How Long Does A Water Heater Last?

water heater

There are many questions in this world but unfortunately many of them do not have definitive answers. The list includes one we hear all the time at Armstrong Plumbing, Air & Electric: How long does a water heater last? Please understand that we will always give you our best answer to that question, but it’s important to understand there are many, many variables that can drastically change the outcome.


To start this conversation, let’s focus on traditional tank style water heaters. One generally accepted answer is that it will have a life expectancy of six to 13 years. The point being is that anything beyond 12 years means you are on borrowed time. As the years go by there is an increasing risk of water leaks…many of which can cause significant damage to your home in Lubbock, TX. That’s another way of saying you are almost always better off to replace a water heater a little too soon than too late.


Sometimes your water heater will let you know it’s time to make a change. Here are some things to watch for:

  • Does the hot water have a strange tint or color? This is often an indication that there is rust in the water heater. Rust means a damaging water leak could be imminent.
  • Gurgling and popping sounds are often caused by a buildup of sediment inside the tank. This affects the water heater’s efficiency and costs extra money every month.
  • Look around the base of your water heater and check for dampness. Any moisture is likely a symptom of a slow or intermittent leak.
  • Running out of hot water during your morning shower is not only a bad way to start your day, but also a sign your water heater needs to be checked out by a professional.


As already mentioned, there is no definitive answer about the life expectancy of a water heater because there are so many variables. Hard water with its high mineral content is certainly one risk factor. The other is ignoring water heater maintenance. A tank-style heater should be drained and flushed at least once a year, but the truth is that many Lubbock, TX homeowners tend to ignore that guideline.


If you’ve determined that the time has come for a new water heater, call Armstrong Plumbing, Air & Electric to learn more about your options. You may find a new-style tankless water heater is a better option. It will cut your monthly utility bills and you will never run out of hot water. Call us today to schedule an appointment and don’t forget to check in on social media.