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 really know much about it? We’re here to give you a couple things to keep in mind when it comes to maintaining, servicing, and replacing your water heater.
The typical lifespan of residential water heaters is about ten to twelve years.
Natural gas and electric water heaters will typically last about a decade before you need to consider replacing the appliance. If you aren’t sure about the age of your water heater, the date the system was manufactured will be displayed 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 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 typical breakdown 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 allows 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 obtainable 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 located nearby.
If a water heater is “undersized,” especially a gas water heater, the system will fail in a shorter period of time.
When a gas water heater is consistently depleted of hot water due to substantial hot water use, the gas burner fires more frequently which can create heavy condensation on the outside of the tank. The condensation can cause more speedy deterioration of the steel tank. Additionally, the extreme heat from the gas burner on the bottom of the water heater tank can also deteriorate 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.
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 generally better to go with a bigger 50 gallon tank, rather than a 30 or 40 gallon tank, providing the location will accommodate the larger size. The larger tank will also give you more hot water capacity.
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