Your hot water heater is probably the most underappreciated system in your home. Really – without the water heater, you wouldn’t have any of these luxuries:
- Steamy showers
- Hot baths
- Disinfected dishes
- Sanitized towels and sheets
- Hot water, period.
Given the importance of the water heater, do you really know a good amount about it? We’re here with a couple things to think about when it comes to servicing, maintaining, and replacing your water heater.
The usual 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 think about replacing the appliance. If you aren’t sure what age your water heater is, the date the equipment was manufactured will be displayed in the serial number which is located on the ID sticker 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 springing a leak and resulting in water damage to your home. If your water heater is positioned in your attic or above the ground floor, the potential for catastrophic damage rises. Be sure you have your water heater maintenance every year to keep any leaks from causing damage to your home.
The most usual malfunction of residential water heaters that will entail replacement is a leaking tank.
It is best to have your plumber install the water heater in a drain pan with piping that allows the pan to drain outside your home and decrease the possibility of water damage. All water heaters should have a working and accessible cut-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 located close by.
If a water heater is “undersized,” particularly 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 usage, the gas burner discharges repeatedly which can create heavy condensation on the exterior of the tank. The condensation can cause more speedy decomposition of the steel tank. Additionally, the exceptional heat from the gas burner on the underside of the water heater tank can also take its toll on the glass lining on the inside of the tank, which lowers the life cycle of the water heater.
Water Heater sizing is an important 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 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 bigger tank will also give you more hot water capacity.