The water heater is probably the most underappreciated appliance in your home. Think about it – without your water heater, you don’t have any of the following:
Given the significance of the water heater, do you really know much about it? We’re here to give you a few things to think about when it comes to maintaining, servicing, and replacing your water heater.
The typical lifespan of residential water heaters is about ten to twelve years.
Natural gas and electric water heaters will typically last about a decade before you need to think about replacing the water heater. If you are not sure what age your water heater is, the date the system was manufactured will be displayed in the serial number which is located on the identification tag on the water heater tank.
Older water heaters are nothing to mess around with. A water heater that is ten years or older is at more risk of springing a leak and leading to water damage to your home. If your water heater is in your attic or above the first floor, the potential for catastrophic damage increases. Be sure you have your water heater maintenance annually to prevent any leaks from damaging your home.
The most usual failure of residential water heaters that will require replacement is a leaking tank.
It is a good idea 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 minimize the potential of water damage. All water heaters should have a functional and reachable 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 disconnect should be placed nearby.
If a water heater is “undersized,” in particular a gas water heater, the tank will fail in a shorter period of time.
When a gas water heater is regularly depleted of hot water due to substantial hot water use, the gas burner fires more often which can create heavy condensation on the exterior of the tank. The condensation can cause more rapid deterioration of the steel tank. Additionally, the exceptional heat from the gas burner on the bottom of the water heater tank can also take its toll on the glass lining on the interior of the tank, which reduces the lifespan of the water heater.
Water Heater sizing is an important replacement consideration.
All water heaters are under pressure from the water supply, and as water is heated, it extends creating even more pressure. When contemplating replacing a water heater, it’s generally 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 give you more hot water capacity.
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