Every household needs a water heater to make housework much more manageable. However, as the tanks ease your work, there are certain brands that, if you buy, will increase your overhead costs instead of reducing them. Yet,  water heaters should reduce your workload.

The 50-gallon tanks are the hottest in the market, as everyone opts for that size. Luckily, they are available in gas and electric versions, depending on what you would prefer for your house. Their size is perfect for a large household, as they can stay on for up to 2 hours.

Each water tank lasts a unique time, depending on a few things. Some will last less than five years, while others remain in perfect condition for more than 15 years, which depends on a few factors. 

This post will answer “How long should my 50-gallon water heater last,” and provide expert recommendations on how to care for it.

How Long Should My 50-Gallon Water Heater Last? Factors Affecting Life Span

Manufacturers promise your gas and oil heater will last about 8- 12 years if you maintain it as they recommend. However, if your water heater works tankless, you can expect it to last 18-20 years or more.

While most water heaters last this long, some last longer and others shorter, depending on internal and external factors in the heater. Here are the most common internal and external factors affecting your water tank;

1. Water Supply Corrosiveness

If your water supply has too solid chemicals for the water heater, they will likely trigger a reaction and cause your water heater to corrode. 

How Long Should My 50-Gallon Water Heater Last

Also, if scales and particles form at the bottom of the tank, the water tank will start functioning less effectively than it should. As a result, the supply of hot water in your house will automatically drop.

2. Material Of Your Water Heater Tank

There are several kinds of materials used to make water heaters. The most common are glass liners, porcelain, and sacrificial anode. Many people like to use these materials because they are not prone to corrosion. Therefore, they last longer.

Checking the materials the manufacturers have used on the water heater is vital. If your water heater is made from corrosive materials, the rust build-up will reduce the water that flows to your house and block your shower heads. 

3. The Amount Of Hot Water Dispensers

If you overwork the water heater, it will likely fail sooner than it should. The more you overuse it, the more it is likely to spoil.

Therefore, add the number of shower heads and faucets, then compare them to the recommended amount. Doing that will help you approximate its lifespan.

4. Warranty Period

For an idea of the water heater’s longevity, check how long your warranty is. If it’s more than ten years, your water heater will likely stay beyond ten years. The longer the contract, the longer your water heater will last.

The reasoning is the manufacturers must have tested the product, and therefore, they know the approximate time their products will last. Your water heater will likely last about as long as your warranty states.

How Do I Ensure My 50-Gallon Water Heater Lasts Longer?

It’s pretty straightforward; all you need to do is follow the instructions given by your manufacturers on ways to maintain it.

If you take care of your water heater, it will last longer and also keep your energy bills in check. Luckily, manufacturers will always highlight ways you will use to maintain your water heater so it can function optimally. 

1. Proper Installation

Many homeowners opt for cheaper technicians for their water heaters instead of professional ones to cut costs. However, that costs them more money for maintenance after the tanks spoil.

How efficiently and the location you install your water heater significantly impacts how long your water tank will last. Therefore, ensure you install it in the right place and that a professional does the work.

How Long Should My 50-Gallon Water Heater Last

Technicians suggest installing your water heater in a well-ventilated location as it stands upward. Going against these instructions puts your water heater at risk of a reduced lifespan and getting spoilt.

You should also ensure that natural disasters like floods or fire hazards cannot hit your water heater’s location. So ensure you contact a professional to install your water heater in a visible position.

2. Relief Pressure

If the water flows at an extremely high pressure, your water system will likely be destroyed. You should always ensure that the water tank flows at the appropriate pressure to increase the lifespan of your water heater.

Your water heater is designed with a valve that regulates temperatures and the pressure in the water tank. However, if it’s broken, chances are the pressure in the tank will go beyond the recommended amount and cause the water heater to fail. 

Therefore, you should check your water tank often to ensure the valve works properly. And if the valve is not working, ensure you replace it to increase the longevity of the water tank. If you don’t know how to unscrew your water heater, contact a technician to install it.

3. Drain The Tank Often

If the water in your tank stays stagnant for too long, you open your tank to risk leaking. Therefore you should drain your tank regularly to prevent leakages. Luckily, draining your tank does not need any help from a professional- You can do it yourself. 

Turn off the power from the main supply to stop water from flowing into the valve. Afterward, channel all the hot water out of the tank until there isn’t any more water.

4. Clean Your Tank

Residue is a problem that affects all kinds of tanks, including the 50-gallon water tank. Therefore, ensure you remove scales from your water heater as often as possible, as scales are the most common factor that will cause your water heater to fail.

Just like draining your tank, removing scales from your water heater is also a process you can do independently. Put in the recommended solutions to the water tank when flushing your water tank.

Why Is My Water Heater Leaking?

You should always pay attention to your water heater leaks. Once your water tank leaks, the water flowing to your shower will reduce. You should also know why your water heater is continuously leaking. 

Here are the most common causes of leaks

1. Poor Inlet And Outlet Connections

If your cold and hot water inlets or outlet starts leaking, it will automatically reduce the water supply that gets into your shower and other faucets. Therefore, ensure that the connections on the inlets and outlets are intact and fix any broken ones.

Loose connections will cause you to lose gallons of water to wastage. Luckily, the inlets and outlets are accessible and cost-friendly, but you cannot fix them. Contact a plumber or a licensed technician to fix it for you.

2. Pressure And Temperature Relief Valve

Your water heater is designed with a pressure and temperature valve to ensure the pressure and the temperatures are always at the recommended amount. The valve regulates the pressure and temperature, ensuring they don’t exceed the recommended amount.

Therefore, if your tank has excess pressure, the valve will close and force water out until the pressure regulates. As a result, the water will start pouring on the sides and affect the amount getting to your shower or faucets. 

How Long Should My 50-Gallon Water Heater Last

So if your valve is broken, ensure you fix it to prevent water in your household from being wasted.

3. The Drain Valve Has A Problem

Another reason why your water heater could be leaking is because of a loose drain valve. If that’s the case, you should tighten it to prevent leaks. If that doesn’t work, ensure you should replace it.

4. The Water heater’s bottom

Leakages from the base happen because of residue build-up like scales. The scales and other sediments corrode and cause the tank to rust. As a result, your tank will end up fractured with holes that cause it to leak water from the bottom.

How Often Should I Clean My Water Heater?

How often you clean your water tank depends on the residue build-up of your tank.

You should often clean your water heater to prevent scales and residue build-up. Manufacturers recommend cleaning it twice a year, but even three times is ideal, depending on the chemical composition of water that flows into the tank.

If your water heater is clean, it will function optimally and reduce strain on your hot water shower and other faucets. (The reason is that the battery will not block due to the sediments).

Therefore, you should clean your water heater regularly (after two months) so it can work and heat water optimally. 

Final Thoughts

If you properly maintain your water heater, it will last longer or go beyond the warranty period. You should also apply grease to the water tank to ensure it functions optimally.

Each brand of water heater has its lifespan. The longevity of your water heater will depend on the material used to make it and the brand of the water tank. 

Therefore, before purchasing a water tank, check different online reviews from previous customers and pick the tank with the best judgment. 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is 50 Gallon Water Heater Enough for a Family of 4?

This is how it goes;

  • If you purchase a 40-gallon tank, expect that it will maintain a family of 1-4 members 
  • a 50-gallon tank will hold 4- 6 members 
  • a 75-gallon tank will have 6-8 family members. 

Additionally, both the 40 and 50 gallons consume about the same amount of energy. 

2. How Many Bathrooms Will My 50 Gallon Water Heater Handle?

In often cases, a water heater will hold about three bathrooms. However, this depends on a few factors like; the number of people taking a shower, the number of appliances using hot water, and medical appliances requiring hot water.