Does a 9 year electric water heater last longer then a 6 yr?

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Does a 9 year electric water heater last longer then a 6 yr? Is it worth the extra $? And does the same apply to a 12 yr?

Nobody knows how long they’ll last. I’ve had a brand new “9 year” water heater go out in 10 months, and a “6 year” water heater still going strong after well over 10 years. The number of years just refers to the warranty. The water heaters are all pretty much the same. So when you go from a 6 year to a 9 year, you’re really just paying a premium for a longer warranty, not a better water heater. 

If I recall correctly 9 and 12 years have essentially same plumbing Copper thickness. The difference is warranty on some models. Also water heater life is controlled by maintenance, usage, thermocouple, piezo quality.  There is maintenance involved although 95% people do not bother with it.


Usually the 9/12yr tanks have more insulation. I don’t think it makes them last any longer, but does make them a bit more cost worthwhile. For rentals, I usually get the 6yr. *shrugs*

here is the deal.  longer warrantied tanks include a thicker diameter Anode rod.  

Most people don't know this, but the anode is a wear item.  it's a sacrificial metal rod that corrodes easier than the tank (by design), so that the tank itself remains rust free.

so some tanks come with 5/8 OD diameter rods, others with 3/4 and I believe 1".

I change them out every 4-5 years, they cost 10-20 bucks... 

I have a 2006 tank which is spotless inside because I keep up with draining it every few years and rod maintenance.

https://www.amazon.com/Camco-11582-Aluminum-Anode-...

Bottom line is, you can even buy a used tank or lowest warranty tank, put a thick rod it in and run that thing for over a decade.