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 between ten and twelve years.
Natural gas and electric water heaters will typically last about a decade before you need to think about replacing the appliance. If you are unsure about the age of your water heater, the date the unit was manufactured will be reflected in the serial number which is located on the identification tag on the water heater tank.
Maturing water heaters are nothing to mess around with. A water heater that is ten years or older is at greater risk of getting a leak and causing water damage to your home. If your water heater is in your attic or above the first floor, the potential for catastrophic damage increases. Always 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 best 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 minimize the possibility of water damage. Every water heater should have a operational 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 disconnect should be positioned nearby.
If a water heater is “undersized,” in particular a gas water heater, the tank will breakdown in a shorter period of time.
When a gas water heater is regularly depleted of hot water due to substantial hot water usage, the gas burner fires repeatedly which can create heavy condensation on the tank exterior. The condensation can cause more rapid deterioration of the steel tank. Additionally, the severe heat from the gas burner on the bottom of the water heater tank can also deteriorate 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.
The water supply cause all water heaters to be under pressure, and as water is heated, it grows creating even more pressure. When considering replacement of a water heater, it’s generally better to go with a sizable 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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