Tuckers Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing Blog

The 6-Year vs. the 10-Year Water Heater


When it comes to choosing a water heater for a new installation in a home, there isn’t a straightforward answer about which kind is better. It’s different for every home and household. This is why it’s important to always have water heater professionals involved from the beginning: don’t purchase the water heater first and then ask someone to install it! Getting the right system is critical for ensuring the system lasts you for many years, won’t waste energy, and can meet your household’s hot water demands.

In this post we want to draw attention to the difference between a 6-year water heater and a 10-year water heater. This is a common choice people have to make when it comes to storage tank water heaters, and understanding what makes them different will make the choice easier.

The Difference Is the Anode Rod

A 6-year water heater means the water heater has a 6-year warranty, and a 10-year water heater has a 10-year warranty. What makes them different? Why would one water heater have a lengthier warranty than the other and cost more to install upfront?

What’s different between the two is the 10-year water heater comes with an anode rod. The anode rod is a steel core wire with a different metal wrapped around the steel, usually magnesium, aluminum, or zinc. The purpose of the anode rod is to prevent corrosion from affecting the tank. It does this by essentially “sacrificing” itself to corrosion—it draws the corrosive effects to it rather than to the tank. This is why the anode rod is sometimes called the “sacrificial anode rod.” Yes, it sounds noble, but it’s a natural result of combining the two different metals in the rod. Eventually, the rod will corrode through completely, which will allow corrosion to begin to affect the tank. The rod needs to be replaced every few years when this happens.

So getting an anode rod along with your water heater increases the water heater warranty by four years. In most situations, we think this is worth it.

Proper Water Heater Care

Here is something that’s important to stress when it comes to the longevity of a water heater: any water heater must have professional regular maintenance for it to reach its manufacturer’s estimated lifespan. You can purchase a 6-year water heater and have it run for eight years or more if you take proper care of it with routine maintenance from professionals. You could purchase a 10-year water heater and have it fail in only five years because the anode rod wasn’t changed out during regular maintenance. Numerous other parts can fail in a water heater that isn’t routinely flushed and cleaned and given other standard tune-ups and inspections as part of maintenance.

You can trust us for water heater service in Gaithersburg, MD. We install the top new units and handle repairs and maintenance. We’ll not only help you find the right new water heater, we’ll see that it gives you many years of service.

Schedule water heater installation and maintenance with Tuckers Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing. We pledge to exceed expectations at every turn.