Your hot water heater is probably the most underrated system in your home. Seriously – without the water heater, you wouldn’t have any of the following:
- Steamy showers
- Hot baths
- Clean dishes
- Disinfected towels and sheets
- Hot water, period.
Given the importance of the water heater, do you truly know a good amount about it? We’re here to provide a few things to remember 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 are not sure about the age of your water heater, the date the system was manufactured will be displayed in the serial number which you can find on the label on the water heater tank.
Older water heaters are nothing to take lightly. 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 possibility of catastrophic damage increases. 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 outside your home and lower the potential of water damage. All water heaters should have a functional 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 close by.
If a water heater is “undersized,” especially a gas water heater, the tank will malfunction in a shorter time span.
When a gas water heater is routinely depleted of hot water due to substantial hot water usage, 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 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 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 accommodate the larger size. The bigger tank will also give you more hot water capacity.