Your hot water heater is probably the most underappreciated machine in your home. Think about it – without your water heater, you wouldn’t have any of the following:
- Warm showers
- Warm baths
- Disinfected dishes
- Sanitized towels and sheets
- Hot water, period.
Given the significance of the water heater, do you actually know much about it? We’re here to provide a couple things to think about when it comes to replacing, maintaining, and servicing your water heater.
The average lifespan of residential water heaters is about ten to twelve years.
Natural gas and electric water heaters will commonly last about a decade before you need to look into replacing the appliance. If you are not sure how old your water heater is, the date the equipment was manufactured will be displayed in the serial number which you can find on the ID sticker on the water heater tank.
Older water heaters are nothing to take lightly. A water heater that is 10 years or older is at more risk of getting a leak and leading to water damage to your home. If your water heater is positioned in your attic or above the bottom floor, the possibility of catastrophic damage increases. Always have your water heater maintenance yearly to avoid any leaks from creating damage in your home.
The most typical breakdown of residential water heaters that will entail 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 enables the pan to drain outside of your home and decrease the possibility of water damage. All water heaters should have a working and obtainable 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 shut off should be placed nearby.
If a water heater is “undersized,” in particular a gas water heater, the equipment will breakdown in a shorter amount of time.
When a gas water heater is consistently drained of hot water due to substantial hot water utilization, the gas burner discharges repeatedly which can result in heavy condensation on the outside of the tank. The condensation can cause more rapid decomposition of the steel tank. Furthermore, the extreme 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 reduces the life expectancy 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 grows creating even more pressure. When contemplating replacing a water heater, it’s typically better to go with a larger 50 gallon tank, rather than a 30 or 40 gallon tank, presuming the location will accept the larger size. The 50 gallon tank will also provide you more hot water capacity.