Your hot water heater is probably the most underappreciated system in your home. Think about it – without your water heater, you couldn’t have any of the following:
- Steamy showers
- Warm baths
- Disinfected dishes
- Disinfected towels and sheets
- Hot water, period.
Given the significance of the water heater, do you really know enough about it? We’re here to give you a few things to remember when it comes to servicing, maintaining, and replacing your water heater.
The usual 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 look into replacing the system. If you aren’t sure about the age of your water heater, the date the unit was manufactured will be displayed in the serial number which you can find on the identification tag 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 is in your attic or above the bottom floor, the potential for catastrophic damage increases. Make sure you have your water heater maintenance yearly to avoid any leaks from creating damage in your home.
The most usual failure of residential water heaters that will entail replacement is a leaking tank.
It is best 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 lower the probability of water damage. Every water heater should have a working and accessible turn-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,” in particular a gas water heater, the tank will breakdown in a shorter amount of time.
When a gas water heater is regularly emptied of hot water due to substantial hot water usage, the gas burner fires repeatedly which can result in heavy condensation on the exterior of the tank. The condensation can produce more speedy decomposition of the steel tank. Furthermore, the extreme heat from the gas burner on the base of the water heater tank can also take its toll on the glass lining on the inside of the tank, which decreases the life cycle 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 extends creating even more pressure. When considering replacement of a water heater, it’s typically better to go with a sizable 50 gallon tank, rather than a 30 or 40 gallon tank, providing the location will accept the larger size. The 50 gallon tank will also supply you more hot water capacity.