Your hot water heater is probably the most underestimated appliance in your home. Seriously – without the water heater, you don’t have any of these luxuries:
- Steamy showers
- Hot baths
- Sanitized dishes
- Disinfected towels and sheets
- Hot water, period.
Given the significance of the water heater, do you really know a good amount 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 average lifespan of residential water heaters is 10-12 years.
Natural gas and electric water heaters will typically last about a decade before you need to look into replacing the system. If you aren’t sure about the age of your water heater, the date the equipment was manufactured will be reflected in the serial number which you can find on the label on the water heater tank.
Older water heaters are nothing to mess around with. A water heater that is a decade or older is at greater risk of producing a leak and leading to water damage to your home. If your water heater is positioned in your attic or above the bottom floor, the potential for catastrophic damage rises. Always have your water heater maintenance annually to prevent any leaks from damaging your home.
The most common breakdown of residential water heaters that will entail replacement is a leaking tank.
It is a good idea to have your plumbing expert install the water heater in a drain pan with piping that enables the pan to drain to the outside of your home and lower the possibility of water damage. All water heaters should have a working and reachable 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 shut off should be placed nearby.
If a water heater is “undersized,” particularly a gas water heater, the tank will fail in a shorter time span.
When a gas water heater is routinely drained of hot water due to substantial hot water use, the gas burner is set off more often which can produce heavy condensation on the outside of the tank. The condensation can cause more expeditious breakdown of the steel tank. Also, 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 interior of the tank, which reduces the life cycle 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 expands creating even more pressure. When considering replacement of a water heater, it’s usually better to go with a sizable 50 gallon tank, rather than a 30 or 40 gallon tank, as long as the location will accept the larger size. The larger tank will also supply you more hot water capacity.