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Water Heaters 101: How Old Is Too Old?

We depend very heavily on water heaters in the 21st century. This isn’t a bad thing, our lives have gotten a lot better since the days of boiling a tub of water for the whole family to use. We’re more hygienic and comfortable than we’ve ever been, but that can also depend on the age and condition of your water heater.

Most of our customers have tank water heaters, and tankless systems are pretty common here too. But how many people in our area use water heaters that are one, two, or even three decades old at this point? We’d bet it’s a pretty high amount.

Unfortunately, all sorts of problems can crop up when your water heater reaches the end of its first decade, and these systems are not designed to reach beyond 10 years. Down below, we’ll talk about why this is the case and how hot water heater replacement in Ferndale can be the solution to your problem.

Signs of an Aging Water Heater

If your water heater is running into problems or displays the characteristics we’ve listed below, then it might be time to evaluate a replacement. We know, this can sound like a scary thing that feels more expensive than average repairs–but trust us, a replacement can often save you more money and energy in the long run than keeping the same system going beyond it’s lifespan.

Too Old

As we mentioned earlier, tank water heaters are not really designed to go past 8-12 years. Tankless systems can usually last a bit longer, to the two-decade mark, but even that can be stretching it.

It’s important to remember that as these systems age, they become less effective and will run into component failures. Just because your water heater still works doesn’t mean the components won’t break down and require replacement in the very near future.


Let’s talk about efficiency. An older water heater is going to use more fuel or electricity to heat water than a brand-new one–this is a fact. Newer technology can improve the efficiency of water heater systems, and old units will run less efficiently as they wear down.

This might not sound like a big deal, but it’s important to remember that you’re paying for wasted energy or fuel when it’s not needed. So, a more efficient replacement system might save you money month after month.

Too Hot or Too Cold

How well does your hot water heater work? Is it a little too good when you try to take a shower and accidentally burn yourself with scalding water? Or perhaps it barely meets the mark? In these cases, your system might just be degrading and could require a replacement.

Constant Repairs

Constant repairs are an easy sign that your water heater is on its way out. Instead of paying for a fix or addressing a leak every year, why not invest in a new system that goes many years without the need for repairs?

Our team of Home Performance Experts has served the I-5 corridor from Blaine to Marysville, Oak Harbor to Concrete, and the San Juan Islands since 1972 with a mission of Improving Lives™. We look forward to serving you too! Contact Barron Plumbing today for water heater service. 

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