Your hot water heater is probably the most underestimated appliance in your home. Really – without your water heater, you wouldn’t have any of these luxuries:
- Hot showers
- Warm baths
- Disinfected dishes
- Sanitized towels and sheets
- Hot water, period.
Given the importance of the water heater, do you really know enough about it? We’re here to provide some 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 typically last about a decade before you need to think about replacing the appliance. If you are not sure what age your water heater is, the date the system was manufactured will be displayed in the serial number which is located on the identification tag 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 is in your attic or above the bottom floor, the chance of catastrophic damage increases. Make sure you have your water heater maintenance yearly to prevent any leaks from causing damage to your home.
The most common failure of residential water heaters that will need replacement is a leaking tank.
It is highly recommended to have your installer place the water heater in a drain pan with piping that lets the pan to drain outside your home and minimize the probability of water damage. Every water heater should have a operational 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 switch off should be placed within reach.
If a water heater is “undersized,” in particular a gas water heater, the system will fail in a shorter time span.
When a gas water heater is routinely drained of hot water due to heavy hot water usage, the gas burner fires more often 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 bottom of the water heater tank can also deteriorate the glass lining on the inner section of the tank, which lowers the lifespan of the water heater.
Water Heater sizing is an important replacement factor.
All water heaters are under pressure from the water supply, 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, presuming the location will accept the larger size. The bigger tank will also provide you more hot water capacity.