Your water heater is probably the most underappreciated machine in your home. Really – without your water heater, you couldn’t have any of the following:
- Hot showers
- Warm baths
- Disinfected dishes
- Sanitized towels and sheets
- Hot water, period.
Given the power of the water heater, do you really know enough about it? We’re here with a couple things to think about when it comes to maintaining, servicing, and replacing 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 what age your water heater is, 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 mess around with. A water heater that is ten years or older is at more risk of producing a leak and resulting in water damage to your home. If your water heater sits in your attic or above the ground floor, the potential for catastrophic damage increases. Make sure you have your water heater maintenance every year to keep any leaks from creating damage in your home.
The most typical breakdown of residential water heaters that will require replacement is a leaking tank.
It is a good idea to have your plumbing expert install the water heater in a drain pan with piping that allows the pan to drain outside your home and minimize the potential of water damage. Every water heater should have a functional and obtainable 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 switch off should be located nearby.
If a water heater is “undersized,” particularly a gas water heater, the equipment will malfunction in a shorter period of time.
When a gas water heater is regularly drained of hot water due to heavy hot water utilization, the gas burner discharges repeatedly which can result in heavy condensation on the outside of the tank. The condensation can produce more rapid breakdown of the steel tank. Also, 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 inner section of the tank, which lowers the lifespan of the water heater.
Water Heater sizing is an essential replacement consideration.
All water heaters are under pressure from the water supply, and as water is heated, it grows creating even more pressure. When contemplating replacing a water heater, it’s generally better to go with a bigger 50 gallon tank, rather than a 30 or 40 gallon tank, as long as the location will fit the larger size. The 50 gallon tank will also provide you more hot water capacity.