The water heater is probably the most underrated machine in your home. Really – without your water heater, you wouldn’t have any of the following:
- Steamy showers
- Toasty baths
- Disinfected dishes
- Disinfected towels and sheets
- Hot water, period.
Given the importance of the water heater, do you really know enough about it? We’re here to give you a couple things to think about when it comes to replacing, maintaining, and servicing 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 look into replacing the system. If you aren’t sure what age your water heater is, the date the unit was manufactured will be reflected in the serial number which can be found on the ID sticker on the water heater tank.
Aging water heaters are nothing to ignore. 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 chance of catastrophic damage goes up. Make sure you have your water heater maintenance annually to keep any leaks from creating damage in your home.
The most common malfunction of residential water heaters that will entail replacement is a leaking tank.
It is best to have your plumber install the water heater in a drain pan with piping that allows the pan to drain outside your home and decrease the potential of water damage. Each water heater should have a functional and reachable 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 nearby.
If a water heater is “undersized,” in particular a gas water heater, the equipment will malfunction in a shorter time span.
When a gas water heater is regularly drained of hot water due to substantial hot water utilization, the gas burner is set off more frequently which can produce heavy condensation on the exterior of the tank. The condensation can create more speedy breakdown of the steel tank. Additionally, the extreme heat from the gas burner on the underside of the water heater tank can also cause damage to the glass lining on the inside of the tank, which lowers the lifespan of the water heater.
Water Heater sizing is a significant replacement consideration.
The water supply cause all water heaters to be under pressure, and as water is heated, it grows creating even more pressure. When thinking about replacing a water heater, it’s generally better to go with a sizable 50 gallon tank, rather than a 30 or 40 gallon tank, providing the location will accommodate the larger size. The bigger tank will also supply you more hot water capacity.