Your hot water heater is probably the most underappreciated machine in your home. Think about it – without a water heater, you couldn’t have any of these perks:
- Hot showers
- Toasty baths
- Disinfected dishes
- Disinfected towels and sheets
- Hot water, period.
Given the importance of the water heater, do you truly know enough about it? We’re here to provide a few things to keep in mind when it comes to replacing, maintaining, and servicing your water heater.
The average lifespan of residential water heaters is between ten and twelve years.
Natural gas and electric water heaters will commonly last about a decade before you need to consider 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 ID sticker on the water heater tank.
Maturing water heaters are nothing to ignore. A water heater that is 10 years or older is at greater risk of getting a leak and causing water damage to your home. If your water heater sits in your attic or above the bottom floor, the possibility of catastrophic damage rises. Make sure you have your water heater maintenance every year to keep 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 best to have your installer place the water heater in a drain pan with piping that lets the pan to drain outside your home and minimize the potential of water damage. Each water heater should have a working and obtainable 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 cut off should be placed close by.
If a water heater is “undersized,” especially a gas water heater, the equipment will fail in a shorter time span.
When a gas water heater is regularly drained of hot water due to heavy hot water usage, the gas burner is set off more frequently which can produce heavy condensation on the tank exterior. The condensation can produce more speedy decomposition of the steel tank. Also, the extreme heat from the gas burner on the base of the water heater tank can also cause damage to the glass lining on the inside of the tank, which reduces the lifespan of the water heater.
Water Heater sizing is a significant replacement factor.
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 typically better to go with a larger 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.