Your water heater is probably the most underrated system in your home. Think about it – without the water heater, you don’t have any of these luxuries:
- Hot showers
- Toasty baths
- Sanitized dishes
- Sanitized towels and sheets
- Hot water, period.
Given the significance of the water heater, do you truly know enough about it? We’re here with 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 10-12 years.
Natural gas and electric water heaters will typically last about a decade before you need to look into replacing the appliance. If you are not 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 ID sticker 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 higher risk of producing a leak and causing water damage to your home. If your water heater sits in your attic or above the first floor, the possibility of catastrophic damage increases. Always have your water heater maintenance annually to prevent any leaks from damaging your home.
The most common breakdown of residential water heaters that will require replacement is a leaking tank.
It is highly recommended to have your installer place the water heater in a drain pan with piping that enables the pan to drain to the outside of your home and minimize the probability of water damage. All water heaters should have a operational and reachable 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 disconnect should be positioned close by.
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 routinely depleted of hot water due to substantial hot water usage, the gas burner is set off more often which can result in heavy condensation on the outside of the tank. The condensation can create more rapid breakdown of the steel tank. Furthermore, the exceptional 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 lowers the lifespan of the water heater.
Water Heater sizing is a crucial replacement factor.
The water supply creates pressure for all water heaters, and as water is heated, it extends creating even more pressure. When contemplating replacing a water heater, it’s usually better to go with a bigger 50 gallon tank, rather than a 30 or 40 gallon tank, providing the location will fit the larger size. The bigger tank will also supply you more hot water capacity.