Your hot water heater is probably the most underappreciated system in your home. Seriously – without your water heater, you couldn’t have any of these luxuries:
- Hot showers
- Hot baths
- Sanitized dishes
- Sanitized towels and sheets
- Hot water, period.
Given the importance of the water heater, do you actually know enough about it? We’re here to provide some 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 think about replacing the water heater. If you aren’t sure about the age of your water heater, the date the system was manufactured will be reflected in the serial number which can be found on the label on the water heater tank.
Older water heaters are nothing to mess around with. A water heater that is 10 years or older is at higher risk of getting a leak and causing water damage to your home. If your water heater sits in your attic or above the bottom floor, the chance of catastrophic damage rises. Make sure you have your water heater maintenance yearly to keep any leaks from damaging your home.
The most common breakdown of residential water heaters that will entail replacement is a leaking tank.
It is best to have your installer place the water heater in a drain pan with piping that lets the pan to drain outside your home and decrease the potential of water damage. All water heaters should have a functional and accessible shut-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 close by.
If a water heater is “undersized,” particularly a gas water heater, the tank 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 frequently which can create heavy condensation on the exterior of the tank. The condensation can create more speedy breakdown of the steel tank. Additionally, the severe heat from the gas burner on the bottom of the water heater tank can also cause damage to the glass lining on the inner section of the tank, which lowers the life expectancy of the water heater.
Water Heater sizing is a crucial replacement consideration.
All water heaters are under pressure from the water supply, and as water is heated, it extends 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, presuming the location will fit the larger size. The larger tank will also supply you more hot water capacity.