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

November 17, 2016

Your water heater is probably the most underrated machine in your home. Really – without a water heater, you don’t have any of the following:

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

Given the significance of the water heater, do you truly know enough about it? We’re here to provide some things to remember when it comes to servicing, maintaining, 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 how old your water heater is, the date the unit was manufactured will be reflected in the serial number which is located on the identification tag on the water heater tank.

Aging water heaters are nothing to take lightly. 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 is in your attic or above the bottom floor, the chance of catastrophic damage goes up. Make sure you have your water heater maintenance annually to prevent any leaks from causing damage to your home.

The most typical breakdown of residential water heaters that will need 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 your home and lower the possibility of water damage. Every water heater should have a operational and reachable 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 cut off should be placed close by.

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

When a gas water heater is consistently drained 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 breakdown of the steel tank. Also, the severe heat from the gas burner on the underside of the water heater tank can also cause damage to the glass lining on the inside of the tank, which lowers the lifespan 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, presuming the location will accommodate the larger size. The larger tank will also give you more hot water capacity.

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