Things to Keep in Mind When It Comes to Your Water Heater 

Your water heater is probably the most underrated appliance in your home. Think about it – without your water heater, you wouldn’t have any of these perks: 

  • Hot showers 
  • Hot baths 
  • Disinfected dishes 
  • Clean towels and sheets 
  • Hot water, period. 

Given the significance of the water heater, do you really know a good amount about it? We’re here to provide a few things to remember when it comes to servicing, maintaining, and replacing your water heater. 

The average 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 think about replacing the appliance. If you aren’t sure what age your water heater is, the date the equipment 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 10 years or older is at higher risk of producing a leak and causing water damage to your home. If your water heater sits in your attic or above the first floor, the chance of catastrophic damage rises. Be sure you have your water heater maintenance every year to avoid 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 a good idea to have your installer place the water heater in a drain pan with piping that allows the pan to drain outside of your home and decrease the potential of water damage. Each water heater should have a functional and reachable shut-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 positioned nearby. 

If a water heater is “undersized,” especially a gas water heater, the equipment will fail in a shorter amount of time. 

When a gas water heater is regularly depleted of hot water due to heavy hot water use, the gas burner discharges more frequently which can result in heavy condensation on the outside of the tank. The condensation can produce more speedy breakdown of the steel tank. Additionally, the exceptional heat from the gas burner on the underside of the water heater tank can also take its toll on the glass lining on the inside of the tank, which lowers the lifespan of the water heater. 

Water Heater sizing is an important replacement issue. 

The water supply creates pressure for all water heaters, and as water is heated, it grows creating even more pressure. When considering replacement of a water heater, it’s usually better to go with a sizable 50 gallon tank, rather than a 30 or 40 gallon tank, as long as the location will accommodate the larger size. The larger tank will also supply you more hot water capacity. 

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