The water heater is probably the most underrated appliance in your home. Think about it – without your water heater, you don’t have any of the following:
Given the importance of the water heater, do you actually know much 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 between ten and twelve years.
Natural gas and electric water heaters will typically last about a decade before you need to think about replacing the system. If you are not sure what age your water heater is, the date the system was manufactured will be shown in the serial number which is located on the identification tag on the water heater tank.
Aging water heaters are nothing to mess around with. A water heater that is ten years or older is at more risk of getting a leak and causing water damage to your home. If your water heater is in your attic or above the first floor, the chance of catastrophic damage increases. Always have your water heater maintenance annually to prevent any leaks from damaging 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 enables the pan to drain to the outside of your home and lower the possibility of water damage. Every water heater should have a functional 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 tank will breakdown in a shorter period of time.
When a gas water heater is regularly depleted of hot water due to heavy hot water use, the gas burner fires more frequently which can create heavy condensation on the exterior of the tank. The condensation can cause more rapid deterioration of the steel tank. Additionally, the extreme heat from the gas burner on the bottom of the water heater tank can also deteriorate the glass lining on the interior of the tank, which reduces the lifespan of the water heater.
Water Heater sizing is an important replacement consideration.
The water supply cause all water heaters to be under pressure, 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 bigger 50 gallon tank, rather than a 30 or 40 gallon tank, providing the location will accept the larger size. The larger tank will also give you more hot water capacity.
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