How Long Will Your Water Heater Last?

Water Heater Life Expectancy

Manufacturers typically list the life expectancy of a water heater as 8 to 12 years, but this is not a hard and fast rule. Newer water heaters can break down much earlier and vintage models can keep on ticking for decades. Several factors affect how long a water heater will last besides its chronological age. Here are some of the things that can influence just how long your water heater will function:


Improper piping connections can lead to leaks and early failure of your water heater, as can poor placement of your water heater tank. For example, a tank installed in a horizontal position may cause it to break down sooner than normal and could even void your warranty.

Thermal Expansion:

The gradual wearing of your water heater could occur from improper installations and cross connections, which create high pressure. Thermal expansion is a normal part of the heating and cooling process, but when pressure is too high, thermal expansion will stress your water heater tank. Regular maintenance checks from a water heater repair plumber will help ensure this doesn’t happen.

Scale Build-up:

The hard water of Northern Texas can cause scale build-up inside your water heater tank. These deposits and plaques of minerals can reduce the efficiency of your unit.

Hard water can also induce corrosion. The solution? Install a water softener and filter! A water softener will help your water heater last longer, and Benjamin Franklin plumbers are experts in water filtration systems.


Your water heater’s sacrificial anode protects from rust through an electrolytic process. It’s important to replace your water heater’s anode every few years or perhaps more frequently, depending on the quality of your water. If you notice that your hot water (but not your cold water) smells like rotten eggs, you may have a corroded sacrificial anode.

Type of water heater:

Different types of water heaters have varying lifespans. One way to find out how long yours might last is to check the manufacturer’s warranty. A longer warranty often indicates a more durable water heater tank.

No matter what kind of water heater you have or its age, proper installation and maintenance will help you get more use out of it. Contact the pros at Benjamin Franklin Plumbing of Dallas for prompt water heater repair, regular maintenance, replacement, installation, or emergency plumbing service. We serve Dallas, Fort Worth, Collin County, and surrounding metroplex areas.