Tank Water Heaters Last 3-5 Years?

I’m watching the Tankless Water Heater Video and the guest mentions that a 2004 NAECA code revision for tank water heaters made it so the inter wall of the tank is thinner, resulting in water heaters that last 3 - 5 years before the possibility of tank explosion (statement made around 35 minutes).

Is this true that tanks manufactured after 2004 have a life span of 3-5 years? I’ve seen multiple times that tank systems last ~10 years.

1 Like

I did some training with Rheem last month and the current guideline is a tankless water heater is designed to last 25 years with proper maintenance. I’ve owned 3 and neither one of them has given me any problems.

1 Like

Martin, thanks for the reply. I should have been more specific… My question is related to tank systems.

Typical designed lifespan for a Standard water heater/tank with proper maintenance is 8-12 years.

1 Like

New tank water heaters will last over 20 years with proper maintenance. The video may have eluded to the 6 year anode rod that is installed in a tank style water heater. Replace this sacrificial metal rod every few years and the life expectancy of the water heater is greatly increased. Along with annual flushing the water heater may last much longer than 20 years.


In my area, the public water supply is pretty good chemically speaking. It is very common to see 15 yr old gas water heaters and 20 yr old electric water heaters.
There are some suburbs that have much worse water and those tanks may only last 4-7 years.

1 Like

Yup water quality is a major factor.

Some homes with shallow wells around here are better boiling water in a cast iron kettle. :joy:

Welcome to our forum, Paul!..Enjoy! :smile:

Lots of factors, including the big one, which is the condition of the water being heated, but in my experience over the past 20+ years, in my area, they tend to last at least 6 years. Designed to make it safely through the warranty period.
I recently swapped an electric unit out. The old one started leaking. The new one (both 40 gallon) was much larger in diameter. Far more insulation in it.
If you were to spend some maintenance time regularly, I am quite sure you could double or triple the life, but swapping out every 6 to 10 years gets you the latest technology.