The water heater is probably the most underrated appliance in your home. Think about it – without your water heater, you don’t have any of the following:
Given the importance of the water heater, do you really know much about it? We’re here to give you some things to think about when it comes to maintaining, servicing, and replacing your water heater.
The typical lifespan of residential water heaters is 10-12 years.
Natural gas and electric water heaters will commonly last about a decade before you need to consider replacing the appliance. If you are unsure about the age of your water heater, the date the system was manufactured will be reflected in the serial number which is located on the identification tag on the water heater tank.
Aging water heaters are nothing to mess around with. A water heater that is ten years or older is at greater risk of getting a leak and causing water damage to your home. If your water heater is in your attic or above the first floor, the chance of catastrophic damage increases. Always have your water heater maintenance annually to keep any leaks from damaging your home.
The most common malfunction of residential water heaters that will need replacement is a leaking tank.
It is highly recommended to have your plumber install the water heater in a drain pan with piping that enables the pan to drain to the outside of your home and minimize the probability of water damage. Every water heater should have a operational 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 disconnect should be located within reach.
If a water heater is “undersized,” especially a gas water heater, the tank will breakdown in a shorter period of time.
When a gas water heater is regularly depleted of hot water due to significant hot water usage, the gas burner fires more frequently which can create heavy condensation on the outside of the tank. The condensation can cause more rapid deterioration of the steel tank. Additionally, the exceptional heat from the gas burner on the bottom of the water heater tank can also take its toll on the glass lining on the interior of the tank, which reduces the lifespan of the water heater.
Water Heater sizing is an important replacement consideration.
All water heaters are under pressure from the water supply, and as water is heated, it expands creating even more pressure. When contemplating replacing a water heater, it’s generally better to go with a larger 50 gallon tank, rather than a 30 or 40 gallon tank, providing the location will accommodate the larger size. The larger tank will also give you more hot water capacity.
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