Your hot water heater is probably the most underrated system in your home. Really – without the water heater, you don’t have any of these perks:
- Steamy showers
- Warm baths
- Disinfected dishes
- Clean towels and sheets
- Hot water, period.
Given the importance of the water heater, do you really know a good amount about it? We’re here to provide a few things to think about when it comes to replacing, maintaining, and servicing your water heater.
The typical lifespan of residential water heaters is 10-12 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 how old your water heater is, the date the system was manufactured will be reflected in the serial number which is located on the identification tag on the water heater tank.
Aging water heaters are nothing to take lightly. A water heater that is ten years or older is at more risk of getting a leak and resulting in 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 causing damage to your home.
The most common malfunction of residential water heaters that will require replacement is a leaking tank.
It is highly recommended to have your plumbing expert install the water heater in a drain pan with piping that enables the pan to drain outside your home and lower the probability 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 switch off should be located nearby.
If a water heater is “undersized,” especially a gas water heater, the tank will fail in a shorter time span.
When a gas water heater is regularly drained of hot water due to significant hot water utilization, the gas burner is set off repeatedly which can create heavy condensation on the tank exterior. The condensation can result in more rapid breakdown of the steel tank. Furthermore, the exceptional heat from the gas burner on the underside of the water heater tank can also cause damage to the glass lining on the inner section of the tank, which lowers the lifespan of the water heater.
Water Heater sizing is an essential replacement consideration.
All water heaters are under pressure from the water supply, and as water is heated, it expands creating even more pressure. When thinking about replacing a water heater, it’s typically 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 bigger tank will also supply you more hot water capacity.