The water heater is probably the most underappreciated 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 actually know a good amount about it? We’re here to give you a few things to keep in mind when it comes to servicing, maintaining, and replacing your water heater.
The typical 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 water heater. If you aren’t sure about the age of your water heater, the date the system was manufactured will be reflected in the serial number which you can find on the label on the water heater tank.
Maturing water heaters are nothing to mess around with. A water heater that is a decade or older is at higher risk of springing a leak and leading to 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 every year to keep any leaks from causing damage to your home.
The most typical failure of residential water heaters that will entail replacement is a leaking tank.
It is highly recommended to have your plumbing expert 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. Each water heater should have a working 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 shut off should be positioned close by.
If a water heater is “undersized,” especially a gas water heater, the system will malfunction in a shorter time span.
When a gas water heater is regularly depleted of hot water due to significant hot water use, the gas burner is set off repeatedly which can result in heavy condensation on the tank exterior. The condensation can produce more rapid deterioration of the steel tank. Also, the exceptional heat from the gas burner on the base of the water heater tank can also deteriorate the glass lining on the interior of the tank, which lowers the life expectancy of the water heater.
Water Heater sizing is an important replacement factor.
The water supply creates pressure for all water heaters, and as water is heated, it expands creating even more pressure. When contemplating replacing a water heater, it’s typically better to go with a sizable 50 gallon tank, rather than a 30 or 40 gallon tank, as long as the location will accept the larger size. The 50 gallon tank will also give you more hot water capacity.