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

The water heater is probably the most underrated system in your home. Think about it – without the water heater, you wouldn’t have any of these luxuries: 

  • Steamy showers 
  • Warm baths 
  • Disinfected dishes 
  • Disinfected 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 few things to keep in mind when it comes to servicing, maintaining, and replacing your water heater. 

The usual lifespan of residential water heaters is 10-12 years

Natural gas and electric water heaters will usually last about a decade before you need to think about replacing the system. If you are unsure how old your water heater is, the date the equipment 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 ignore. 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 in your attic or above the bottom floor, the chance of catastrophic damage increases. Make sure you have your water heater maintenance annually to prevent 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 plumber install the water heater in a drain pan with piping that enables the pan to drain outside of your home and minimize the possibility of water damage. Every water heater should have a functional and obtainable 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 switch off should be placed within reach. 

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

When a gas water heater is regularly depleted of hot water due to heavy hot water usage, the gas burner discharges more frequently which can produce heavy condensation on the tank exterior. The condensation can result in more speedy deterioration of the steel tank. Also, the severe heat from the gas burner on the bottom of the water heater tank can also take its toll on the glass lining on the interior of the tank, which reduces the life expectancy of the water heater. 

Water Heater sizing is an essential replacement issue. 

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

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