The water heater is probably the most underestimated appliance in your home. Seriously – without the water heater, you couldn’t have any of the following:
- Hot showers
- Warm baths
- Clean dishes
- Sanitized 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 with some things to think about when it comes to servicing, maintaining, and replacing your water heater.
The usual lifespan of residential water heaters is 10-12 years.
Natural gas and electric water heaters will commonly 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 can be found on the label on the water heater tank.
Aging water heaters are nothing to mess around with. A water heater that is 10 years or older is at higher risk of getting a leak and leading to water damage to your home. If your water heater is in your attic or above the ground floor, the possibility of catastrophic damage increases. Make sure you have your water heater maintenance yearly to keep any leaks from creating damage in your home.
The most usual breakdown 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 enables the pan to drain outside of your home and decrease the probability of water damage. Every water heater should have a operational and accessible 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 disconnect should be positioned nearby.
If a water heater is “undersized,” particularly a gas water heater, the tank will fail in a shorter amount of time.
When a gas water heater is consistently emptied of hot water due to significant hot water usage, the gas burner discharges repeatedly which can produce heavy condensation on the exterior of the tank. The condensation can produce more expeditious deterioration 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 interior of the tank, which reduces the life expectancy of the water heater.
Water Heater sizing is a significant replacement factor.
All water heaters are under pressure from the water supply, 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 sizable 50 gallon tank, rather than a 30 or 40 gallon tank, as long as the location will accept the larger size. The bigger tank will also supply you more hot water capacity.