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. Think about it – without the water heater, you couldn’t have any of the following:

  • Hot showers
  • Warm baths
  • Sanitized dishes
  • Sanitized towels and sheets
  • Hot water, period.

Given the importance of the water heater, do you actually know much about it? We’re here to give you a few things to remember when it comes to replacing, maintaining, and servicing 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 are unsure how old your water heater is, the date the unit was manufactured will be displayed in the serial number which can be found on the ID sticker on the water heater tank.

Maturing water heaters are nothing to mess around with. A water heater that is 10 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. Always have your water heater maintenance annually to avoid any leaks from creating damage in your home.

The most common breakdown of residential water heaters that will entail 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 outside your home and decrease the potential of water damage. Every water heater should have a working and accessible 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 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 routinely emptied of hot water due to significant hot water usage, the gas burner fires repeatedly which can create heavy condensation on the outside of the tank. The condensation can create more rapid deterioration of the steel tank. Furthermore, the severe 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 expectancy of the water heater.

Water Heater sizing is a crucial replacement issue.

The water supply cause all water heaters to be under pressure, and as water is heated, it expands creating even more pressure. When thinking about replacing a water heater, it’s generally better to go with a bigger 50 gallon tank, rather than a 30 or 40 gallon tank, as long as the location will accommodate the larger size. The larger tank will also give you more hot water capacity.