Your hot water heater is probably the most underappreciated system in your home. Really – without a water heater, you don’t have any of the following:
- Steamy showers
- Toasty baths
- Sanitized dishes
- Clean towels and sheets
- Hot water, period.
Given the importance of the water heater, do you truly know enough about it? We’re here with some things to keep in mind 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 usually last about a decade before you need to consider replacing the appliance. 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 you can find 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 higher risk of springing a leak and causing water damage to your home. If your water heater sits in your attic or above the ground floor, the possibility of catastrophic damage rises. Always have your water heater maintenance annually to prevent any leaks from creating damage in your home.
The most usual malfunction of residential water heaters that will entail 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 decrease the possibility of water damage. Every water heater 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 switch off should be placed close by.
If a water heater is “undersized,” in particular a gas water heater, the system will breakdown in a shorter period of time.
When a gas water heater is routinely drained of hot water due to heavy hot water utilization, the gas burner discharges more frequently which can create heavy condensation on the outside of the tank. The condensation can produce more speedy breakdown of the steel tank. Also, the extreme 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 lifespan of the water heater.
Water Heater sizing is an important replacement consideration.
The water supply creates pressure for all water heaters, and as water is heated, it extends creating even more pressure. When thinking about replacing a water heater, it’s generally better to go with a sizable 50 gallon tank, rather than a 30 or 40 gallon tank, presuming the location will accommodate the larger size. The 50 gallon tank will also give you more hot water capacity.