Things to Keep in Mind When It Comes to Your Water Heater

November 17, 2016

Your water heater is probably the most underrated appliance in your home. Seriously – without a water heater, you don’t have any of the following:

  • Warm showers
  • Toasty baths
  • Disinfected dishes
  • Disinfected towels and sheets
  • Hot water, period.

Given the significance of the water heater, do you truly know enough about it? We’re here to provide a couple things to keep in mind 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 identification tag on the water heater tank.

Older water heaters are nothing to ignore. A water heater that is 10 years or older is at greater risk of producing a leak and causing water damage to your home. If your water heater is positioned in your attic or above the ground floor, the chance of catastrophic damage increases. Make sure you have your water heater maintenance every year to avoid any leaks from causing damage to your home.

The most typical failure of residential water heaters that will need 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. All water heaters should have a functional 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 shut off should be positioned close by.

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 depleted of hot water due to substantial hot water utilization, the gas burner is set off more frequently which can create heavy condensation on the tank exterior. The condensation can result in more expeditious decomposition of the steel tank. Furthermore, the extreme 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 reduces the life cycle of the water heater.

Water Heater sizing is a significant replacement factor.

All water heaters are under pressure from the water supply, 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 larger 50 gallon tank, rather than a 30 or 40 gallon tank, as long as the location will accommodate the larger size. The 50 gallon tank will also give you more hot water capacity.

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