Your hot water heater is probably the most underappreciated system in your home. Think about it – without your water heater, you couldn’t have any of these perks:
- Hot showers
- Hot baths
- Clean dishes
- Clean towels and sheets
- Hot water, period.
Given the importance of the water heater, do you truly know enough about it? We’re here to give you a couple things to keep in mind when it comes to servicing, maintaining, 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 usually last about a decade before you need to think about replacing the appliance. If you aren’t sure how old your water heater is, the date the system was manufactured will be shown in the serial number which you can find on the ID sticker on the water heater tank.
Aging water heaters are nothing to ignore. A water heater that is 10 years or older is at more risk of springing a leak and resulting in water damage to your home. If your water heater sits in your attic or above the ground floor, the possibility of catastrophic damage increases. Be sure you have your water heater maintenance yearly to keep any leaks from damaging your home.
The most usual breakdown of residential water heaters that will entail replacement is a leaking tank.
It is a good idea to have your plumbing expert install the water heater in a drain pan with piping that allows the pan to drain to the outside of your home and minimize the possibility of water damage. Every water heater should have a operational and accessible 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 switch off should be positioned within reach.
If a water heater is “undersized,” especially a gas water heater, the system will breakdown in a shorter amount of time.
When a gas water heater is regularly emptied of hot water due to heavy hot water use, the gas burner fires repeatedly which can produce heavy condensation on the tank exterior. The condensation can produce more speedy deterioration of the steel tank. Furthermore, the extreme heat from the gas burner on the underside of the water heater tank can also take its toll on the glass lining on the interior of the tank, which lowers the life cycle of the water heater.
Water Heater sizing is an essential replacement factor.
All water heaters are under pressure from the water supply, and as water is heated, it extends creating even more pressure. When thinking about replacing a water heater, it’s typically better to go with a sizable 50 gallon tank, rather than a 30 or 40 gallon tank, providing the location will fit the larger size. The larger tank will also give you more hot water capacity.