The water heater is probably the most underappreciated appliance in your home. Seriously – without the water heater, you wouldn’t have any of these perks:
- Warm showers
- Hot baths
- Disinfected dishes
- Clean 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 with some things to keep in mind when it comes to servicing, maintaining, and replacing your water heater.
The usual 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 water heater. If you are unsure about the age of your water heater, the date the unit was manufactured will be displayed in the serial number which is located on the identification tag 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 getting a leak and resulting in water damage to your home. If your water heater sits in your attic or above the first floor, the potential for catastrophic damage goes up. Always have your water heater maintenance every year to prevent any leaks from causing damage to your home.
The most common failure of residential water heaters that will require replacement is a leaking tank.
It is a good idea to have your installer place the water heater in a drain pan with piping that lets the pan to drain outside your home and decrease 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 nearby.
If a water heater is “undersized,” in particular a gas water heater, the tank will malfunction in a shorter time span.
When a gas water heater is consistently depleted of hot water due to heavy hot water utilization, the gas burner fires more often which can result in heavy condensation on the exterior of the tank. The condensation can result in more speedy deterioration of the steel tank. Additionally, 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 consideration.
The water supply cause all water heaters to be under pressure, 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 accept the larger size. The larger tank will also provide you more hot water capacity.