The water heater is probably the most underrated appliance in your home. Think about it – without your water heater, you don’t have any of the following:
Given the importance of the water heater, do you actually know much about it? We’re here to give you a few things to remember when it comes to maintaining, servicing, and replacing your water heater.
The typical 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 consider replacing the water heater. If you are not sure about the age of your water heater, the date the system was manufactured will be shown in the serial number which is located on the identification tag on the water heater tank.
Aging water heaters are nothing to mess around with. A water heater that is ten years or older is at higher risk of producing a leak and resulting in water damage to your home. If your water heater is in your attic or above the first floor, the possibility of catastrophic damage goes up. Make sure you have your water heater maintenance every year to prevent any leaks from damaging your home.
The most typical failure of residential water heaters that will require replacement is a leaking tank.
It is highly recommended to have your plumber install the water heater in a drain pan with piping that lets the pan to drain outside your home and decrease the potential of water damage. Every water heater should have a working and reachable 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 disconnect should be located nearby.
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 depleted of hot water due to significant hot water usage, the gas burner fires more frequently which can create heavy condensation on the outside of the tank. The condensation can cause more rapid deterioration of the steel tank. Additionally, the severe 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 reduces the lifespan of the water heater.
Water Heater sizing is an important replacement consideration.
All water heaters are under pressure from the water supply, and as water is heated, it expands creating even more pressure. When contemplating replacing a water heater, it’s generally better to go with a larger 50 gallon tank, rather than a 30 or 40 gallon tank, providing the location will accept the larger size. The larger tank will also give you more hot water capacity.
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