Your hot water heater is probably the most underestimated system in your home. Think about it – without your water heater, you couldn’t have any of these luxuries:
- Steamy showers
- Warm baths
- Clean dishes
- Disinfected towels and sheets
- Hot water, period.
Given the power of the water heater, do you actually know much about it? We’re here to give you some things to think about when it comes to replacing, maintaining, and servicing your water heater.
The usual 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 look into replacing the system. If you aren’t sure what age your water heater is, the date the system was manufactured will be reflected in the serial number which can be found on the ID sticker on the water heater tank.
Older water heaters are nothing to ignore. A water heater that is ten years or older is at higher risk of getting a leak and causing water damage to your home. If your water heater is in your attic or above the ground floor, the possibility of catastrophic damage increases. Be sure you have your water heater maintenance every year to prevent any leaks from causing damage to your home.
The most common malfunction of residential water heaters that will require 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 allows the pan to drain outside of your home and minimize the possibility of water damage. Every water heater should have a operational and obtainable 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 located within reach.
If a water heater is “undersized,” in particular a gas water heater, the system will malfunction in a shorter time span.
When a gas water heater is consistently depleted of hot water due to significant hot water utilization, the gas burner discharges more frequently which can create heavy condensation on the outside of the tank. The condensation can result in more expeditious decomposition of the steel tank. Furthermore, the exceptional 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 reduces the life cycle of the water heater.
Water Heater sizing is a crucial replacement consideration.
The water supply creates pressure for all water heaters, and as water is heated, it expands creating even more pressure. When contemplating replacing a water heater, it’s generally 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 larger tank will also supply you more hot water capacity.