The water heater is probably the most underappreciated appliance in your home. Really – without a water heater, you wouldn’t have any of the following:
- Warm showers
- Hot baths
- Disinfected dishes
- Clean towels and sheets
- Hot water, period.
Given the power of the water heater, do you really know a good amount 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 10-12 years.
Natural gas and electric water heaters will commonly last about a decade before you need to think about replacing the appliance. If you are unsure how old your water heater is, the date the unit was manufactured will be shown in the serial number which is located on the identification tag on the water heater tank.
Aging water heaters are nothing to ignore. A water heater that is 10 years or older is at more risk of getting a leak and leading to 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. Always have your water heater maintenance annually to keep any leaks from causing damage to your home.
The most usual failure of residential water heaters that will entail replacement is a leaking tank.
It is best to have your installer place the water heater in a drain pan with piping that allows the pan to drain to the outside of your home and lower the potential of water damage. Every water heater should have a functional 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 shut off should be positioned close by.
If a water heater is “undersized,” especially a gas water heater, the equipment will breakdown in a shorter period of time.
When a gas water heater is consistently drained of hot water due to significant hot water utilization, the gas burner fires more frequently which can result in heavy condensation on the exterior of the tank. The condensation can create more rapid deterioration of the steel tank. Additionally, the severe heat from the gas burner on the bottom of the water heater tank can also take its toll on the glass lining on the inside of the tank, which reduces the life cycle of the water heater.
Water Heater sizing is a significant replacement factor.
All water heaters are under pressure from the water supply, and as water is heated, it extends creating even more pressure. When contemplating replacing a water heater, it’s typically 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 provide you more hot water capacity.