Your hot water heater is probably the most underestimated machine in your home. Really – without your water heater, you wouldn’t have any of the following:
- Steamy showers
- Warm baths
- Sanitized dishes
- Clean towels and sheets
- Hot water, period.
Given the significance of the water heater, do you really know enough 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 typical lifespan of residential water heaters is between ten and twelve years.
Natural gas and electric water heaters will usually last about a decade before you need to look into replacing the system. If you aren’t sure what age your water heater is, the date the equipment was manufactured will be reflected in the serial number which you can find on the identification tag on the water heater tank.
Aging water heaters are nothing to ignore. A water heater that is 10 years or older is at more risk of springing a leak and causing water damage to your home. If your water heater is in your attic or above the bottom floor, the potential for 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 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 to the outside of your home and minimize the possibility of water damage. Every water heater should have a working and obtainable 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 disconnect should be located nearby.
If a water heater is “undersized,” in particular a gas water heater, the equipment will malfunction in a shorter period of time.
When a gas water heater is routinely depleted of hot water due to substantial hot water use, the gas burner is set off more often which can result in heavy condensation on the outside of the tank. The condensation can result in more expeditious breakdown of the steel tank. Additionally, the severe heat from the gas burner on the bottom of the water heater tank can also take its toll on the glass lining on the inner section of the tank, which reduces the lifespan 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 grows creating even more pressure. When considering replacement of 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 fit the larger size. The bigger tank will also supply you more hot water capacity.