Things to Keep in Mind When It Comes to Your Water Heater

November 17, 2016

Your hot water heater is probably the most underestimated system in your home. Really – without your water heater, you don’t have any of the following:

  • Warm showers
  • Hot baths
  • Disinfected dishes
  • Clean towels and sheets
  • Hot water, period.

Given the significance of the water heater, do you really know enough about it? We’re here to provide a few things to remember when it comes to replacing, maintaining, and servicing your water heater.

The usual 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 think about replacing the system. If you are not sure what age your water heater is, the date the system was manufactured will be reflected in the serial number which can be found on the label on the water heater tank.

Maturing water heaters are nothing to ignore. A water heater that is a decade or older is at higher 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 chance of catastrophic damage rises. Be sure you have your water heater maintenance yearly to prevent any leaks from damaging your home.

The most common malfunction of residential water heaters that will need 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 your home and minimize the probability of water damage. Every water heater should have a operational and reachable 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 within reach.

If a water heater is “undersized,” in particular a gas water heater, the tank will fail in a shorter time span.

When a gas water heater is routinely depleted of hot water due to substantial hot water usage, the gas burner fires more frequently which can result in heavy condensation on the outside of the tank. The condensation can cause more speedy decomposition of the steel tank. Furthermore, the extreme heat from the gas burner on the base of the water heater tank can also deteriorate the glass lining on the inner section of the tank, which reduces the lifespan 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 contemplating replacing a water heater, it’s typically better to go with a larger 50 gallon tank, rather than a 30 or 40 gallon tank, providing the location will accommodate the larger size. The larger tank will also provide you more hot water capacity.

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