Your water heater is probably the most underappreciated appliance in your home. Seriously – without your water heater, you don’t have any of these luxuries:
- Steamy showers
- Hot baths
- Sanitized dishes
- Sanitized towels and sheets
- Hot water, period.
Given the importance of the water heater, do you truly know enough about it? We’re here with some things to keep in mind when it comes to replacing, maintaining, and servicing your water heater.
The typical lifespan of residential water heaters is about ten to twelve years.
Natural gas and electric water heaters will usually last about a decade before you need to consider replacing the system. 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 you can find on the label on the water heater tank.
Aging water heaters are nothing to mess around with. A water heater that is 10 years or older is at higher risk of getting a leak and resulting in water damage to your home. If your water heater is positioned in your attic or above the first floor, the possibility of catastrophic damage goes up. Be sure you have your water heater maintenance yearly to keep any leaks from damaging your home.
The most common breakdown of residential water heaters that will entail replacement is a leaking tank.
It is best 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 decrease the potential of water damage. All water heaters should have a operational 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 shut off should be located close by.
If a water heater is “undersized,” in particular a gas water heater, the equipment will malfunction in a shorter period of time.
When a gas water heater is consistently depleted of hot water due to substantial hot water utilization, the gas burner discharges more often which can create heavy condensation on the outside of the tank. The condensation can cause more expeditious deterioration of the steel tank. Additionally, the severe 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 consideration.
The water supply cause all water heaters to be under pressure, and as water is heated, it expands creating even more pressure. When thinking about 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 accept the larger size. The bigger tank will also give you more hot water capacity.