Your water heater is probably the most underestimated system in your home. Think about it – without a water heater, you don’t have any of these perks:
- Warm showers
- Warm 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 to give you some things to think about when it comes to servicing, maintaining, 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 consider replacing the appliance. If you aren’t sure what age your water heater is, the date the unit was manufactured will be reflected 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 producing 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 rises. Always have your water heater maintenance annually 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 allows the pan to drain to the outside of your home and minimize the potential of water damage. Each water heater should have a functional and accessible shut-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,” particularly a gas water heater, the tank will malfunction in a shorter amount of time.
When a gas water heater is routinely drained of hot water due to heavy hot water usage, the gas burner discharges repeatedly which can produce heavy condensation on the outside of the tank. The condensation can result in more rapid deterioration of the steel tank. Additionally, the exceptional heat from the gas burner on the base of the water heater tank can also take its toll on 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 accommodate the larger size. The 50 gallon tank will also give you more hot water capacity.