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

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

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

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

The average 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 look into replacing the system. If you are unsure about the age of your water heater, the date the system was manufactured will be shown in the serial number which can be found on the label on the water heater tank. 

Maturing water heaters are nothing to take lightly. A water heater that is ten years or older is at more risk of springing a leak and causing water damage to your home. If your water heater is in your attic or above the first floor, the possibility of catastrophic damage increases. Be sure you have your water heater maintenance yearly to keep any leaks from creating damage in your home. 

The most common malfunction of residential water heaters that will need 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. Every water heater should have a functional 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 located within reach. 

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

When a gas water heater is consistently depleted of hot water due to heavy hot water usage, the gas burner is set off more frequently which can result in heavy condensation on the outside of the tank. The condensation can create more expeditious decomposition of the steel tank. Additionally, the exceptional heat from the gas burner on the underside of the water heater tank can also deteriorate the glass lining on the inner section of the tank, which decreases the lifespan of the water heater. 

Water Heater sizing is a significant replacement issue. 

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 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 supply you more hot water capacity. 

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