Things to Keep in Mind When It Comes to Your Water Heater

November 17, 2016

Your hot water heater is probably the most underappreciated appliance in your home. Really – without a water heater, you couldn’t have any of these luxuries:

  • Steamy showers
  • Toasty baths
  • Sanitized dishes
  • Clean towels and sheets
  • Hot water, period.

Given the importance of the water heater, do you truly know a good amount about it? We’re here to provide a few things to think about 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 think about replacing the water heater. If you are not sure how old your water heater is, the date the unit was manufactured will be displayed in the serial number which is located on the label on the water heater tank.

Maturing water heaters are nothing to take lightly. A water heater that is 10 years or older is at higher risk of producing a leak and resulting in water damage to your home. If your water heater sits in your attic or above the ground floor, the possibility of catastrophic damage goes up. Be sure you have your water heater maintenance yearly to prevent any leaks from damaging your home.

The most common failure of residential water heaters that will require replacement is a leaking tank.

It is a good idea to have your plumbing expert install 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. Each water heater should have a functional and accessible 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 located nearby.

If a water heater is “undersized,” in particular a gas water heater, the tank will fail in a shorter time span.

When a gas water heater is regularly depleted of hot water due to significant hot water usage, the gas burner fires repeatedly which can produce heavy condensation on the outside of the tank. The condensation can create more expeditious deterioration of the steel tank. Also, the extreme heat from the gas burner on the base 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 cause all water heaters to be under pressure, and as water is heated, it extends creating even more pressure. When thinking about replacing a water heater, it’s typically 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 bigger tank will also give you more hot water capacity.

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