The water heater is probably the most underestimated system in your home. Think about it – without the water heater, you don’t have any of the following:
- Warm showers
- Warm baths
- Sanitized dishes
- Disinfected towels and sheets
- Hot water, period.
Given the power of the water heater, do you actually know much about it? We’re here to provide a few 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 usually last about a decade before you need to think about replacing the appliance. If you aren’t sure what age your water heater is, the date the system was manufactured will be displayed in the serial number which is located on the label on the water heater tank.
Older water heaters are nothing to mess around with. A water heater that is 10 years or older is at greater risk of producing a leak and causing water damage to your home. If your water heater is positioned in your attic or above the bottom floor, the possibility of catastrophic damage goes up. Always have your water heater maintenance yearly to avoid any leaks from damaging your home.
The most typical malfunction of residential water heaters that will entail replacement is a leaking tank.
It is a good idea to have your installer place the water heater in a drain pan with piping that enables the pan to drain outside of your home and decrease the possibility of water damage. Every water heater should have a functional and obtainable 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 cut off should be located within reach.
If a water heater is “undersized,” particularly a gas water heater, the tank will fail in a shorter amount of time.
When a gas water heater is regularly depleted of hot water due to substantial hot water use, the gas burner fires repeatedly which can create heavy condensation on the exterior of the tank. The condensation can produce more rapid deterioration of the steel tank. Furthermore, the extreme heat from the gas burner on the bottom of the water heater tank can also deteriorate the glass lining on the inside of the tank, which decreases the life expectancy of the water heater.
Water Heater sizing is an essential replacement factor.
The water supply creates pressure for all water heaters, and as water is heated, it grows creating even more pressure. When contemplating replacing a water heater, it’s typically better to go with a larger 50 gallon tank, rather than a 30 or 40 gallon tank, presuming the location will accommodate the larger size. The 50 gallon tank will also provide you more hot water capacity.