Hybrid water heaters are a newer option, and they can cost considerably more than some other water heater options. It makes sense that you’d want to know how long a hybrid water heater you purchase will last, so you know how long your original investment in the unit will last.

How Long Will a Hybrid Water Heater Last?

Hybrid water heaters may last ten years or longer without needing replacement. Many manufacturers offer a ten-year warranty on their hybrid water heaters, which is four years longer than the standard warranty on other water heater types (six years.) Your hybrid water heater will last longer if you keep it in good condition.

Of course, the quality of the original design is just as important in making your hybrid water heater last as long as possible. We recommend the AeroTherm® Series from manufacturer Bradford White. These are well-designed units with simple parts that work well in tandem. The residential models have anode rods to extend the life of the tank portion of the heater. They also have other features that make servicing and maintain the equipment easy, including low restrictive brass drain valves. The unit can even be laid down, making transport easier on the machine and the technician.

How Do Hybrid Water Heaters Fail?

Without proper maintenance, you hybrid water heater is vulnerable to a few different methods of failure. As they include both a heat pump based system and an electric heating system, they are redundant to failure and can often still produce some hot water in the event one system or the other has a failure. That said, some modes of failure to watch out for include:

  • Tank corrosion: Hybrid water heaters do have a tank portion for the electrical heating back-up system. They always maintain hot water in the tank, and, like other tank-based water heaters, they can corrode or sediment can cause issues. A corroded tank cannot be replaced, so this is a cause of failure. It is especially important to have and replace the anode rod in the tank for this reason, and to flush sediment regularly.
  • Heating element/electrical issues: The heating element portion of the hybrid water heater is made of sensitive components, some of which are expensive to replace, especially the heating element. While sometimes you can fix lose contacts or other electrical issues, over a long enough time the electrical system on your hybrid water heater is likely to be a cause of failure.
  • Compressor damage: The compressor is another important part of the hybrid water heater. This one belongs to the heat pump portion. If a compressor is damaged, particularly through issues that could be fixed by maintenance, such as overfull filters which restrict air, then the water heater will fail overall. It is expensive to replace compressors.

Keep Up with Hybrid Water Heater Maintenance

All of these causes of hybrid water heater failure have one thing in common: they can be significantly delayed with proper maintenance. Keep your hybrid water heater in good order and it may last well past ten years.

Here’s my personal promise to you: When you call or schedule an on-site estimate, there will be no pressure. No obligation. We will not sell you a water heater you don’t need or want.

Thanks for letting us be your trusted plumber.

Phil Barnett
President of Barnett Plumbing & Water Heaters