Output And Longevity: About How Long Will Your Hot Water Heater Last?

Construction & Contractors Blog

Purchasing a water heater for your home involves several important considerations and some informed comparison-shopping. One of the most important aspects to consider when shopping for a water heater is the longevity of the unit. Longevity can have a couple of different meanings: the output of the water (or how much hot water the unit can put out at the peak usage time of day) and the actual average lifespan of the unit (or how long you have until you will need to buy a new unit). Here are some things to keep in mind.

Output Longevity: Look for the First Hour Rating

Water heater units come with a few defined ratings, but one of the most important is the First Hour Rating, which defines the amount of hot water that can be produced in the first hour that the hot water heater is used during the day.

You want to find a unit that has a First Hour Rating within a couple of gallons of your peak usage or the amount of water you use during the busiest part of the day. If you have two people taking showers at the same time in the morning and then the house is empty all day, that morning shower time is your peak usage time.

You can calculate the peak usage for various items around your house using an online worksheet and multiplying the average number of gallons used by that items by the times used within an hour. A shower, for example, uses about 10 gallons of water, so in the above example, you would have a peak usage of 20 gallons of water for two people showering within an hour of each other.

Lifespan Longevity: Maintenance Extends Life, Unit Type Matters

The type of water heater plays a major role in the lifespan of the unit. A traditional tanked water heater has an average lifespan of about 10 years, while a tankless water heater can last up to 20 years. Solar-powered units also have a double decade lifespan.

Water heater lifespan mostly comes down to how easy the unit is to repair and whether it is cheaper to repair the problem or simply replace the unit. A tankless water heater's problems will come down to an electrical issue or problems in the plumbing, which are both easier spot fixes. A tanked water heater can also experience electrical and plumbing issues, but problems with the water storage tank can pose the biggest problems.

You can extend the life of a tanked water heater with proper maintenance, which includes draining the tank once a year to remove any sediment and checking the anode rod to make sure the rod isn't overwhelmed with sediment. But minerals and the water itself will eventually start to eat away at the inside at the tank, and you will need to replace the unit.

For more information, contact Towers-Murray Plumbing Co Inc or a similar company.

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9 August 2016

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