The water heater is probably the most underestimated system in your home. Think about it – without the water heater, you wouldn’t have any of the following:
- Steamy showers
- Warm baths
- Disinfected dishes
- Sanitized towels and sheets
- Hot water, period.
Given the importance of the water heater, do you really know enough about it? We’re here to give you some things to think about when it comes to maintaining, servicing, 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 typically last about a decade before you need to look into replacing the water heater. If you aren’t sure how old your water heater is, the date the system was manufactured will be displayed in the serial number which is located on the identification tag on the water heater tank.
Maturing water heaters are nothing to mess around with. A water heater that is ten years or older is at higher risk of springing a leak and causing water damage to your home. If your water heater is in your attic or above the bottom floor, the chance of catastrophic damage increases. Always 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 highly recommended to have your plumbing expert install the water heater in a drain pan with piping that lets the pan to drain outside your home and minimize the potential of water damage. All water heaters should have a functional and accessible 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 cut off should be located close by.
If a water heater is “undersized,” especially a gas water heater, the tank will malfunction in a shorter period of time.
When a gas water heater is regularly depleted of hot water due to substantial hot water usage, the gas burner fires repeatedly which can produce heavy condensation on the exterior of the tank. The condensation can create more rapid deterioration of the steel tank. Additionally, the extreme heat from the gas burner on the bottom of the water heater tank can also take its toll on the glass lining on the interior of the tank, which lowers the life expectancy of the water heater.
Water Heater sizing is a significant replacement consideration.
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 sizable 50 gallon tank, rather than a 30 or 40 gallon tank, as long as the location will accommodate the larger size. The bigger tank will also provide you more hot water capacity.