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

November 17, 2016

Your water heater is probably the most underestimated machine in your home. Really – without your water heater, you wouldn’t have any of these luxuries:

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

Given the significance of the water heater, do you truly know much about it? We’re here to provide a few things to keep in mind when it comes to maintaining, servicing, and replacing your water heater.

The average lifespan of residential water heaters is between ten and twelve years.

Natural gas and electric water heaters will typically last about a decade before you need to consider replacing the appliance. If you are unsure about the age of your water heater, the date the unit was manufactured will be reflected in the serial number which can be found on the identification tag on the water heater tank.

Older water heaters are nothing to mess around with. A water heater that is a decade or older is at more risk of springing a leak and resulting in water damage to your home. If your water heater sits in your attic or above the bottom floor, the chance of catastrophic damage goes up. Be sure you have your water heater maintenance annually to prevent any leaks from damaging your home.

The most common breakdown 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 lets the pan to drain to the outside of your home and lower the possibility of water damage. All water heaters should have a operational 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 shut off should be placed nearby.

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

When a gas water heater is regularly depleted of hot water due to substantial hot water utilization, the gas burner is set off more often which can result in heavy condensation on the tank exterior. The condensation can result in more rapid deterioration of the steel tank. Also, the extreme heat from the gas burner on the underside of the water heater tank can also cause damage to the glass lining on the interior of the tank, which reduces the life expectancy of the water heater.

Water Heater sizing is an important replacement consideration.

The water supply creates pressure for all water heaters, and as water is heated, it extends creating even more pressure. When thinking about replacing a water heater, it’s generally better to go with a sizable 50 gallon tank, rather than a 30 or 40 gallon tank, providing the location will accept the larger size. The larger tank will also supply you more hot water capacity.

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