The water heater is probably the most underappreciated appliance in your home. Think about it – without the water heater, you don’t have any of these luxuries:
- Steamy showers
- Hot baths
- Disinfected dishes
- Sanitized towels and sheets
- Hot water, period.
Given the importance of the water heater, do you actually know enough about it? We’re here to give you some things to keep in mind when it comes to replacing, maintaining, and servicing your water heater.
The average lifespan of residential water heaters is between ten and twelve years.
Natural gas and electric water heaters will commonly last about a decade before you need to consider replacing the appliance. If you are unsure what age your water heater is, the date the equipment was manufactured will be displayed in the serial number which you can find 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 producing a leak and causing water damage to your home. If your water heater sits in your attic or above the ground floor, the potential for catastrophic damage increases. Be sure you have your water heater maintenance annually to prevent any leaks from creating damage in your home.
The most usual malfunction of residential water heaters that will require 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 allows the pan to drain to the outside of your home and minimize the probability of water damage. Every water heater should have a operational and reachable 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 disconnect should be located within reach.
If a water heater is “undersized,” in particular a gas water heater, the system will malfunction in a shorter period of time.
When a gas water heater is regularly drained of hot water due to significant hot water utilization, the gas burner discharges more frequently which can result in heavy condensation on the exterior of the tank. The condensation can produce more speedy deterioration of the steel tank. Additionally, the extreme heat from the gas burner on the underside of the water heater tank can also deteriorate the glass lining on the inner section of the tank, which decreases the life expectancy of the water heater.
Water Heater sizing is an important replacement consideration.
The water supply cause all water heaters to be under pressure, and as water is heated, it grows creating even more pressure. When considering replacement of a water heater, it’s generally 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 supply you more hot water capacity.