Things to Keep in Mind When It Comes to Your Water Heater Published on November 17, 2016 The water heater is probably the most underestimated appliance in your home. Really – without your water heater, you couldn’t have any of the following:Steamy showersHot bathsSanitized dishesClean towels and sheetsHot water, period.Given the significance of the water heater, do you really know enough about it? We’re here to provide some things to think about when it comes to servicing, maintaining, and replacing your water heater. The typical lifespan of residential water heaters is between ten and twelve years. Natural gas and electric water heaters will usually last about a decade before you need to look into replacing the appliance. If you are not sure what age your water heater is, the date the equipment was manufactured will be displayed in the serial number which you can find on the ID sticker 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 producing a leak and resulting in water damage to your home. If your water heater sits in your attic or above the bottom floor, the possibility of catastrophic damage rises. Be sure you have your water heater maintenance every year to keep any leaks from creating damage in your home. The most usual failure of residential water heaters that will require 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 allows the pan to drain outside of your home and lower the potential of water damage. Every water heater should have a working 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 shut off should be placed within reach. If a water heater is “undersized,” in particular a gas water heater, the system will breakdown in a shorter time span. When a gas water heater is regularly depleted of hot water due to significant hot water use, the gas burner is set off more frequently which can produce heavy condensation on the tank exterior. The condensation can produce more speedy decomposition of the steel tank. Furthermore, the severe heat from the gas burner on the underside of the water heater tank can also cause damage to the glass lining on the inner section of the tank, which lowers the life expectancy of the water heater. Water Heater sizing is a crucial 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 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 larger tank will also provide you more hot water capacity.