The water heater is probably the most underrated system in your home. Really – without the water heater, you couldn’t have any of these luxuries:
- Warm showers
- Hot baths
- Sanitized dishes
- Disinfected towels and sheets
- Hot water, period.
Given the importance of the water heater, do you actually know enough about it? We’re here to give you some things to remember when it comes to maintaining, servicing, and replacing your water heater.
The average lifespan of residential water heaters is between ten and 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 what age your water heater is, the date the system was manufactured will be displayed in the serial number which you can find on the label on the water heater tank.
Older water heaters are nothing to ignore. A water heater that is ten years or older is at more risk of getting a leak and causing water damage to your home. If your water heater is in your attic or above the ground floor, the potential for catastrophic damage rises. Be sure you have your water heater maintenance yearly to avoid any leaks from damaging your home.
The most common malfunction of residential water heaters that will need replacement is a leaking tank.
It is a good idea to have your plumber install the water heater in a drain pan with piping that allows the pan to drain outside your home and lower the potential of water damage. All water heaters should have a functional and accessible cut-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 disconnect should be placed close by.
If a water heater is “undersized,” especially a gas water heater, the tank will malfunction in a shorter amount of time.
When a gas water heater is regularly emptied of hot water due to substantial hot water use, the gas burner fires more frequently which can produce heavy condensation on the outside of the tank. The condensation can create more speedy deterioration of the steel tank. Also, the exceptional heat from the gas burner on the base of the water heater tank can also cause damage to the glass lining on the inside of the tank, which reduces the life cycle of the water heater.
Water Heater sizing is an essential replacement factor.
The water supply cause all water heaters to be under pressure, and as water is heated, it extends creating even more pressure. When thinking about replacing a water heater, it’s usually better to go with a larger 50 gallon tank, rather than a 30 or 40 gallon tank, presuming the location will accept the larger size. The bigger tank will also give you more hot water capacity.