Hot water heaters are an essential piece of our households. They deliver us hot water when we need it. But when they expire, you can suddenly find yourself without hot water.
But how can we tell if they are about to go?
Generally, the industry recommends replacing a hot water heater anywhere from 8-10 years from the manufacture date.
But how can you tell the manufacture date? Some companies make it easy, by putting it very obviously on the label. But many don't. That is ok though, because it is standard to embed the manufacture date in the serial number.
Each company codes its serial number slightly differently, so it may require a little research to find how it has been done. A good website to look at is http://www.buildingcenter.org/. They have a 'one stop shop' on how to read different kind of serial numbers.
The other danger from hot water is they can cause a lot of damage to the surrounding area. This is because a common way hot water tanks expire is by springing a leak from some part, then dumping its contents everywhere. If your hot water tank is located in a finished basement, or a condo unit, this can create a water damage everywhere.
Ideally it is best to change your hot water tank before this happens. However if you have a drain near your hot water tank, you can take some comfort that the drain can indeed pick up much of the water before it can damage everywhere. A drain pan can help also direct more of the water towards the drain.
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