How long do gas water heaters last?

I have to get some plumbing work done that will require draining and reconnecting my two gas water heaters. They are both about 15 years old and I'm wondering if I should take this opportunity to replace them. They seem to work ok. I don't know if new ones would work better or be more efficient. Thanks for your help.
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No, don't replace them. Just ensure they are maintained properly, drained of sediment etc.
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rb wrote:

A whole lot depends on water quality and whether the tanks are flushed periodically to rid them of sediment. Average life for gas heaters is around 10 years, though some go 25 years. You decide.
Jim
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When it goes, you'll know. But after 15 years, I'd say they are nearing the end of their use ful life.

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rb wrote:

My experience is 12-15 years life from a gas water heater, but it depends a lot on the water you are heating. I live in an area with high mineral content and water on the acidic side.
I'm sure new heaters would be more efficient, but I can't say if they are better. They may be made more cheaply, but you will almost certainly save something on energy.
Matt
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Gas tankless, way to go.
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From personal experience, I would keep them. Don't just drain them, however, clean them as well and do it at least annually. Depending on your water quality and with care and luck, you may well get another 15 years service and more. (Would take a very long time for any added efficiency you might get with a new unit to pay for the new unit.)
Jim

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Ours was installed in 1961 - still going strong, with continuous use. Unfortunately, they don't make them of copper anymore, like this one.

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I would advise to a change a NEW ONE for better efficiency. If I were u and I would also consider changing to an INSTANT GAS WATER heater though more expensive but at a long run, initial capital will be paid off by the saving of gas bills!
Regards Richard
-- Regards Kui Loi

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I would replace them... because after 15 years, the efficency is way down and you will notice the difference in heated water and in $$ (because a lot of energy is wasted on heating the accumulated sediments over 15 years).
More than half the cost in replacing a water heater is labor!
I don't think that those advising to keep them know what they are talking about! .
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I would replace them... because after 15 years, the efficiency is way down and you will notice the difference in heated water and in $$ (because a lot of energy is wasted on heating the accumulated sediments over 15 years).
More than half the cost in replacing a water heater is labor!
I don't think that those advising to keep them know what they are talking about! .
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That wasn't what he asked, tb.
And, we only gave our own personal experiences (which I suspect we know a bit more about than you do) with an aging water heater . . . especially gas. If you are the one who is charging more than the cost of the water heater materials for labor for a reinstallation, I feel for your customers, but then my feelings are likely colored by my feelings for you and your snotty response.
I, too, would consider an instant, demand water heater, if I were considering replacing an existing gas-fired water heater. That cost would be very much differed by saving tb's exorbitant labor cost and more than recaptured over the life of the new demand type water heater. Otherwise, I would . . . as I have quite economically previously . . . preserve the existing unit. But, I wouldn't hire tb to reinstall it.
Jim

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Until they break !!! (DUH)
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New heaters are more efficient than they were 15 years ago, so yes, they would be better and more efficient. Should you replace them? That's your call. If you keep them, drain them and change the magnesium anode rod in each one. This is the sacrificial part of a hot water heater. If you've never done this (The condition of the anode rod should be checked about every year), then I recommend you replace the heaters because more than likely the tanks have started corroding.

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