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Question DetailsAsked on 12/16/2013

how long does a water heater last?

About how many years can you expect a 40 - 50 gallon water heater to last before replacing it?

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1 Answer


Depends an awful lot on your water quality - lasts a lot longer with cleaner, chemically neutral (less corrosive) waters. Commonly, the cheapest last about 6-10 years, 8 plus year rated ones can last 12-20 years, rarely longer.

Depends on usage patterns too - if you let them sit for more than a week or so without significant use sedimentation and bottom corrosion starts - they prefer frequent cleansing with flowing water. Annual draining of 5 gallons or so from the bottom can lengthen life quite a bit too, if done from year one, as can changing corrosion protetion anodes when they reach the end of their life, though very seldom do people do this.

Sometimes, but not always, electric ones last longer than gas or oil, because you do not get the corrosion in the firebox and flue that you get with gas and oil, though that is only one mode of failure of water heaters.

Answered 6 years ago by LCD

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