Your hot water heater is probably the most underestimated machine in your home. Think about it – without the water heater, you don’t have any of the following:
- Warm showers
- Hot baths
- Clean dishes
- Sanitized towels and sheets
- Hot water, period.
Given the power of the water heater, do you truly know enough about it? We’re here with some things to think about when it comes to servicing, maintaining, and replacing your water heater.
The average lifespan of residential water heaters is 10-12 years.
Natural gas and electric water heaters will commonly last about a decade before you need to consider replacing the appliance. If you aren’t sure about the age of your water heater, the date the unit was manufactured will be shown in the serial number which can be found on the identification tag on the water heater tank.
Maturing water heaters are nothing to mess around with. A water heater that is a decade or older is at greater risk of producing a leak and leading to water damage to your home. If your water heater sits in your attic or above the ground floor, the chance of catastrophic damage increases. Make sure you have your water heater maintenance every year to avoid any leaks from damaging your home.
The most typical failure of residential water heaters that will entail 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 lets the pan to drain to the outside of your home and minimize the possibility of water damage. All water heaters should have a working 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 shut off should be located close by.
If a water heater is “undersized,” in particular a gas water heater, the equipment will malfunction in a shorter amount of time.
When a gas water heater is regularly drained of hot water due to heavy hot water use, the gas burner fires more frequently which can produce heavy condensation on the outside of the tank. The condensation can produce more rapid decomposition of the steel tank. Additionally, the extreme heat from the gas burner on the underside of the water heater tank can also take its toll on the glass lining on the inner section of the tank, which reduces the life expectancy 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 expands creating even more pressure. When considering replacement of a water heater, it’s usually better to go with a sizable 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 provide you more hot water capacity.