Your water heater is probably the most underappreciated appliance in your home. Think about it – without a water heater, you wouldn’t have any of the following:
- Steamy showers
- Warm baths
- Disinfected dishes
- Clean towels and sheets
- Hot water, period.
Given the power of the water heater, do you truly know enough about it? We’re here to provide some things to keep in mind when it comes to servicing, maintaining, and replacing your water heater.
The usual 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 consider replacing the system. If you aren’t sure what age your water heater is, the date the unit was manufactured will be displayed in the serial number which can be found on the identification tag on the water heater tank.
Older water heaters are nothing to mess around with. A water heater that is a decade or older is at more risk of getting a leak and leading to water damage to your home. If your water heater is in your attic or above the ground floor, the possibility of catastrophic damage increases. Always have your water heater maintenance yearly to prevent any leaks from causing damage to your home.
The most usual failure of residential water heaters that will require replacement is a leaking tank.
It is highly recommended 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 minimize the potential of water damage. Every water heater should have a working and accessible turn-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 within reach.
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 routinely depleted of hot water due to significant hot water utilization, the gas burner fires more frequently which can produce heavy condensation on the tank exterior. The condensation can produce more speedy decomposition of the steel tank. Also, the extreme heat from the gas burner on the bottom of the water heater tank can also cause damage to the glass lining on the inner section of the tank, which decreases the life cycle of the water heater.
Water Heater sizing is a crucial replacement consideration.
The water supply creates pressure for all water heaters, and as water is heated, it grows creating even more pressure. When considering replacement of a water heater, it’s typically better to go with a larger 50 gallon tank, rather than a 30 or 40 gallon tank, as long as the location will fit the larger size. The larger tank will also give you more hot water capacity.