How Long Should a Water Heater Last?

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When you invest in a hot water heater, you want to make it last to make the most of your investment. Maintaining your water heater with regular service appointments is among the best ways to make sure your unit lasts as long as possible.

If you do need water heater repair in Tyler, the team at Mink Plumbing is always here to help. In the meantime, here are some of our tips and insights on how long maintained water heaters last. 

tools and piping next to a leaking water heater that needs to be repaired

What Are Conventional Water Heaters?

Conventional water heaters, or tank heaters, store and heat up hot water to save for future use. They typically hold 20 to 80 gallons of water, depending on your water usage and household size. They’re currently among the most popular options for homeowners.

How Long Do Conventional Water Heaters Last?

Most conventional water heaters will last around 11 years, but they can fail in as little as 6 years or last nearly 20 years. The lifespan of your water heater varies depending on how often you use it, whether you have hard water that causes sediment to build up faster, and regular maintenance. When your water heater is well-maintained, it stays ahead of potential repairs and can spot issues before they spiral out of control. When you do need a Tyler water heater replacement, you can rest assured that your ongoing maintenance and care have helped it last as long as possible.

Why Do Conventional Water Heaters Fail?

Conventional water heaters can eventually fail for a variety of reasons, including

Poor Maintenance

Poor maintenance is among the top reasons why conventional water heaters fail. Skipping maintenance appointments means a missed opportunity to identify issues, clean out your unit, and make small repairs before they get too complicated. 


Leaking water heaters can cause a hot water heater to fail, necessitating a water heater replacement. The most common cause of leaks can be a pressure relief valve, a drain valve problem, or a rusted tank. 


As your unit attempts to heat your water, minerals in the water separate from water molecules, causing sediment buildup, a common problem in conventional water heaters. Eventually, these minerals settle at the bottom of your tank and cause magnesium, calcium, and sand to show up in your hot water supply. If you use well water, you may have more sediment buildup than other homeowners.


When your equipment’s metals break down, water heaters can show corrosion and rust when the metals in your equipment break down. Your water heater also uses a simple anode rod screwed into the top of the water heater to prevent corrosion and attract minerals in the water so they don’t end up in your tank. When the anode rod fails, you end up seeing more corrosion, rust, and sediment in your hot water supply. 

High Water Pressure

When the water pressure in your water heater tank is too high, it can cause damage to its heating elements and cause a hot water heater to burst. The high pressure will also increase the water temperature, which can cause further damage to your tank.

Wrong Size Water Heater

There are ways to make an investment in a hot water heater more economical, but choosing one that’s too small to skimp on costs should never be one of them. Your water heater will have to work harder than necessary to meet your household’s needs, which could lead to its breakdown.

No matter why your conventional hot water heater fails, we can help. Give the team at Mink Plumbing a call to discuss a repair or a water heater installation in Tyler.

What Are Tankless Water Heaters?

Tankless water heaters supply hot water on-demand and only as needed. They heat the water instantaneously as you use it instead of storing it for later use.

How Long Do Tankless Water Heaters Last?

Tankless water heaters can last 15 to 25 years with good maintenance, which is about twice as long as a conventional heater. However, neglect or delayed repairs lead to a higher failure rate compared to conventional water heaters.

Why Do Tankless Water Heaters Fail?

If you’re considering a tankless water heater in Tyler, there are some issues to consider.

Mineral Build-Up

A tankless water heater, like conventional water heaters, can accumulate mineral buildup that eventually damages and erodes the inside of the system. It’s crucial to maintain and clean your system to flush out problematic minerals and other issues.

Low Water Pressure

When the water pressure is too low in your tankless water heater, it can cause it to stop working properly or altogether. The problem could be a clogged or blocked water line, sediment, or a clogged aerator.

Leaks in the Heat Exchanger

When there’s a leak in the heat exchanger, it’s a sign that there’s water in the heat exchanger, such as a pinhole leak. A hot water repair may fix the issue, but too many leaks and damage require a new tankless water heater installation.

Cold Water Sandwich Effect

The cold water sandwich effect is a common problem with a tankless water heater. Although the system has failed, it’s a temporary problem. Because tankless water heaters don’t heat and store water, you can’t go from one hot shower to the next or run a load of white towels in hot water followed by a shower without experiencing a brief period of cold water.

Rest assured that no matter what’s going on with your hot water tank or tankless water heater, we can help. One of our water heater professionals will come out as soon as possible to take a look at your system, make recommendations, and repair or replace your unit to restore the hot water you deserve.

Call the Tyler Water Heater Replacement Pros

Everyone deserves reliable hot water. If you’re having issues with your hot water heater in Tyler, TX or the surrounding area and need help, our team is always here. Call the team at Mink Plumbing for all of your water heater needs, from routine maintenance to emergency repair and new installations. Schedule your appointment today!

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