The water heater is probably the most underappreciated system in your home. Seriously – without your water heater, you don’t have any of these luxuries:
- Steamy showers
- Hot baths
- Clean dishes
- Sanitized towels and sheets
- Hot water, period.
Given the importance of the water heater, do you truly know much about it? We’re here to provide a couple 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 typically last about a decade before you need to consider replacing the water heater. If you are unsure about the age of your water heater, the date the equipment was manufactured will be displayed in the serial number which you can find 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 more risk of producing a leak and resulting in water damage to your home. If your water heater sits in your attic or above the ground floor, the chance of catastrophic damage rises. Make sure you have your water heater maintenance yearly to avoid any leaks from causing damage to your home.
The most usual breakdown of residential water heaters that will require replacement is a leaking tank.
It is highly recommended to have your plumber install the water heater in a drain pan with piping that lets the pan to drain outside your home and minimize the potential of water damage. Each water heater should have a functional and accessible 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 located close by.
If a water heater is “undersized,” especially a gas water heater, the tank will breakdown in a shorter time span.
When a gas water heater is consistently emptied of hot water due to substantial hot water usage, the gas burner discharges more frequently which can produce heavy condensation on the tank exterior. The condensation can create more speedy decomposition of the steel tank. Also, the exceptional heat from the gas burner on the underside of the water heater tank can also cause damage to the glass lining on the interior of the tank, which decreases the lifespan of the water heater.
Water Heater sizing is a significant replacement consideration.
The water supply creates pressure for all water heaters, and as water is heated, it grows creating even more pressure. When considering replacement of a water heater, it’s typically better to go with a larger 50 gallon tank, rather than a 30 or 40 gallon tank, providing the location will accept the larger size. The larger tank will also provide you more hot water capacity.