The water heater is probably the most underestimated appliance in your home. Think about it – without the water heater, you wouldn’t have any of these luxuries:
- Steamy showers
- Toasty baths
- Clean dishes
- Disinfected towels and sheets
- Hot water, period.
Given the importance of the water heater, do you actually know enough about it? We’re here with a couple things to keep in mind when it comes to maintaining, servicing, and replacing your water heater.
The average lifespan of residential water heaters is between ten and 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 about the age of your water heater, 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 mess around with. 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 is in your attic or above the bottom floor, the possibility of catastrophic damage goes up. Make sure you have your water heater maintenance every year to avoid any leaks from damaging your home.
The most typical 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 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 positioned close by.
If a water heater is “undersized,” especially a gas water heater, the system will breakdown in a shorter amount of time.
When a gas water heater is consistently depleted of hot water due to substantial hot water usage, the gas burner discharges more frequently which can result in heavy condensation on the exterior of the tank. The condensation can create more rapid breakdown of the steel tank. Also, the severe heat from the gas burner on the base of the water heater tank can also deteriorate the glass lining on the inside of the tank, which lowers 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 generally better to go with a larger 50 gallon tank, rather than a 30 or 40 gallon tank, presuming the location will accommodate the larger size. The larger tank will also give you more hot water capacity.