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

November 17, 2016

Your hot water heater is probably the most underrated appliance in your home. Really – without your water heater, you wouldn’t have any of these luxuries:

  • Warm showers
  • Hot baths
  • Sanitized dishes
  • Clean towels and sheets
  • Hot water, period.

Given the significance of the water heater, do you actually know a good amount about it? We’re here with a couple things to think about when it comes to replacing, maintaining, and servicing your water heater.

The average 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 consider replacing the water heater. If you are unsure what age your water heater is, the date the unit was manufactured will be shown in the serial number which can be found on the label on the water heater tank.

Older water heaters are nothing to take lightly. A water heater that is 10 years or older is at greater risk of springing a leak and leading to water damage to your home. If your water heater is positioned in your attic or above the first floor, the possibility of catastrophic damage increases. Make sure you have your water heater maintenance yearly to avoid any leaks from creating damage in your home.

The most common malfunction of residential water heaters that will entail 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 lets the pan to drain outside your home and minimize the potential of water damage. Every water heater should have a operational and accessible 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 shut off should be located within reach.

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

When a gas water heater is regularly emptied of hot water due to heavy hot water usage, the gas burner discharges repeatedly which can produce heavy condensation on the outside of the tank. The condensation can produce more expeditious breakdown of the steel tank. Additionally, the severe heat from the gas burner on the base 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 a significant replacement consideration.

All water heaters are under pressure from the water supply, and as water is heated, it extends 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, as long as the location will accept the larger size. The 50 gallon tank will also supply you more hot water capacity.

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