Ask the Expert

Bill Waltz, Burts Reliable equipment and fuel sales representative.

How long does a water heater usually last?

A: The average water heater lasts anywhere from 7 to 13 years. A lot depends on the quality of the unit itself, but water quality in your area is important too. Hard water, which has a high mineral content, can shorten the life of a water heater. If it takes longer to heat water, or the water doesn’t get as hot, it’s a good sign you are ready for a new unit. You should also look for any signs of rust on the tank.

Q: What should I do if my water heater leaks?

A: Turn the tank’s water supply valve to the off position and then call us for service.

Q: How do I decide which type of water heater is right for me?

A: There are many different options available today, including indirect water heaters. These units are a perfect solution for families who use a lot of hot water. If you have an old electric water heater, switching to an oil-fired water heater will give you plenty of hot water at a much lower cost.