Your hot water heater is probably the most underappreciated machine in your home. Think about it – without your water heater, you couldn’t have any of these luxuries:
- Steamy showers
- Toasty baths
- Clean dishes
- Sanitized towels and sheets
- Hot water, period.
Given the power of the water heater, do you actually know enough about it? We’re here with 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 typically last about a decade before you need to think about replacing the water heater. If you aren’t sure about the age of your water heater, the date the equipment was manufactured will be shown in the serial number which you can find on the ID sticker on the water heater tank.
Aging water heaters are nothing to ignore. A water heater that is ten years or older is at greater risk of producing a leak and leading to water damage to your home. If your water heater is positioned in your attic or above the ground floor, the potential for catastrophic damage increases. Make sure you have your water heater maintenance every year to avoid any leaks from causing damage to your home.
The most typical breakdown of residential water heaters that will need 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 to the outside of your home and minimize the potential of water damage. Every water heater should have a working and obtainable 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 switch off should be positioned within reach.
If a water heater is “undersized,” particularly a gas water heater, the equipment will fail in a shorter time span.
When a gas water heater is consistently emptied of hot water due to significant hot water use, the gas burner is set off more often which can result in heavy condensation on the outside of the tank. The condensation can produce more expeditious decomposition of the steel tank. Also, the severe 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 reduces the life cycle of the water heater.
Water Heater sizing is a crucial replacement consideration.
All water heaters are under pressure from the water supply, and as water is heated, it expands 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, as long as the location will fit the larger size. The larger tank will also supply you more hot water capacity.