Your hot water heater is probably the most underrated machine in your home. Think about it – without your water heater, you don’t have any of the following:
- Warm showers
- Warm baths
- Sanitized dishes
- Sanitized towels and sheets
- Hot water, period.
Given the importance of the water heater, do you actually know a good amount about it? We’re here to give you a few things to keep in mind when it comes to replacing, maintaining, and servicing 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 consider replacing the system. If you are not sure how old your water heater is, the date the equipment was manufactured will be reflected in the serial number which is located on the label on the water heater tank.
Maturing water heaters are nothing to take lightly. A water heater that is 10 years or older is at more risk of springing a leak and resulting in water damage to your home. If your water heater is in your attic or above the first floor, the possibility of catastrophic damage increases. Make sure you have your water heater maintenance yearly to keep any leaks from causing damage to your home.
The most common breakdown of residential water heaters that will require 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 allows the pan to drain outside of your home and lower the possibility of water damage. All water heaters should have a functional and reachable 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 positioned close by.
If a water heater is “undersized,” in particular a gas water heater, the system will fail in a shorter period of time.
When a gas water heater is routinely emptied of hot water due to significant hot water utilization, the gas burner fires more frequently which can result in heavy condensation on the tank exterior. The condensation can create more speedy deterioration of the steel tank. Additionally, the extreme 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 lifespan of the water heater.
Water Heater sizing is an essential replacement issue.
The water supply cause all water heaters to be under pressure, and as water is heated, it expands creating even more pressure. When contemplating replacing a water heater, it’s usually better to go with a bigger 50 gallon tank, rather than a 30 or 40 gallon tank, providing the location will accommodate the larger size. The larger tank will also give you more hot water capacity.