, you may pay $1,000 for a unit that has an output of 100 gallons per hour.

On the other hand, you might find a unit that costs $3,500 but produces only 50 gallons per hour.

Another factor that affects the overall cost of a hot water heater (see also ‘What Is The Average Cost To Replace A Hot Water Heater?’) is the size of the system. A larger system usually costs more than a smaller system.

The final factor that you need to look at is the brand name of the product.

Most companies offer products under their brands as well as under the names of other manufacturers. 

It is always better to buy a product that comes from a reputable manufacturer rather than a cheap knock-off.

The best way to determine which type of hot water heater is right for you is to contact local suppliers and ask them questions.

You can get information on what types of systems work best in different areas of the country.

Common Water Heater Issues

Can A Hot Water Heater Last 20 Years? (The Answer Might Shock You!)

Many common problems occur with water heaters. Some of these problems include:

Leaking Hot Water Tank

Leaks can happen anywhere along with the piping system. They can start small and then grow over time.

Once leaks begin, they can quickly become big enough to cause major damage to your property.

Hot Water System Failure

There are two main reasons why hot water systems fail. First, the heating element inside the tank can burn out.

Second, the thermostat can malfunction. In either case, the result is the same. The entire hot water system fails.

Low Output

 Low output means that less hot water is available than expected. This happens when the temperature of the water coming into the tank is too low.

Low Pressure 

Low pressure occurs when the flow rate through the pipes is too slow. This problem is caused by clogs in the pipes.

Noise Level 

Noise level refers to the amount of noise produced by the hot water heater. High levels of noise can lead to health concerns such as hearing loss.

Water Temperature Problems 

Water temperature problems occur when the water coming into the hot water tank is too cold or too warm.

If you are experiencing any of these problems, you should contact a professional service provider immediately.

Water Heater Maintenance

It is important to remember that you need to maintain your hot water heater properly.

As soon as you start using your new hot water heater, you should check its performance regularly.

One of the easiest ways to check your hot water heater is to turn off the main valve and then open all of the faucets in your house.

Turn on each faucet slowly so that you can see where the cold water stops flowing.

If you notice that some of the taps continue to run after turning on the others, this means that your hot water heater isn’t working correctly.

In this case, you should call a professional plumber immediately.

If you want to know how often you should clean your hot water heater, you can use the following guidelines:

• Every six months – Clean out the sediment that collects inside the tank.

• Once every year – Check the level of the water in the tank.

• Twice a year – Replace the filter.

Once you have purchased your hot water heater, make sure that you keep up with regular maintenance.

This will help ensure that your hot water heater lasts longer and continues to provide you with quality service.


Hot water heaters can last up to around 20 years if they are maintained properly. There are several things that you can do to extend their life even further.

If you follow the tips listed above, you can increase the lifespan of your hot water heater by at least 10 years.

Need to Hire a Plumber?
Get a free estimate online from top local home service pros in your area.


On Key

Related Posts

Is Drano Bad for Pipes? The Truth Revealed

Need to Hire a Plumber?Get a free estimate online from top local home service pros in your area. Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that at no cost to you, we may