The water heater is probably the most underappreciated appliance in your home. Seriously – without your water heater, you don’t have any of the following:
- Hot showers
- Hot baths
- Disinfected dishes
- Sanitized 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 to give you some things to keep in mind when it comes to maintaining, servicing, and replacing your water heater.
The average lifespan of residential water heaters is about ten to twelve years.
Natural gas and electric water heaters will commonly last about a decade before you need to look into replacing the water heater. If you are unsure what age your water heater is, the date the equipment 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 mess around with. A water heater that is ten years or older is at more risk of springing a leak and causing water damage to your home. If your water heater sits in your attic or above the first floor, the possibility of catastrophic damage rises. Always have your water heater maintenance annually to keep any leaks from causing damage to your home.
The most typical breakdown 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 enables the pan to drain outside of your home and lower the potential of water damage. Every water heater should have a working and accessible 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 switch off should be positioned close by.
If a water heater is “undersized,” in particular a gas water heater, the tank will breakdown in a shorter period of time.
When a gas water heater is routinely emptied of hot water due to substantial hot water usage, the gas burner fires more often which can create heavy condensation on the tank exterior. The condensation can result in more expeditious deterioration of the steel tank. Furthermore, the extreme heat from the gas burner on the base of the water heater tank can also cause damage to the glass lining on the inside of the tank, which decreases the lifespan of the water heater.
Water Heater sizing is a significant replacement factor.
The water supply creates pressure for all water heaters, and as water is heated, it extends creating even more pressure. When thinking about replacing a water heater, it’s typically better to go with a sizable 50 gallon tank, rather than a 30 or 40 gallon tank, presuming the location will accommodate the larger size. The bigger tank will also provide you more hot water capacity.