What’s Your Water Heater’s Life Expectancy?

An Ask & Answer Session by Your Neighborhood Next Level Plumbing, Byron!
A lot of us have more time on our hands these days and for many, that is turning into organizing and upkeep the house. One of the more frequently asked questions we have is the age and life expectancy of a water heater.

The age is found in the serial number. It is usually in the first four digits representing the month and year it was built. It is best to google a specific brand of the water heater to find which way your brand makes it.
One example could be that the serial number starts as 1106 and that means, depending on manufacture, it was built in November of 2006, so it would be 14 years old at the time of this writing.
It may be a different process depending on the water heater you have. Bradford White water heaters give letters that correspond to the year and month. They also have a chart that you can look up to see those ages.
How long should you expect your water heater to last?
We find that many fail in the 10-12 year range.
Some can last longer while others have a shorter lifespan, but when looking at averages it is a good rule of thumb.
How proactive you need to depend on where it is located, the water heater’s age, and how you want to deal with it. If it is inside without a pan or upstairs, we recommend going with a preventive replacement every 10 years. If it is in the garage and leaking wouldn’t cause any real damage you could push the 12 years much safer. And of course, if you want to make sure you do the replacement on your terms, then earlier is better.
Once you know the age of the water heater, you can have an idea of when you should replace it.

Stay safe everyone!

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