Don’t worry. 123HELP has you covered! A reliable water heater repair and replacement contractor is just a click away on your 123HELP App. If you are experiencing a water heater leak, turn the water supply off (and the pilot-light if your system is powered by gas), and consider draining the water tank.
Hopefully, you’re reading this 123HELP APP blog for information and answers to questions you may have and not because of a serious problem with your water heater tank.
A frequent consumer question from home and property owners is how long does a water heater last? Based on the manufacturer’s suggested service life, the life expectancy of a gas water heater is about eight to twelve years. An electric heater will last ten to fifteen years. Tankless water heaters will last even longer, up to twenty years. However, these estimations vary with the location, design of the unit, quality of installation, maintenance schedule, and the quality of the water.
Knowing about the potential lifespan of water heaters helps a consumer determine whether it is cost effective to repair an older heater or simply replace it, and in deciding the model and the grade of replacement water heater you will want to purchase.
You will want to avoid water heater failure because it is one of the most common and significant causes of water damage to a home. If your water heater is not functioning properly you will want to have it repaired or replaced before it causes a major leak and flood damage. CNA , a respected commercial line insurance carrier, provides an annual report concerning average property damage costs. They report that a small leak to a water tank causes on average, $3,500 in water damage cleanup; a major tank failure will cost above $4,500. Keep in mind, most water heaters are placed in garages or outdoor closets. Water heater tanks that leak or burst into the living space will cause approximately 10k to 20K in flood cleanup and repair services.
Why do water heaters fail? There are numbers of factors. Here are six;
1- Internal rust: Sacrificial anodes are highly active metal rods that help prevent your water heater from corroding. Anode rods are consumed in the place of the metal they protect – hence the name “sacrificial.” Over time, they need to be replaced. The fix: They typically last several years, but it’s a good idea to check your anode rods every year – or bring in a professional to inspect. If they look worn down, it’s time to replace them.
2 – Sediment buildup: When water is heated, mineral deposits separate and settle onto the bottom of your water heater tank. Sediment builds up over time, reducing your water heater efficiency and eventually causing damage. This is especially an issue if you have hard water. The fix: Flush your water heater at least once a year, as well as your pipes and other appliances.
3 – High water pressure: Water pressure that’s too high can damage your water heater, as well as your pipes and other appliances. If you notice water leaking from the overflow pipe on the side of your water heater, you may have an issue with excessive pressure. The fix: Keep the water pressure on your heater no higher than 80 psi and consider replacing your temperature and pressure (T&P) relief valve.
4 – Corrosive fumes: For combustion to occur a water heater needs to draw in air. Problems can occur if the air quality is poor. Especially dangerous is corrosive air, which can corrode your tank and lead to water heater failure. The fix: Keep corrosive substances like ammonia and bleach far away from your water heater.
5 – Wrong size heater: Water heaters come in a variety of sizes to accommodate the water usage of all the people and appliances in your home. If you have a water heater that’s too small for your needs, it will work more than it should – and that can cause it to breakdown from overuse. The fix: Talk with a plumber or appliance expert to make sure you purchase a water heater that’s the right size for your family.
6 – Age of the Heater: Water heaters typically last about 8 to 12 years. Any longer than that, and you’re probably on borrowed time. If you’re having issues with rust, a bad heating element or a pilot light that won’t stay ignited… the age of the unit might be the problem. The fix: If your water heater is at the end of its life span, consider proactively replacing it with a newer, more energy-efficient model.
Do Water Softeners Reduce or Extend the Life of Water Heaters in the Phoenix Area?
The use of water softeners in hard water areas (most of Arizona) is becoming a common occurrence. However, this practice has a potentially detrimental effect on the performance of the anode in the water heater which can cause a reduction to the life of a water heater. At least, that is one opinion. Other sources disagree and say that untreated hard-water has the most detrimental effect of all. At 123HELP, we recommend that you thoroughly research this topic and make your own decision.
Anytime a water heater fails there is an urgency to have it fixed or replaced. The123HELP App provides vetted contractors that can solve the problem. For the best results always use a Water Heater Repair Contractor Approved by 123HELP.