Is It Time To Replace Your Water Heater?
Home inspections include an inspection of the home's water heater. Visual inspections often include the water piping, exhaust vent (condition, slope, clearances, signs of backdrafting, etc.), fuel type/piping, flame pattern, control wiring condition, TPR valve and discharge piping, and overall appearance of the heater (for signs of rust/leaks). Issues with any one of these items can lead to further evaluation and repair by a licensed plumbing contractor.
The heater's data plate information can be used to estimate the heater's age. Based on the heater's age, an inspector may recommend a home buyer begin budgeting for a replacement heater.
The average lifespan of a water heater varies with the make/model, water quality, water temperature, amount of use, etc., and could be 6-8 years or as many as 10-12 years. A water heater may fail earlier than the average, or last longer than the average, and no inspector can tell you exactly how much life is left on any appliance. If in doubt, a local water heater installation company may provide a more accurate estimate of lifespan based on their experience in your area.
If your water heater is approaching, or is beyond, the average life span, consider proactively replacing the water heater before it fails unexpectedly.
You can find more information about replacing water heaters online at this and other links: