Written on: January 19, 2023
All of us depend on our water heater for a range of needs. From showering and bathing to cooking to washing clothes and dishes and more, it’s nearly impossible to stay comfortable and clean without it. So how long can you depend on your current water heating system to keep all of that hot water flowing without any problems?
The life span of the most common water heater—units with a storage tank—can vary greatly, anywhere from 7 to 13 years. (Tankless, on-demand water heating units last much longer because water is not constantly sitting in a tank being heated).
How long your storage tank water heater lasts depends on a number of factors, including the temperature of the water you set for the tank, the volume of water used, the overall quality of the water heater model, and the water quality.
This is what we mean by water quality. Many people around the country have to contend with “hard water,” which means their domestic water has a high amount of mineral content. Fortunately, in Georgia, we have one of the lowest levels of hard water in the U.S. However, manufacturers do recommend flushing your water heater on a yearly basis to remove any mineral particles, dirt, or debris that has collected inside your tank. This will improve water heater efficiency and extend the life of your water heater.
To head off any problems with your water heater, it’s a wise idea to call on an experienced propane service technician, HVAC contractor, or plumber to flush out your hot water storage tank once a year. Your service professional should also check the condition of the anode rod, which generally lasts from 3-5 years.
Storage tank water heaters contain many parts and components, including a long metal anode rod, which extends the life of your water heater by preventing corrosion from building up inside your tank.
Usually made of magnesium or aluminum, the anode rod does its job through a process called electrolysis. The metals in the anode rod attract ions that normally would cause rust in iron and steel. But instead, these ions latch onto the anode rod and as a result, cause it to degrade over time. Without the anode rod, your water heater could rust out in just a few years. That’s why it’s so important to replace the anode rod after it degrades.
Generally speaking, all storage tank water heaters have an anode rod, regardless of fuel type. The one exception is if you have a stainless-steel tank, which is immune from corrosion.
While propane gas tankless water heaters don’t require anode rods, they do need some periodic maintenance to keep them running properly. Besides an annual flushing, it is recommended that the air filter and water filter be cleaned.
Read more about water heater maintenance for your tankless propane unit.
If you’re looking to upgrade your water heating system, propane is the way to go! Propane provides more hot water faster than comparable electric water heaters, with better energy efficiency.
You get more comfort for less cost! Propane water heaters also take up less space, have more accurate temperature adjustment and offer more size and installation options.
Read more about the benefits of propane water heaters.