How long does a hot water heater last?
A big expense for the average home-owner, hot water heaters have become more advanced as well as longer lasting. How long does a water heater last? This question comes up in internet chat rooms, at the appliance center, and when the serviceman comes for a check-up or to deliver bad news. How long does a water heater last is the topic of this article, and is a very important question when it comes to deciding what to do when confronted with an older model in a home that is for sale or rent.
When renting, it is important to know that the house and its appliances will last for as long as you are planning on residing there. For the hot-water heater to die, the house becomes non-functional and showers have to be taken away from home. When the heater begins making noise, there is a problem. Newer hot-water heaters do not make noise, with the exception for the times when gas flow is being increased to accommodate for higher water usage. If you do hear noise, be sure to turn the system off, gas first! Next, call a repairman, one you can trust (good luck) and ask about the problem as he or she sees it. Very important, the next step is to get a second opinion. This will let you know if you are hearing one person’s opinion or as close to the truth as two experienced workers can get.
How long does a water heater last when I buy a house with an old one in it? The most likely bet when buying a house is that the hot-water heater will last a couple of years. The timing of these things is nearly impossible to predict, and the heater doesn’t know that the house is being sold, nor does it care. Thus, if the house is actively lived-in, the chances are the heater is going to keep doing what it has been doing for a couple more years. Check in the basement to take not of signs of any ad-hoc or worrisome repairs to the heater which might indicate a problem the current owners are trying to hide. Rust, loose belts and hoses,, and water stains in or around the unit should raise a red flag. Ask alot of questions, and if someone stumbles you know they are up to no good, as no one would “forget” what happened with their hot water heater.
Looking at hot water heaters that were made in the last five years, most have only just made it outside their basic warranties. These companies are confident that they will have no problem if they promise five years, so the heaters are going to do at least twice that if nothing traumatic happens to the appliance during its life span. The same principle applies to groceries- the “best by” date might mean freshest before that, but it does not imply that the milk is going to turn to green sludge the day after that. The best you can do to judge the health of your water heater is to look at whether any water leaks and if rust has formed on the body. Does it make hot water, and is it quiet? If it looks good, it probably is, and will be with you for years to come.