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

November 17, 2016

Your hot water heater is probably the most underestimated system in your home. Think about it – without your water heater, you couldn’t have any of these perks:

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

Given the power of the water heater, do you actually know much about it? We’re here to give you a couple things to remember when it comes to maintaining, servicing, and replacing your water heater.

The usual lifespan of residential water heaters is about ten to twelve years.

Natural gas and electric water heaters will commonly last about a decade before you need to think about replacing the appliance. If you are unsure about the age of your water heater, the date the equipment was manufactured will be reflected in the serial number which is located on the label on the water heater tank.

Maturing water heaters are nothing to mess around with. A water heater that is ten years or older is at more risk of producing a leak and leading to water damage to your home. If your water heater sits in your attic or above the bottom floor, the potential for catastrophic damage goes up. Always have your water heater maintenance yearly to prevent any leaks from damaging your home.

The most common malfunction of residential water heaters that will require replacement is a leaking tank.

It is a good idea to have your plumber install the water heater in a drain pan with piping that allows the pan to drain outside your home and minimize the potential of water damage. All water heaters should have a operational and reachable 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 positioned close by.

If a water heater is “undersized,” in particular a gas water heater, the system will fail in a shorter amount of time.

When a gas water heater is regularly drained of hot water due to substantial hot water use, the gas burner fires repeatedly which can result in heavy condensation on the outside of the tank. The condensation can create more rapid deterioration of the steel tank. Additionally, the exceptional heat from the gas burner on the base of the water heater tank can also deteriorate the glass lining on the inner section of the tank, which decreases the life expectancy of the water heater.

Water Heater sizing is an important replacement factor.

All water heaters are under pressure from the water supply, and as water is heated, it grows creating even more pressure. When contemplating replacing a water heater, it’s typically better to go with a bigger 50 gallon tank, rather than a 30 or 40 gallon tank, providing the location will accept the larger size. The larger tank will also provide you more hot water capacity.

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