Your water heater is probably the most underestimated appliance in your home. Think about it – without a water heater, you wouldn’t have any of the following:
- Hot showers
- Toasty baths
- Disinfected dishes
- Disinfected towels and sheets
- Hot water, period.
Given the significance of the water heater, do you really know much about it? We’re here to provide a couple things to remember when it comes to replacing, maintaining, and servicing your water heater.
The usual lifespan of residential water heaters is 10-12 years.
Natural gas and electric water heaters will usually last about a decade before you need to look into replacing the water heater. If you are not sure what age your water heater is, the date the unit was manufactured will be shown in the serial number which can be found on the label on the water heater tank.
Aging water heaters are nothing to ignore. A water heater that is ten years or older is at greater risk of producing a leak and resulting in water damage to your home. If your water heater is positioned in your attic or above the first floor, the chance of catastrophic damage increases. Be sure you have your water heater maintenance every year to prevent any leaks from damaging your home.
The most common malfunction of residential water heaters that will require replacement is a leaking tank.
It is a good idea 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 potential of water damage. Every water heater should have a working and reachable turn-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 cut off should be positioned nearby.
If a water heater is “undersized,” especially a gas water heater, the equipment will fail in a shorter time span.
When a gas water heater is routinely drained of hot water due to substantial hot water utilization, the gas burner is set off more often which can create heavy condensation on the outside of the tank. The condensation can create more expeditious decomposition of the steel tank. Additionally, the severe heat from the gas burner on the underside of the water heater tank can also cause damage to the glass lining on the interior of the tank, which lowers the life cycle of the water heater.
Water Heater sizing is a crucial replacement factor.
The water supply cause all water heaters to be under pressure, and as water is heated, it grows creating even more pressure. When contemplating replacing a water heater, it’s usually better to go with a bigger 50 gallon tank, rather than a 30 or 40 gallon tank, as long as the location will accept the larger size. The 50 gallon tank will also give you more hot water capacity.