The water heater is probably the most underestimated 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 some things to keep in mind when it comes to maintaining, servicing, and replacing your water heater.
The typical 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 what age 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.
Older water heaters are nothing to mess around with. A water heater that is ten years or older is at higher risk of producing a leak and leading to water damage to your home. If your water heater is in your attic or above the first floor, the potential for catastrophic damage rises. Be sure you have your water heater maintenance every year to prevent any leaks from damaging your home.
The most usual failure of residential water heaters that will require replacement is a leaking tank.
It is best to have your installer place the water heater in a drain pan with piping that lets the pan to drain outside of your home and minimize the potential 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 tank will malfunction in a shorter period of time.
When a gas water heater is routinely depleted of hot water due to heavy hot water utilization, the gas burner fires more frequently which can create heavy condensation on the exterior 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 lifespan 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 expands 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 bigger tank will also give you more hot water capacity.
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