Your hot water heater is probably the most underappreciated system in your home. Think about it – without a water heater, you wouldn’t have any of these perks:
- Warm showers
- Hot baths
- Sanitized dishes
- Disinfected 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 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 about ten to twelve years.
Natural gas and electric water heaters will usually last about a decade before you need to consider replacing the system. If you are not sure how old your water heater is, the date the system was manufactured will be reflected in the serial number which you can find on the identification tag on the water heater tank.
Aging water heaters are nothing to take lightly. A water heater that is 10 years or older is at greater risk of springing a leak and leading to water damage to your home. If your water heater sits in your attic or above the first floor, the possibility of catastrophic damage rises. Be sure you have your water heater maintenance every year to avoid any leaks from damaging your home.
The most usual failure of residential water heaters that will entail replacement is a leaking tank.
It is best 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 potential of water damage. Each water heater should have a operational and reachable 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 located close by.
If a water heater is “undersized,” in particular a gas water heater, the tank will breakdown in a shorter time span.
When a gas water heater is regularly depleted of hot water due to heavy hot water usage, the gas burner discharges repeatedly which can result in heavy condensation on the exterior of the tank. The condensation can cause more expeditious deterioration of the steel tank. Also, the severe heat from the gas burner on the bottom of the water heater tank can also deteriorate the glass lining on the interior of the tank, which decreases the life cycle of the water heater.
Water Heater sizing is an essential replacement factor.
All water heaters are under pressure from the water supply, 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 larger 50 gallon tank, rather than a 30 or 40 gallon tank, presuming the location will accommodate the larger size. The larger tank will also give you more hot water capacity.