Should You Wait Until The Water Heater Fails Or Replace It?

Author: Drougas Inspections LLC | | Categories: Electrical Inspections , Home Inspection , Plumbing Inspections


A water heater is a valuable appliance, and it’s very common in most homes. In fact, during the colder months, a water heater works harder due to the water source being colder. Especially with Well water. Water heaters, regardless of their make or model, can last for a long time if properly maintained. However, when purchasing a new home, most homebuyers are worried they will be stuck with a water heater that needs replacing soon after they move in. While a seller feels the appliance is operating perfectly fine, regardless of age. Then add to this the plumbing industry that suggests replacing the water heater every 10 years, whether something is wrong with it or not!

As experts in the home inspection industry, Drougas Inspections LLC has come across this debate several times with different clients. It is an ongoing debate, and we feel that the outcome really depends on each individual and their budget. To help you see why we feel this way, we have covered both sides of the debate.

Wait until the water heater fails or replace it while operating: 

Not to make too much of a joke about it, but we believe that a water heater is like a relationship, you never know how long it is going to last.

Those on one side of the debate feel that you should replace your water heater with a new one every ten years. If you can afford the cost, then you could replace your appliances at will. But the main reason why people believe that they should replace water heaters before they fail is that they have been misguided into believing that a water heater must be replaced when the warranty expires or every ten years. When in actuality, we see water heaters in perfect condition at twenty years or more. The longest working water heaters recorded by us are two Ruud water heaters from 1963 and 1956! They continue to be operating absolutely fine!

The other argument is that you want to replace it before it leaks. That the damage it could do is way more than a new water heater. Today we have so many devices that can drain water to a determined location, automatically shut the water off if leaking and even sound an alarm.

Also, many inspectors are so worried about being blamed for a water heater failing after the buyer moves in that they are quick to claim replacement is needed even when there is nothing wrong with the heater!

Bottom line

At Drougas Inspections LLC, we oppose the trend of using ten years as a replacement guideline. We are homeowners too, so we understand why homebuyers may be concerned. At the same time, we know what it is like to live on a budget. So, why would we tell you to replace a perfectly good appliance when we wouldn’t spend the money replacing ours until necessary.

As with anything, you are certainly welcome to buy a new car, toaster, television or shoes every year! However, most of us do not have that luxury. Obviously, the people that sell these things would love for you to replace them often. They don’t want to wait twenty years to sell you another water heater!

So don’t get caught up in the myth that a water heater should be replaced every ten years or if the warranty expires. Water heaters tend to last longer than most relationships we’ve known!

For reliable home inspection services, reach out to Drougas Inspections LLC. We have a licensed home inspector in Lee, New Hampshire, providing honest, unbiased, and detailed inspection reports. We have over twenty-two years of experience and know exactly what our clients need and expect from us. These include providing facts, explaining the condition of the home, and always being available to answer any questions. We make sure our clients are fully aware of what they are getting into.

To learn all about our services, please click here or get in touch with us by clicking here


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