Your hot water heater is probably the most underestimated machine in your home. Think about it – without a water heater, you don’t have any of these luxuries:
- Hot showers
- Toasty baths
- Clean dishes
- Disinfected towels and sheets
- Hot water, period.
Given the importance of the water heater, do you truly know a good amount about it? We’re here to give you a couple things to think about 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 unsure what age your water heater is, the date the equipment was manufactured will be shown in the serial number which you can find on the identification tag on the water heater tank.
Older water heaters are nothing to take lightly. A water heater that is 10 years or older is at higher risk of springing a leak and leading to water damage to your home. If your water heater is positioned in your attic or above the ground floor, the potential for catastrophic damage increases. Be sure you have your water heater maintenance yearly to prevent any leaks from damaging your home.
The most usual failure of residential water heaters that will need replacement is a leaking tank.
It is best to have your plumbing expert install the water heater in a drain pan with piping that allows the pan to drain outside of your home and lower the probability of water damage. Each water heater should have a working and reachable 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 switch off should be placed close by.
If a water heater is “undersized,” in particular 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 discharges more frequently which can produce heavy condensation on the exterior of the tank. The condensation can produce more rapid deterioration of the steel tank. Additionally, the exceptional heat from the gas burner on the underside of the water heater tank can also deteriorate the glass lining on the interior of the tank, which reduces the life expectancy of the water heater.
Water Heater sizing is a significant replacement issue.
The water supply creates pressure for all water heaters, and as water is heated, it extends 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, presuming the location will accommodate the larger size. The bigger tank will also supply you more hot water capacity.