The water heater is probably the most underappreciated system in your home. Seriously – without a 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 importance 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 10-12 years.
Natural gas and electric water heaters will typically last about a decade before you need to look into replacing the appliance. If you are not 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 label on the water heater tank.
Older water heaters are nothing to ignore. A water heater that is 10 years or older is at more risk of springing 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 rises. Make sure you have your water heater maintenance yearly to prevent 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 a good idea 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. All water heaters should have a functional 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 period of time.
When a gas water heater is regularly emptied of hot water due to heavy hot water usage, the gas burner discharges 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 severe heat from the gas burner on the base of the water heater tank can also cause damage to the glass lining on the interior of the tank, which decreases the life cycle of the water heater.
Water Heater sizing is a crucial replacement factor.
The water supply creates pressure for all water heaters, and as water is heated, it expands creating even more pressure. When considering replacement of a water heater, it’s generally better to go with a sizable 50 gallon tank, rather than a 30 or 40 gallon tank, presuming the location will accommodate the larger size. The 50 gallon tank will also give you more hot water capacity.