Is it Time to Replace Your Hot Water Heater?

by Tom Olecki, owner,Broadview heater

Water heaters are devices in our homes that we completely forget about – until they fail and it becomes an immediate emergency. When does it start? During a vacation, vacation or when family or friends arrive from out of town? Avoiding this emergency is easy to do with a little knowledge.

The average lifespan of a typical water heater is around 10-12 years and as we all know, time flies. So if you want to be responsible yourself for avoiding an emergency hot water tank replacement, check the installation date of your heater. As it nears age 12, let it switch on your timeline, not your tank’s.

So what determines when your tank fails? Most tanks have warranties between six and 12 years against leakage. Within these warranty periods there is also a difference in the tanks themselves. When you buy a 12 year tank instead of a six year tank, you are not just buying an extended warranty on the tank. The main difference between tanks is that they each come with a different component called the anode rod.

The anode bar is a sacrificial bar that absorbs the corrosion that will eventually cause your tank to leak. Instead of the water rusting the metal in your tank, the anode corrodes and gets shorter and shorter over time until it’s completely eroded. Once the rod is gone, the metal in your tank will start to corrode and then the end is very near.

For example, a six-year tank has a minimal anode bar. An 8 year old tank has an anode that is about 65% larger and the best 12 year old tank has two anodes or about 130% more anode than the standard 6 year old tank. So the more anode we have to start with, the longer your tank will last.
If you are planning to stay in your home for more than six years, it would be cheaper to buy a tank with a better warranty as it will surely last longer. Longer warranty tanks also add value as they usually have a larger burner that will recover quicker if you use water to prevent that cold water rush at the end of your shower. Another feature of the better tanks is that they have excellent insulation to keep running costs down and a brass drain valve rather than a plastic drain valve that actually closes rather than breaks off when you use it.

Tom Olecki, Owner, Broadview Heater

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Questions are always welcome. For free help with your heating/cooling system, contact the experts at [email protected] or call 440-526-7310.

The opinions and claims expressed above are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of ScripType Publishing.

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