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:
- Warm showers
- Hot 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 keep in mind when it comes to servicing, maintaining, and replacing your water heater.
The typical 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 think about replacing the system. If you are not sure how old your water heater is, the date the system was manufactured will be shown in the serial number which can be found on the label on the water heater tank.
Aging water heaters are nothing to take lightly. A water heater that is 10 years or older is at higher risk of springing a leak and leading to water damage to your home. If your water heater sits 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 require replacement is a leaking tank.
It is highly recommended to have your plumber install the water heater in a drain pan with piping that lets the pan to drain to the outside of your home and decrease the possibility of water damage. Every water heater should have a functional 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 cut off should be located nearby.
If a water heater is “undersized,” especially 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 discharges more frequently which can result in heavy condensation on the outside of the tank. The condensation can result in more rapid decomposition of the steel tank. Additionally, the exceptional heat from the gas burner on the bottom of the water heater tank can also take its toll on the glass lining on the inner section of the tank, which lowers the life cycle of the water heater.
Water Heater sizing is a crucial replacement factor.
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 larger tank will also provide you more hot water capacity.