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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. Think about it – without the water heater, you wouldn’t have any of these luxuries:

  • Steamy showers
  • Toasty baths
  • Sanitized dishes
  • Disinfected towels and sheets
  • Hot water, period.

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

The typical lifespan of residential water heaters is 10-12 years.

Natural gas and electric water heaters will typically last about a decade before you need to consider replacing the appliance. If you are not sure how old your water heater is, the date the system was manufactured will be displayed in the serial number which can be found on the label on the water heater tank.

Maturing water heaters are nothing to take lightly. A water heater that is a decade or older is at greater risk of getting a leak and leading to water damage to your home. If your water heater sits in your attic or above the bottom floor, the potential for catastrophic damage goes up. Be sure you have your water heater maintenance every year to avoid any leaks from causing damage to your home.

The most common malfunction of residential water heaters that will entail replacement is a leaking tank.

It is a good idea to have your plumber install the water heater in a drain pan with piping that enables the pan to drain to the outside of your home and lower the potential 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 cut off should be positioned nearby.

If a water heater is “undersized,” especially a gas water heater, the tank will breakdown in a shorter period of time.

When a gas water heater is regularly drained of hot water due to heavy hot water usage, the gas burner fires more often which can result in heavy condensation on the exterior of the tank. The condensation can create more speedy deterioration of the steel tank. Also, the extreme heat from the gas burner on the bottom of the water heater tank can also deteriorate the glass lining on the inside of the tank, which reduces the lifespan of the water heater.

Water Heater sizing is an important replacement consideration.

All water heaters are under pressure from the water supply, and as water is heated, it extends 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 accept the larger size. The bigger tank will also supply you more hot water capacity.

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