Your hot water heater is probably the most underestimated machine in your home. Think about it – without the water heater, you don’t have any of the following:
- Steamy showers
- Toasty baths
- Disinfected dishes
- Disinfected towels and sheets
- Hot water, period.
Given the significance of the water heater, do you truly know enough about it? We’re here with some things to keep in mind when it comes to servicing, maintaining, 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 usually last about a decade before you need to think about replacing the appliance. If you are unsure how old your water heater is, the date the system 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 take lightly. A water heater that is ten years or older is at more risk of getting a leak and resulting in water damage to your home. If your water heater sits in your attic or above the ground floor, the potential for catastrophic damage rises. Be sure you have your water heater maintenance yearly to avoid any leaks from damaging your home.
The most common failure of residential water heaters that will entail replacement is a leaking tank.
It is highly recommended to have your installer place the water heater in a drain pan with piping that allows the pan to drain to the outside of your home and lower the potential of water damage. Each water heater should have a working and reachable 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 switch off 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 substantial hot water use, the gas burner is set off more often which can produce heavy condensation on the tank exterior. The condensation can result in more expeditious breakdown of the steel tank. Also, the severe heat from the gas burner on the underside of the water heater tank can also take its toll on the glass lining on the inner section of the tank, which reduces the life expectancy of the water heater.
Water Heater sizing is an essential replacement factor.
All water heaters are under pressure from the water supply, and as water is heated, it extends creating even more pressure. When considering replacement of a water heater, it’s usually better to go with a bigger 50 gallon tank, rather than a 30 or 40 gallon tank, as long as the location will accommodate the larger size. The 50 gallon tank will also provide you more hot water capacity.