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

November 17, 2016

The water heater is probably the most underestimated machine in your home. Think about it – without the water heater, you wouldn’t have any of these perks:

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

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

The typical lifespan of residential water heaters is 10-12 years.

Natural gas and electric water heaters will commonly last about a decade before you need to look into replacing the system. If you are not sure about the age of your water heater, the date the system was manufactured will be reflected in the serial number which can be found on the ID sticker on the water heater tank.

Maturing water heaters are nothing to take lightly. A water heater that is 10 years or older is at greater risk of getting a leak and resulting in water damage to your home. If your water heater is positioned in your attic or above the ground floor, the possibility of catastrophic damage goes up. Always have your water heater maintenance yearly to prevent any leaks from damaging your home.

The most typical failure of residential water heaters that will require 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 minimize the potential of water damage. Each water heater should have a working and reachable 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 shut off should be placed nearby.

If a water heater is “undersized,” particularly a gas water heater, the equipment will breakdown in a shorter period of time.

When a gas water heater is routinely drained of hot water due to heavy hot water usage, the gas burner fires more frequently which can create heavy condensation on the tank exterior. The condensation can result in more speedy breakdown of the steel tank. Furthermore, the severe heat from the gas burner on the base of the water heater tank can also take its toll on the glass lining on the inner section of the tank, which reduces the life expectancy of the water heater.

Water Heater sizing is an essential replacement issue.

All water heaters are under pressure from the water supply, and as water is heated, it expands creating even more pressure. When considering replacement of a water heater, it’s typically better to go with a sizable 50 gallon tank, rather than a 30 or 40 gallon tank, providing the location will accommodate the larger size. The 50 gallon tank will also give you more hot water capacity.

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