Your hot water heater is probably the most underappreciated appliance in your home. Think about it – without the water heater, you don’t have any of these perks:
- Warm showers
- Toasty 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 to give you a few things to keep in mind when it comes to maintaining, servicing, and replacing your water heater.
The average lifespan of residential water heaters is about ten to twelve years.
Natural gas and electric water heaters will typically 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 system 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 higher risk of getting 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 possibility of catastrophic damage increases. Always have your water heater maintenance every year to avoid any leaks from damaging your home.
The most usual malfunction 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 your home and decrease the possibility of water damage. Each water heater should have a operational 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 placed nearby.
If a water heater is “undersized,” especially a gas water heater, the equipment will fail in a shorter amount of time.
When a gas water heater is regularly emptied of hot water due to heavy hot water usage, the gas burner is set off repeatedly which can produce heavy condensation on the tank exterior. The condensation can result in more rapid decomposition of the steel tank. Also, the extreme heat from the gas burner on the base of the water heater tank can also cause damage to the glass lining on the inner section of the tank, which reduces the lifespan of the water heater.
Water Heater sizing is a significant replacement factor.
The water supply creates pressure for all water heaters, and as water is heated, it expands creating even more pressure. When considering replacement of a water heater, it’s typically better to go with a bigger 50 gallon tank, rather than a 30 or 40 gallon tank, as long as the location will fit the larger size. The bigger tank will also provide you more hot water capacity.