Your water heater is probably the most underestimated appliance in your home. Seriously – without your water heater, you wouldn’t have any of these perks:
- Hot showers
- Hot baths
- Disinfected dishes
- Clean towels and sheets
- Hot water, period.
Given the importance of the water heater, do you truly know a good amount about it? We’re here with a few things to think about when it comes to maintaining, servicing, and replacing your water heater.
The average lifespan of residential water heaters is about ten to twelve years.
Natural gas and electric water heaters will commonly last about a decade before you need to think about replacing the system. If you aren’t sure what age your water heater is, the date the unit was manufactured will be displayed in the serial number which you can find on the ID sticker on the water heater tank.
Aging water heaters are nothing to ignore. A water heater that is a decade or older is at more risk of springing a leak and leading to water damage to your home. If your water heater is positioned in your attic or above the bottom floor, the possibility of catastrophic damage increases. Always have your water heater maintenance yearly to keep any leaks from creating damage in your home.
The most common malfunction of residential water heaters that will entail replacement is a leaking tank.
It is highly recommended to have your installer place the water heater in a drain pan with piping that lets the pan to drain to the outside of your home and minimize the possibility of water damage. All water heaters should have a working 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 cut off should be positioned within reach.
If a water heater is “undersized,” especially a gas water heater, the tank will fail in a shorter amount of time.
When a gas water heater is routinely drained of hot water due to substantial hot water usage, the gas burner fires repeatedly which can create heavy condensation on the tank exterior. The condensation can create more rapid deterioration of the steel tank. Furthermore, the exceptional heat from the gas burner on the bottom of the water heater tank can also cause damage to the glass lining on the interior of the tank, which lowers the life cycle of the water heater.
Water Heater sizing is an important replacement consideration.
The water supply cause all water heaters to be under pressure, and as water is heated, it grows creating even more pressure. When considering replacement of a water heater, it’s usually better to go with a bigger 50 gallon tank, rather than a 30 or 40 gallon tank, presuming the location will accept the larger size. The 50 gallon tank will also supply you more hot water capacity.