The water heater is probably the most underrated machine in your home. Really – without the water heater, you wouldn’t have any of the following:
- Steamy showers
- Hot baths
- Disinfected dishes
- Clean towels and sheets
- Hot water, period.
Given the significance of the water heater, do you really know enough about it? We’re here with a few things to keep in mind when it comes to servicing, maintaining, and replacing your water heater.
The average lifespan of residential water heaters is between ten and twelve years.
Natural gas and electric water heaters will usually last about a decade before you need to look into replacing the system. If you are unsure how old your water heater is, the date the unit was manufactured will be reflected in the serial number which you can find on the identification tag on the water heater tank.
Aging water heaters are nothing to ignore. A water heater that is ten years or older is at more risk of producing a leak and leading to water damage to your home. If your water heater sits in your attic or above the ground floor, the possibility of catastrophic damage goes up. Make sure you have your water heater maintenance every year to avoid any leaks from damaging your home.
The most common malfunction of residential water heaters that will entail replacement is a leaking tank.
It is highly recommended to have your installer place the water heater in a drain pan with piping that allows the pan to drain outside your home and lower the potential of water damage. Each water heater should have a functional 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 disconnect should be positioned within reach.
If a water heater is “undersized,” particularly a gas water heater, the equipment will breakdown in a shorter period of time.
When a gas water heater is consistently depleted of hot water due to substantial hot water utilization, the gas burner is set off more often which can create heavy condensation on the exterior of the tank. The condensation can result in more expeditious decomposition of the steel tank. Also, the exceptional heat from the gas burner on the underside of the water heater tank can also deteriorate the glass lining on the inside of the tank, which reduces the life expectancy of the water heater.
Water Heater sizing is a significant replacement issue.
All water heaters are under pressure from the water supply, 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 larger 50 gallon tank, rather than a 30 or 40 gallon tank, presuming the location will accommodate the larger size. The larger tank will also provide you more hot water capacity.