Your water heater is probably the most underrated machine in your home. Really – without your water heater, you couldn’t have any of these luxuries:
- Steamy showers
- Toasty baths
- Clean dishes
- Disinfected towels and sheets
- Hot water, period.
Given the importance of the water heater, do you really know enough about it? We’re here to provide some things to remember when it comes to servicing, maintaining, 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 are not sure how old your water heater is, the date the unit was manufactured will be reflected in the serial number which is located on the label on the water heater tank.
Older water heaters are nothing to ignore. A water heater that is ten years or older is at greater risk of springing a leak and resulting in water damage to your home. If your water heater sits in your attic or above the bottom floor, the potential for catastrophic damage increases. Be sure you have your water heater maintenance annually to prevent any leaks from causing damage to your home.
The most typical breakdown of residential water heaters that will need replacement is a leaking tank.
It is best to have your plumber install the water heater in a drain pan with piping that enables the pan to drain outside your home and minimize the potential of water damage. Each water heater should have a functional and obtainable 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 shut off should be located nearby.
If a water heater is “undersized,” particularly a gas water heater, the equipment will fail in a shorter time span.
When a gas water heater is regularly drained of hot water due to substantial hot water utilization, the gas burner fires more often which can result in heavy condensation on the exterior of the tank. The condensation can produce more rapid decomposition of the steel tank. Additionally, the severe heat from the gas burner on the bottom of the water heater tank can also cause damage to the glass lining on the inner section of the tank, which reduces the life expectancy of the water heater.
Water Heater sizing is a crucial replacement factor.
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 usually better to go with a bigger 50 gallon tank, rather than a 30 or 40 gallon tank, providing the location will fit the larger size. The bigger tank will also supply you more hot water capacity.