Things to Keep in Mind When It Comes to Your Water Heater Published on November 17, 2016 Your hot water heater is probably the most underestimated system in your home. Really – without your water heater, you couldn’t have any of these perks:Hot showersHot bathsDisinfected dishesClean towels and sheetsHot water, period.Given the importance of the water heater, do you really know much about it? We’re here to give you a few things to keep in mind when it comes to replacing, maintaining, and servicing your water heater. The usual 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 think about replacing the water heater. If you are unsure what age your water heater is, the date the unit was manufactured will be reflected in the serial number which you can find on the ID sticker on the water heater tank. Older water heaters are nothing to ignore. 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 sits in your attic or above the bottom floor, the potential for catastrophic damage rises. Be sure you have your water heater maintenance every year to keep any leaks from damaging your home. The most common malfunction of residential water heaters that will entail replacement is a leaking tank. It is highly recommended to have your plumber install the water heater in a drain pan with piping that enables the pan to drain to the outside of your home and lower the probability of water damage. Every water heater should have a operational and obtainable 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 switch off should be located within reach. If a water heater is “undersized,” in particular a gas water heater, the tank will breakdown in a shorter period of time. When a gas water heater is regularly emptied of hot water due to heavy hot water utilization, the gas burner fires repeatedly which can create heavy condensation on the outside of the tank. The condensation can create more speedy decomposition of the steel tank. Also, the exceptional heat from the gas burner on the underside of the water heater tank can also deteriorate the glass lining on the interior of the tank, which lowers the life cycle of the water heater. Water Heater sizing is a significant replacement consideration. All water heaters are under pressure from the water supply, and as water is heated, it extends creating even more pressure. When contemplating replacing a water heater, it’s generally better to go with a bigger 50 gallon tank, rather than a 30 or 40 gallon tank, providing the location will accommodate the larger size. The bigger tank will also give you more hot water capacity.