Your water heater is probably the most underestimated appliance in your home. Think about it – without a water heater, you wouldn’t have any of the following:
- Steamy showers
- Hot baths
- Clean dishes
- Disinfected towels and sheets
- Hot water, period.
Given the power of the water heater, do you actually know enough about it? We’re here to provide some things to think about when it comes to servicing, maintaining, and replacing your water heater.
The usual 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 water heater. If you aren’t 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 ID sticker on the water heater tank.
Older water heaters are nothing to mess around with. A water heater that is ten years or older is at higher risk of producing a leak and leading to water damage to your home. If your water heater is in your attic or above the first floor, the possibility of catastrophic damage goes up. Be sure you have your water heater maintenance annually to avoid any leaks from creating damage in your home.
The most usual malfunction of residential water heaters that will need replacement is a leaking tank.
It is highly recommended to have your plumbing expert install the water heater in a drain pan with piping that allows the pan to drain outside your home and decrease the probability of water damage. All water heaters 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 located close by.
If a water heater is “undersized,” especially a gas water heater, the tank will malfunction in a shorter period of time.
When a gas water heater is regularly drained of hot water due to significant hot water utilization, the gas burner is set off more often which can produce heavy condensation on the exterior of the tank. The condensation can result in more rapid breakdown of the steel tank. Also, 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 factor.
The water supply creates pressure for all water heaters, and as water is heated, it expands creating even more pressure. When considering replacement of a water heater, it’s generally better to go with a sizable 50 gallon tank, rather than a 30 or 40 gallon tank, as long as the location will accommodate the larger size. The 50 gallon tank will also supply you more hot water capacity.