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

November 17, 2016

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

  • Warm showers
  • Toasty baths
  • Disinfected dishes
  • Disinfected towels and sheets
  • Hot water, period.

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

The usual 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 appliance. If you are not sure 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 identification tag on the water heater tank.

Maturing water heaters are nothing to take lightly. A water heater that is 10 years or older is at greater risk of getting a leak and resulting in water damage to your home. If your water heater is positioned in your attic or above the ground floor, the possibility of catastrophic damage increases. Be sure you have your water heater maintenance yearly to avoid any leaks from damaging your home.

The most typical malfunction of residential water heaters that will require 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 outside your home and lower the potential of water damage. Each water heater should have a working and reachable shut-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 close by.

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

When a gas water heater is regularly emptied of hot water due to heavy hot water utilization, the gas burner is set off repeatedly which can result in heavy condensation on the exterior of the tank. The condensation can create more speedy decomposition of the steel tank. Furthermore, the exceptional heat from the gas burner on the bottom 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 an important replacement issue.

The water supply creates pressure for all water heaters, and as water is heated, it expands creating even more pressure. When thinking about replacing a water heater, it’s generally better to go with a bigger 50 gallon tank, rather than a 30 or 40 gallon tank, as long as the location will accept the larger size. The bigger tank will also give you more hot water capacity.

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