Your hot water heater is probably the most underappreciated system in your home. Really – without your water heater, you wouldn’t have any of the following:
- Hot showers
- Hot baths
- Clean dishes
- Clean towels and sheets
- Hot water, period.
Given the importance of the water heater, do you really know a good amount about it? We’re here with 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 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 aren’t sure about the age of your water heater, the date the equipment was manufactured will be reflected in the serial number which you can find on the ID sticker on the water heater tank.
Older water heaters are nothing to ignore. A water heater that is 10 years or older is at higher risk of getting a leak and causing water damage to your home. If your water heater is positioned in your attic or above the bottom floor, the chance of catastrophic damage rises. Make sure you have your water heater maintenance every year to avoid any leaks from causing damage to your home.
The most typical failure of residential water heaters that will need replacement is a leaking tank.
It is highly recommended to have your plumbing expert install the water heater in a drain pan with piping that enables the pan to drain to the outside of your home and decrease the possibility of water damage. All water heaters 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 switch off should be positioned close by.
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 routinely emptied of hot water due to significant hot water utilization, the gas burner discharges repeatedly which can result in heavy condensation on the tank exterior. The condensation can create more expeditious breakdown of the steel tank. Furthermore, the severe heat from the gas burner on the underside of the water heater tank can also take its toll on the glass lining on the interior of the tank, which reduces the life expectancy of the water heater.
Water Heater sizing is a significant replacement consideration.
All water heaters are under pressure from the water supply, and as water is heated, it extends creating even more pressure. When considering replacement of a water heater, it’s typically better to go with a bigger 50 gallon tank, rather than a 30 or 40 gallon tank, presuming the location will accept the larger size. The 50 gallon tank will also give you more hot water capacity.