Your water heater is probably the most underappreciated machine in your home. Seriously – without the water heater, you wouldn’t have any of these perks:
- Warm showers
- Hot baths
- Clean dishes
- Disinfected towels and sheets
- Hot water, period.
Given the power of the water heater, do you truly know much about it? We’re here with a couple things to remember when it comes to servicing, maintaining, and replacing your water heater.
The typical 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 look into replacing the water heater. If you are not sure what age your water heater is, the date the equipment was manufactured will be shown in the serial number which you can find on the ID sticker on the water heater tank.
Aging water heaters are nothing to mess around with. A water heater that is a decade or older is at higher risk of producing a leak and causing water damage to your home. If your water heater is in your attic or above the first floor, the possibility of catastrophic damage rises. Make sure you have your water heater maintenance every year to prevent any leaks from causing damage to your home.
The most typical failure of residential water heaters that will require replacement is a leaking tank.
It is best to have your plumber install the water heater in a drain pan with piping that lets the pan to drain outside of your home and lower the probability of water damage. Each water heater 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 cut off should be located nearby.
If a water heater is “undersized,” especially a gas water heater, the system will malfunction in a shorter amount of time.
When a gas water heater is routinely emptied of hot water due to significant hot water use, the gas burner is set off more often which can create heavy condensation on the tank exterior. The condensation can result in more speedy breakdown of the steel tank. Furthermore, the extreme heat from the gas burner on the base of the water heater tank can also deteriorate the glass lining on the inside of the tank, which decreases the life expectancy of the water heater.
Water Heater sizing is a significant replacement issue.
All water heaters are under pressure from the water supply, and as water is heated, it extends creating even more pressure. When contemplating replacing a water heater, it’s typically better to go with a bigger 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.