Your water heater is probably the most underestimated system in your home. Seriously – without your water heater, you don’t have any of these luxuries:
- Warm showers
- Warm baths
- Sanitized dishes
- Sanitized towels and sheets
- Hot water, period.
Given the significance of the water heater, do you actually know a good amount about it? We’re here with a couple things to keep in mind when it comes to servicing, maintaining, and replacing 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 appliance. If you aren’t sure how old your water heater is, the date the system was manufactured will be reflected in the serial number which can be found on the label on the water heater tank.
Aging water heaters are nothing to mess around with. A water heater that is a decade or older is at more risk of producing 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 increases. Make sure you have your water heater maintenance every year to prevent any leaks from causing damage to your home.
The most common failure 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 allows the pan to drain to the outside of your home and decrease the probability of water damage. All water heaters should have a functional and accessible 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 disconnect should be positioned nearby.
If a water heater is “undersized,” in particular a gas water heater, the equipment will breakdown in a shorter time span.
When a gas water heater is consistently emptied of hot water due to heavy hot water usage, the gas burner is set off more frequently which can create heavy condensation on the outside of the tank. The condensation can cause more expeditious decomposition of the steel tank. Also, the severe heat from the gas burner on the underside of the water heater tank can also cause damage to the glass lining on the inner section of the tank, which lowers the life cycle of the water heater.
Water Heater sizing is a crucial replacement issue.
The water supply cause all water heaters to be under pressure, and as water is heated, it grows creating even more pressure. When thinking about replacing a water heater, it’s typically better to go with a larger 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.