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

November 17, 2016

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

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

Given the significance of the water heater, do you truly know much about it? We’re here with some things to remember 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 commonly last about a decade before you need to look into replacing the appliance. If you are unsure what age your water heater is, the date the equipment was manufactured will be displayed 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 higher risk of getting a leak and causing water damage to your home. If your water heater sits in your attic or above the bottom floor, the potential for catastrophic damage increases. Be sure you have your water heater maintenance yearly to keep any leaks from damaging your home.

The most typical failure of residential water heaters that will require replacement is a leaking tank.

It is best to have your installer place 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 functional 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 disconnect should be positioned nearby.

If a water heater is “undersized,” particularly a gas water heater, the system will fail in a shorter time span.

When a gas water heater is consistently drained of hot water due to substantial hot water utilization, the gas burner fires more often which can produce heavy condensation on the tank exterior. The condensation can result in more rapid breakdown of the steel tank. Also, the extreme heat from the gas burner on the base of the water heater tank can also cause damage to the glass lining on the inner section of the tank, which reduces the lifespan of the water heater.

Water Heater sizing is a significant replacement factor.

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

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