Water heaters have to be the most ignored appliance in homes. They are always working to provide hot water at your command for warm showers in the morning, a relaxing bath after a busy day, to sanitize your dishes and more. Usually, no one thinks about their water heater until it finally quits working. A broken water heater is something nobody wants to deal with, but unfortunately, most people will over their lifetime.
The typical water heater has a lifespan of 12-16 years. After that time, it isn't unusual for them to meet their demise. There are many reasons for a breakdown but common ones are quality of the water entering into the heater, an undersized heater for the intended use, not maintaining it with regular flushes, neglected burners, improper venting, not replacing anode rods when needed, leaks at the water flexes, worn out elements, etc. All of these items go unnoticed until there's no hot water, not enough hot water or the water actually starts to smell.
After a problem is noticed, the next question is replace or repair? Knowing the typical life of the water heater, we recommend replacing it after ten years of use with no maintenance. Doing repairs after 10-12 years will help, but know you are getting into the life of the tank and the lack of maintenance that already started to affect its lining and seals. Tanks less than 9 years old with the no signs of corrosion outside may benefit from some maintenance to extend its life.
Remember when buying a new water heater and doing regular maintenance you might get up to 20 years of continual use. If you have questions about choosing a hot water heater that is right for your home, want more information on maintenance or have an issue that needs to be addressed please contact us at (503) 994-9924. Our highly trained plumbers are ready to solve any water heater dilemma you may have.