Your water heater is probably the most underappreciated machine in your home. Think about it – without the water heater, you wouldn’t have any of these perks:
- Hot showers
- Warm 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 to give you a couple things to remember when it comes to maintaining, servicing, and replacing your water heater.
The average lifespan of residential water heaters is between ten and twelve 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 aren’t 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.
Older 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 resulting in water damage to your home. If your water heater sits in your attic or above the first floor, the potential for catastrophic damage rises. Be sure you have your water heater maintenance every year to prevent any leaks from damaging your home.
The most typical malfunction 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 reachable 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 shut off should be positioned close by.
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 frequently which can create heavy condensation on the outside of the tank. The condensation can create more speedy deterioration of the steel tank. Additionally, the extreme heat from the gas burner on the base of the water heater tank can also deteriorate the glass lining on the interior of the tank, which decreases the lifespan of the water heater.
Water Heater sizing is a crucial 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 larger 50 gallon tank, rather than a 30 or 40 gallon tank, as long as the location will accommodate the larger size. The 50 gallon tank will also supply you more hot water capacity.