Your hot water heater is probably the most underestimated appliance in your home. Think about it – without your water heater, you don’t have any of these perks:
- Steamy showers
- Warm baths
- Sanitized dishes
- Clean towels and sheets
- Hot water, period.
Given the importance of the water heater, do you really know much 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 between ten and twelve years.
Natural gas and electric water heaters will usually last about a decade before you need to think about replacing the system. If you aren’t sure how old your water heater is, the date the unit was manufactured will be shown in the serial number which can be found on the identification tag on the water heater tank.
Aging water heaters are nothing to mess around with. A water heater that is 10 years or older is at higher risk of springing a leak and leading to water damage to your home. If your water heater sits in your attic or above the bottom floor, the possibility of catastrophic damage rises. Always have your water heater maintenance every year to avoid any leaks from causing damage to your home.
The most typical breakdown of residential water heaters that will require 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 of your home and minimize the possibility of water damage. Each water heater should have a working and accessible 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 disconnect should be placed close by.
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 regularly depleted of hot water due to significant hot water usage, the gas burner discharges more frequently which can produce heavy condensation on the outside of the tank. The condensation can create more rapid deterioration of the steel tank. Also, the severe heat from the gas burner on the base of the water heater tank can also cause damage to the glass lining on the inside of the tank, which decreases the life expectancy of the water heater.
Water Heater sizing is an essential replacement issue.
The water supply creates pressure for all water heaters, 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, as long as the location will accommodate the larger size. The bigger tank will also give you more hot water capacity.