I walked into a house this morning to go over an AC problem that a customer was having, and in the course of doing my usual explore I glanced at the water heater. Lo and behold, the manufacture date was 1993!! First off let me state the typical life of a tanked water heater in your home is 12-15 years, here I am looking at one that is just about to turn 22 years old. Unspoken rule when it comes to things in your home such as water heaters, air conditioners, and appliances if it’s old enough to drink or drive it is probably time to consider replacement.
I finish my explore process and proceed to go over some of the things I have discovered and the water heater is at the top of my list. So I take the customer over to the water heater show her the date and here it comes… she says “but it still works!!” Every time I hear this from a home owner especially when it comes to a water heater, my heart drops into my socks. Most people don’t realize how much of a danger an older water heater can cause to a home in a matter of a few minutes. Under the right circumstances, a ruptured water heater can cause tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to a home in under an hour.
I am a little sensitive when it comes to water damage in a home, especially when it is mine. A little over two years ago I had an icemaker line rupture in the wall in the middle of the night. By the time everything was said and done, I had over $20,000 worth of damage and a month and a half to get my house back to normal, new floors, partial new walls, drywall, painting etc. That was from a little 3/8” icemaker line; now imagine a full 3/4” line going full blast with 65 pounds of pressure on it from the city. At that pressure, it equates to 15-20 gallons of water per minute. PER MINUTE!!
Back to the homeowner now. Her water heater happened to be in the laundry room and they both work full time outside the home, so visualize if you will, how much water could end up in a home if the heater ruptured at 9:35 am and no one is going to be home until 5:37 pm? To save you from doing the math that is 482 minutes at a minimum of 15 gallons per minute or 7,230 gallons of water filling her house up. I’m no pool guy, but I will bet that that much water would be a pretty good start at filling up the typical backyard pool. All that water from a seemingly innocent 22 year old water heater. Again, it still functions however it is certainly not working, and could spell a disaster at any given moment, leading our poor homeowner to massive damage and months of remodel hassle.
Alright I am stepping off my soapbox and heading to another call and as always, if you are worried about your water heater call us at 1-800-475-1504 or visit www.artplumbingandac.com to schedule a water heater evaluation, just please don’t tell us but it still works….
House Whisperer out.
For Immediate Emergency Assistance Call 1-800-475-1504