The water heater is probably the most underrated appliance in your home. Think about it – without your water heater, you don’t have any of the following:
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 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 commonly last about a decade before you need to consider replacing the appliance. If you are not sure how old your water heater is, the date the system 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 mess around with. A water heater that is ten years or older is at more risk of getting a leak and causing water damage to your home. If your water heater is in your attic or above the first floor, the chance of catastrophic damage increases. Always have your water heater maintenance annually to avoid any leaks from damaging your home.
The most usual failure of residential water heaters that will require replacement is a leaking tank.
It is a good idea to have your installer place the water heater in a drain pan with piping that enables the pan to drain to the outside of your home and minimize the possibility of water damage. Each water heater should have a functional and accessible cut-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 disconnect should be placed nearby.
If a water heater is “undersized,” especially a gas water heater, the equipment will fail in a shorter period of time.
When a gas water heater is regularly depleted of hot water due to significant hot water usage, the gas burner fires more frequently which can create heavy condensation on the outside of the tank. The condensation can cause 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 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 cause all water heaters to be under pressure, and as water is heated, it grows creating even more pressure. When considering replacement of 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 give you more hot water capacity.
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