Water heaters are built to last, and commercial water heaters doubly so. These are systems that are expected to serve possibly hundreds of people a day, up to seven days a week, all year-round. That’s a tall order for any system to cope with. Hopefully, you’ve been scheduling regular maintenance to keep your water heater in good shape and calling for repairs when necessary. No matter how well you take care of your system, though, it’s not going to last forever.

Eventually, your commercial water heater is going to reach a point where it needs to be replaced. When that happens, you should know the signs so that you can have a new system installed before the old one gives out. The following are some of the more common signs that your commercial water heater is at the end of its life.

Chronic Difficulty Meeting Demand

Depending on the size of the water heater you’re using, and the number of people on average making use of it at once, you’re very unlikely to exhaust its hot water supply without putting an extraordinary amount of demand on it. You should start to become concerned, however, if the system beings having difficulty meeting normal demand. Failing water heater output is often the result of wear and tear on the system over years of use, causing it to lose efficiency over time until it starts to become noticeable. There is nothing to be done about wear and tear this advanced, aside from replacing the entire system.

Frequent Breakdowns

Commercial water heaters are put under a lot of stress, and as such it’s not unusual for them to break down every once in a while. If you need to repair your water heater more than once every few years, though, you might have a bigger problem. As a water heater ages, more and more of the parts inside it will start to succumb to age. The closer the system is to breaking down permanently, the more repairs it’s going to need during the course of a year. If your water heater is breaking down this often, you should really consult with a professional about replacing it. You’re spending a lot of money keeping your current water heater up and running, instead of saving money by installing a new system that won’t need to be repaired for a while.

Old Age

The lifespan of the average water heater is 10-15 years. That will vary slightly depending on individual circumstances, but can be expected to stay somewhere within that range. If your water heater is older than 15 years, you should consider replacing it with a new one. Older water heaters are more likely to develop issues of various kinds, less energy efficient, and all-around more costly to maintain than younger systems. Better to install a new system now than to continue propping up an old one that isn’t doing the job well enough anymore.