The water heater is probably the most underappreciated appliance in your home. Think about it – without your water heater, you couldn’t have any of these luxuries:
- Steamy showers
- Warm baths
- Disinfected dishes
- Sanitized towels and sheets
- Hot water, period.
Given the significance of the water heater, do you really know a good amount about it? We’re here to give you a couple things to think about when it comes to maintaining, servicing, and replacing your water heater.
The typical lifespan of residential water heaters is about ten to twelve years.
Natural gas and electric water heaters will typically last about a decade before you need to look into 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 can be found on the ID sticker on the water heater tank.
Aging water heaters are nothing to ignore. A water heater that is ten years or older is at more risk of getting a leak and resulting in water damage to your home. If your water heater sits in your attic or above the bottom floor, the potential for catastrophic damage increases. Always have your water heater maintenance yearly to keep any leaks from damaging your home.
The most common breakdown of residential water heaters that will require replacement is a leaking tank.
It is a good idea to have your plumbing expert install 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. Every water heater should have a functional 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 shut off should be located nearby.
If a water heater is “undersized,” particularly a gas water heater, the equipment will malfunction in a shorter period of time.
When a gas water heater is consistently emptied of hot water due to substantial hot water utilization, the gas burner discharges more frequently which can produce heavy condensation on the outside of the tank. The condensation can cause more speedy decomposition of the steel tank. Also, the exceptional heat from the gas burner on the underside of the water heater tank can also take its toll on the glass lining on the interior of the tank, which decreases the life cycle of the water heater.
Water Heater sizing is a significant replacement factor.
The water supply creates pressure for all water heaters, and as water is heated, it grows creating even more pressure. When contemplating replacing a water heater, it’s usually 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 larger tank will also supply you more hot water capacity.