Your water heater is probably the most underrated system in your home. Think about it – without a water heater, you don’t have any of the following:
- Warm showers
- Toasty baths
- Sanitized dishes
- Disinfected towels and sheets
- Hot water, period.
Given the power of the water heater, do you truly know much about it? We’re here to provide a couple things to think about when it comes to maintaining, servicing, 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 typically last about a decade before you need to think about replacing the water heater. If you aren’t sure how old your water heater is, the date the system was manufactured will be displayed in the serial number which is located on the identification tag on the water heater tank.
Aging water heaters are nothing to mess around with. A water heater that is 10 years or older is at higher risk of producing a leak and leading to water damage to your home. If your water heater is positioned in your attic or above the first floor, the chance of catastrophic damage rises. Be sure you have your water heater maintenance every year to avoid any leaks from creating damage in your home.
The most typical breakdown 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 minimize the possibility of water damage. All water heaters should have a working and obtainable 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 positioned nearby.
If a water heater is “undersized,” in particular a gas water heater, the tank will breakdown in a shorter amount of time.
When a gas water heater is regularly emptied of hot water due to significant hot water utilization, the gas burner is set off repeatedly which can produce heavy condensation on the outside of the tank. The condensation can create more expeditious breakdown of the steel tank. Also, the severe heat from the gas burner on the bottom of the water heater tank can also deteriorate the glass lining on the interior of the tank, which reduces the lifespan of the water heater.
Water Heater sizing is an essential 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 usually better to go with a bigger 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.