The water heater is probably the most underappreciated appliance in your home. Think about it – without your water heater, you couldn’t have any of the following:
- Hot showers
- Hot baths
- Clean dishes
- Sanitized towels and sheets
- Hot water, period.
Given the importance of the water heater, do you actually know much about it? We’re here to provide a few things to keep in mind when it comes to replacing, maintaining, and servicing your water heater.
The usual lifespan of residential water heaters is between ten and twelve years.
Natural gas and electric water heaters will typically last about a decade before you need to consider replacing the water heater. If you aren’t sure how old your water heater is, the date the equipment was manufactured will be reflected in the serial number which is located on the label on the water heater tank.
Older water heaters are nothing to mess around with. A water heater that is ten years or older is at higher risk of getting a leak and resulting in water damage to your home. If your water heater sits in your attic or above the bottom floor, the chance of catastrophic damage rises. Be sure you have your water heater maintenance yearly to keep any leaks from damaging your home.
The most typical breakdown of residential water heaters that will entail replacement is a leaking tank.
It is best to have your plumber install the water heater in a drain pan with piping that allows the pan to drain outside your home and decrease the potential of water damage. Every water heater should have a functional and accessible cut-off valve on the inlet water supply to the tank, and a ball-type valve on the gas supply. For electric water heaters, an electrical switch off should be positioned nearby.
If a water heater is “undersized,” especially a gas water heater, the system will breakdown in a shorter period of time.
When a gas water heater is consistently emptied of hot water due to heavy hot water use, the gas burner fires more often which can produce heavy condensation on the exterior of the tank. The condensation can create more speedy deterioration of the steel tank. Additionally, the severe heat from the gas burner on the bottom of the water heater tank can also take its toll on the glass lining on the inner section of the tank, which reduces the life expectancy of the water heater.
Water Heater sizing is a significant replacement factor.
The water supply cause all water heaters to be under pressure, and as water is heated, it expands creating even more pressure. When thinking about replacing a water heater, it’s usually better to go with a larger 50 gallon tank, rather than a 30 or 40 gallon tank, providing the location will fit the larger size. The bigger tank will also supply you more hot water capacity.