We’ll give you the short answer first: the average life expectancy of a 40-gallon water heater is about 8 to 12 years. Once your water heater is 10 years old, it’s typically time to start looking for a replacement. However, some factors may cause a water heater to have a shorter-than-average life expectancy. You should be aware of these and whether or not they affect you.

Knowing what to expect from your water heater will allow you to stay ahead of water heater failure, avoiding costly breakdowns, flooding damage, and stressful mornings. When it comes to water heaters, an ounce of prevention is worth a ton of cure from our water heater service in Portland. Here’s what to look out for in your water heater’s performance:

3 Conditions That Reduce the Lifespan of Your Water Heater

Does your home have any of these common problems reducing the lifespan of your water heater? If so, it might be time for repair or replacement.

  1. Hard Water –When water percolates through calcium deposits on its way to your faucet, it causes scale build-up on all surfaces touching or containing water. This includes pots, pans, pipes – and the storage tank of your water heater. Water hardness can wear down rubber linings and reduce pipe diameter, causing leaks and blockages. If limescale deposits have started building in your storage tank, you’ll start to hear loud noises during operation as the sediment bangs around.
  2. Oversized Unit – Conventional water heaters store about 40 gallons of hot water at a constant temperature. If your water heater is too large for your home, you’ll end the day with water always stagnating inside the tank. Plus, you’ll be spending money heating water you don’t need! Is there a musty, mildew smell in your utility room? It could be the anode rod in your tank, which is designed to corrode faster than the tank itself. Once the anode rod is spent, your water heater is on its last legs – it’s time to call in the experts.
  3. Undersized Unit – The opposite can also be a problem for your water heater’s lifespan. Having a water heater that is too small for your home will leave you constantly running out of hot water when your family tries to take their showers in the morning or late at night. If you’re the last one to go, you’ll find your water heater is leaving you out in the cold. Not only that, but all of that constant re-filling and re-heating can take a serious toll. You might start to notice a yellow pilot flame (it should always be blue!) or water pooling around the tank.

Our professionals know water heaters inside and out. We make finding the perfect fit for your home and your energy usage simple so you can save money while living better year after year. It’s what makes us your go-to plumber!

So don’t go a day without hot water – know the signs of water heater failure and get an inspection before disaster strikes! Call 3 Mountains Plumbing for water heater service in Portland today.

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