The water heater is probably the most underestimated machine in your home. Seriously – without the water heater, you wouldn’t have any of these luxuries:
- Hot showers
- Hot baths
- Sanitized dishes
- Sanitized towels and sheets
- Hot water, period.
Given the power of the water heater, do you really know much about it? We’re here to give you a few things to think about when it comes to servicing, maintaining, and replacing your water heater.
The typical 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 system. 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 is located on the label 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 springing a leak and leading to water damage to your home. If your water heater is in your attic or above the first 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 common 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 decrease the possibility of water damage. All water heaters 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 shut off should be located close by.
If a water heater is “undersized,” in particular a gas water heater, the equipment will fail in a shorter period of time.
When a gas water heater is consistently drained of hot water due to heavy hot water usage, the gas burner discharges more often which can create heavy condensation on the tank exterior. 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 extends 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, providing the location will accommodate the larger size. The 50 gallon tank will also provide you more hot water capacity.