The water heater is probably the most underappreciated system in your home. Seriously – without the water heater, you don’t have any of these perks:
- Warm showers
- Warm baths
- Disinfected dishes
- Sanitized 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 some things to remember when it comes to maintaining, servicing, and replacing your water heater.
The usual lifespan of residential water heaters is 10-12 years.
Natural gas and electric water heaters will typically last about a decade before you need to consider replacing the water heater. If you are unsure how old your water heater is, the date the unit was manufactured will be displayed in the serial number which is located on the label on the water heater tank.
Older water heaters are nothing to ignore. A water heater that is 10 years or older is at greater risk of getting a leak and causing water damage to your home. If your water heater is in your attic or above the first floor, the possibility of catastrophic damage goes up. Always have your water heater maintenance every year to prevent any leaks from damaging your home.
The most typical malfunction of residential water heaters that will need 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 to the outside of your home and minimize the probability of water damage. Each water heater should have a operational 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 switch off should be placed close by.
If a water heater is “undersized,” in particular a gas water heater, the tank will fail in a shorter time span.
When a gas water heater is regularly depleted of hot water due to substantial hot water utilization, the gas burner discharges more often which can result in heavy condensation on the exterior of the tank. The condensation can result in more speedy breakdown of the steel tank. Furthermore, the exceptional heat from the gas burner on the bottom of the water heater tank can also cause damage to the glass lining on the inner section of the tank, which reduces the life cycle of the water heater.
Water Heater sizing is an important replacement factor.
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 usually better to go with a larger 50 gallon tank, rather than a 30 or 40 gallon tank, providing the location will accommodate the larger size. The larger tank will also provide you more hot water capacity.