The water heater is probably the most underappreciated system in your home. Seriously – without the water heater, you don’t have any of the following:
- Hot showers
- Warm baths
- Disinfected dishes
- Disinfected towels and sheets
- Hot water, period.
Given the power of the water heater, do you truly know a good amount about it? We’re here to provide a few things to remember when it comes to maintaining, servicing, and replacing your water heater.
The average lifespan of residential water heaters is about ten to twelve years.
Natural gas and electric water heaters will commonly last about a decade before you need to consider replacing the appliance. If you are not sure about the age of your water heater, the date the equipment was manufactured will be shown in the serial number which is located on the label on the water heater tank.
Aging water heaters are nothing to take lightly. 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 bottom floor, the possibility of catastrophic damage goes up. Be sure you have your water heater maintenance every year to prevent any leaks from causing damage to 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 installer place the water heater in a drain pan with piping that lets the pan to drain outside your home and decrease the potential of water damage. All water heaters should have a working and reachable turn-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 nearby.
If a water heater is “undersized,” particularly a gas water heater, the equipment will malfunction in a shorter time span.
When a gas water heater is routinely emptied of hot water due to heavy hot water utilization, the gas burner fires more frequently which can result in heavy condensation on the tank exterior. The condensation can result in more speedy decomposition of the steel tank. Additionally, the exceptional heat from the gas burner on the bottom of the water heater tank can also cause damage to the glass lining on the inner section of the tank, which reduces the life cycle of the water heater.
Water Heater sizing is a crucial replacement consideration.
The water supply creates pressure for all water heaters, and as water is heated, it grows creating even more pressure. When contemplating replacing 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 fit the larger size. The bigger tank will also provide you more hot water capacity.