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How Long Do Water Heaters Last? | Tips from Your Knoxville, TN Water Heater Repair Service Provider

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Whether you’re washing your hands, taking a shower or cleaning dishes in the sink, you need access to hot water throughout your Knoxville, TN home. Unfortunately, you can’t get that hot water if you don’t have a water heater that’s in good shape. Water heaters aren’t made to last forever, especially without proper water heater repair and maintenance every once in a while. If you’ve got an older water heater or a lack of hot water in your home, here’s what you need to know about how long a water heater is expected to last and what you can do to help that.

Water Heater Life Expectancy

Most of the fixtures and appliances in your Knoxville, TN, home have somewhat of a life expectancy; while they can last longer than this life expectancy, they don’t in the majority of cases. This is an important thing to keep in mind when it comes to how often you should replace the fixtures in your home.

While repair can extend the life of a water heater by a bit, the average life expectancy of a water heater is about 8 to 12 years. You can find an exact recommendation from your water heater manufacturer, but if you’ve got a water heater that’s 12 or 15 years old, now is a good time to replace it.

Another thing to keep in mind when it comes to water heater life expectancy is that it depends on the location of your unit, the frequency of water heater repairs and maintenance and the water quality in your home. Ultimately, the number you get from your manufacturer is more of a general guideline.

Types of Water Heaters

One important thing to remember in terms of how long your water heater is expected to last is that it depends on the type of water heater you have. Tank-type water heaters have the shortest lifespan because they’re constantly full of water that can eventually cause corrosion in the tank.

A lot of Knoxville, TN homeowners are opting for tankless water heaters these days because of the convenience and longevity they provide. Since tankless water heaters aren’t constantly holding a tank full of water, they can last as long as 20 years depending on the manufacturer and model. This is a great solution if you’re looking for a water heater upgrade that will last a bit longer than a traditional water heater.

If you do opt for a tankless water heater, you should know that water heater repairs and maintenance aren’t quite as simple. Tankless water heaters are a bit more advanced than traditional tank-type heaters, which means you need to find a plumber who knows what they’re doing if you expect to fix your tankless water heater instead of replacing it.

Water Heater Maintenance

As is the case with most things in life, taking care of your water heater is the best way to ensure it lasts a long time. As a general rule, you should have your water heater maintained by a professional at least once every six months, although you may need to do it more often depending on your water quality.

The biggest thing you can do to avoid hefty repair bills is flush your tank on a somewhat regular basis. Most homeowners can get away with flushing their water heater once every six months or so, but you may have to do it more frequently if you’ve got particularly hard water.

Hard water is water that has a lot of minerals in it, which can cause a mineral buildup in appliances and fixtures throughout your home. If you’ve got a big problem with hard water that’s shortening the life of your fixtures, the best thing you can do is invest in a water softener. You can get a water softening system for your entire Knoxville, TN, home that removes minerals from your water and makes it easier on fixtures. This may be a smart investment when compared to the cost of water heater repair and spending thousands to replace fixtures and appliances prematurely.

Is Water Heater Repair Worth It?

If you read about how long your water heater should last, you’ll notice that a lot of articles talk purely about water heater replacement and not repairs. While there are water heater repairs that can extend the life of your water heater by quite a bit, the fact of the matter is those repairs can only keep it running for so long.

Water heaters are equipped with a sacrificial anode that’s designed to take the brunt of the corrosion caused by the water in your tank. If there weren’t a sacrificial anode, the tank would quickly corrode and you’d have to replace the whole water heater. In fact, that’s the problem with water heater repair; you can replace the sacrificial anode and the elements in your water heater for years, but the tank is only going to last so long before corroding. And the fact of the matter is, replacing your water heater is the only way to reliably fix a busted tank.

Before you spend money to have your water heater repaired, have a professional take a closer look at things to make sure replacement isn’t a better option for you.

Simple Service

No matter what fixture or appliance you’re dealing with, the fact of the matter is things don’t last forever. The best thing you can do to avoid paying for expensive repair bills is keep up with routine maintenance and fix problems as needed.

Having a good plumber on your side is a big help when it comes to taking care of your water heater, and My Professional Plumber of Knoxville, TN has you covered. Not only can we help with water heater repair and maintenance, we can replace your water heater for you if that’s what you need. Give us a call at (865) 622-4101 to schedule an appointment today.


118 North Peters Road
Knoxville, TN 37923


8:00 am–5:00pm