The water heater is probably the most underestimated machine in your home. Seriously – without your water heater, you don’t have any of the following:
- Warm showers
- Toasty baths
- Disinfected dishes
- Clean towels and sheets
- Hot water, period.
Given the significance of the water heater, do you actually know a good amount about it? We’re here with a few things to keep in mind when it comes to maintaining, servicing, and replacing your water heater.
The typical 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 water heater. If you aren’t sure about the age of your water heater, the date the unit was manufactured will be shown in the serial number which is located on the identification tag on the water heater tank.
Maturing water heaters are nothing to ignore. A water heater that is a decade or older is at higher risk of producing a leak and resulting in water damage to your home. If your water heater sits in your attic or above the first floor, the chance of catastrophic damage rises. Make sure you have your water heater maintenance yearly to avoid any leaks from damaging your home.
The most usual malfunction of residential water heaters that will require 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 of your home and decrease the probability of water damage. Each water heater should have a working and accessible 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 placed within reach.
If a water heater is “undersized,” in particular a gas water heater, the tank will breakdown in a shorter period of time.
When a gas water heater is regularly depleted of hot water due to heavy hot water utilization, the gas burner is set off more often which can create heavy condensation on the outside of the tank. The condensation can result in more speedy deterioration of the steel tank. Also, the severe heat from the gas burner on the bottom of the water heater tank can also take its toll on the glass lining on the inside of the tank, which lowers the lifespan of the water heater.
Water Heater sizing is a significant replacement issue.
All water heaters are under pressure from the water supply, and as water is heated, it extends 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, presuming the location will accept the larger size. The 50 gallon tank will also give you more hot water capacity.