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 some 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 consider replacing the system. If you are unsure about the age of your water heater, the date the system 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 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 rises. Be sure you have your water heater maintenance yearly to keep any leaks from damaging your home.
The most common failure of residential water heaters that will require replacement is a leaking tank.
It is best to have your plumber install 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. 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 located close by.
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 routinely depleted of hot water due to heavy hot water usage, the gas burner fires more frequently 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.
All water heaters are under pressure from the water supply, and as water is heated, it expands 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 fit the larger size. The larger tank will also give you more hot water capacity.
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