Your water heater is probably the most underestimated appliance in your home. Think about it – without the water heater, you couldn’t have any of these luxuries:
- Steamy showers
- Toasty baths
- Disinfected dishes
- Sanitized towels and sheets
- Hot water, period.
Given the significance of the water heater, do you actually know enough about it? We’re here with a few things to think about when it comes to replacing, maintaining, and servicing 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 look into replacing the water heater. If you are not sure about the age of your water heater, the date the system was manufactured will be shown in the serial number which you can find on the label on the water heater tank.
Aging water heaters are nothing to take lightly. A water heater that is 10 years or older is at higher risk of producing a leak and resulting in water damage to your home. If your water heater is in your attic or above the ground floor, the chance of catastrophic damage goes up. Make sure you have your water heater maintenance every year to keep any leaks from creating damage in your home.
The most usual malfunction of residential water heaters that will need replacement is a leaking tank.
It is highly recommended to have your plumber install the water heater in a drain pan with piping that allows the pan to drain outside of your home and decrease the probability of water damage. Each water heater should have a functional and reachable 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 switch off should be located within reach.
If a water heater is “undersized,” in particular a gas water heater, the equipment will malfunction in a shorter time span.
When a gas water heater is consistently depleted of hot water due to significant hot water use, the gas burner discharges more often which can result in heavy condensation on the tank exterior. The condensation can produce more rapid breakdown of the steel tank. Additionally, the exceptional heat from the gas burner on the bottom of the water heater tank can also cause damage to the glass lining on the inside of the tank, which reduces the life cycle of the water heater.
Water Heater sizing is an essential replacement consideration.
The water supply creates pressure for all water heaters, and as water is heated, it grows creating even more pressure. When contemplating replacing a water heater, it’s usually better to go with a bigger 50 gallon tank, rather than a 30 or 40 gallon tank, presuming the location will fit the larger size. The bigger tank will also provide you more hot water capacity.