Things to Keep in Mind When It Comes to Your Water Heater 

The water heater is probably the most underrated appliance in your home. Really – without your water heater, you don’t have any of these perks: 

  • Warm showers 
  • Hot baths 
  • Sanitized dishes 
  • Sanitized towels and sheets 
  • Hot water, period. 

Given the importance of the water heater, do you really know enough about it? We’re here to provide a couple things to think about when it comes to maintaining, servicing, and replacing your water heater. 

The typical lifespan of residential water heaters is 10-12 years

Natural gas and electric water heaters will usually last about a decade before you need to consider replacing the system. If you aren’t sure about the age of your water heater, 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. 

Aging water heaters are nothing to ignore. A water heater that is a decade or older is at higher risk of springing a leak and resulting in water damage to your home. If your water heater sits in your attic or above the first floor, the potential for catastrophic damage increases. Be sure you have your water heater maintenance annually to avoid any leaks from creating damage in your home. 

The most common malfunction of residential water heaters that will need 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 of your home and decrease the possibility of water damage. Each water heater should have a working and reachable 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 placed close by. 

If a water heater is “undersized,” especially a gas water heater, the tank will malfunction in a shorter time span. 

When a gas water heater is consistently drained of hot water due to heavy hot water usage, the gas burner discharges repeatedly which can produce heavy condensation on the outside of the tank. The condensation can result in more expeditious decomposition of the steel tank. Furthermore, the severe heat from the gas burner on the underside of the water heater tank can also cause damage to the glass lining on the inside of the tank, which lowers the life cycle of the water heater. 

Water Heater sizing is an important replacement factor. 

The water supply cause all water heaters to be under pressure, 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 sizable 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. 

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