Your hot water heater is probably the most underappreciated system in your home. Really – without the water heater, you couldn’t have any of these luxuries:
- Steamy showers
- Toasty baths
- Disinfected dishes
- Disinfected towels and sheets
- Hot water, period.
Given the importance of the water heater, do you truly know much about it? We’re here to give you a few things to think about when it comes to replacing, maintaining, and servicing your water heater.
The average lifespan of residential water heaters is between ten and twelve years.
Natural gas and electric water heaters will usually last about a decade before you need to look into replacing the system. If you are unsure how old your water heater is, the date the system was manufactured will be reflected in the serial number which is located on the identification tag on the water heater tank.
Aging water heaters are nothing to ignore. A water heater that is a decade or older is at greater risk of getting a leak and causing water damage to your home. If your water heater is positioned in your attic or above the ground floor, the potential for catastrophic damage rises. Make sure you have your water heater maintenance every year to avoid any leaks from damaging your home.
The most usual breakdown of residential water heaters that will entail replacement is a leaking tank.
It is highly recommended to have your plumber install the water heater in a drain pan with piping that allows the pan to drain outside of your home and minimize the possibility of water damage. Each water heater should have a functional and obtainable 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 switch off should be placed close by.
If a water heater is “undersized,” in particular a gas water heater, the tank will fail in a shorter period of time.
When a gas water heater is consistently depleted of hot water due to heavy hot water usage, the gas burner fires repeatedly which can create heavy condensation on the tank exterior. The condensation can result in more expeditious breakdown of the steel tank. Additionally, the severe heat from the gas burner on the base of the water heater tank can also cause damage to the glass lining on the inside of the tank, which lowers the life cycle of the water heater.
Water Heater sizing is a significant replacement issue.
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 usually better to go with a sizable 50 gallon tank, rather than a 30 or 40 gallon tank, providing the location will accommodate the larger size. The 50 gallon tank will also provide you more hot water capacity.