You’re applying for a new home insurance policy and the insurer has informed you that the age of your water heater is a problem. Since it’s more than 10 or 12 years old, the insurer refuses to cover your appliance. Yet you know many people who own a water heater that is more than 15 years old and is still operating properly. Why such a large disparity?
According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), 50% of home insurance claims are due to water damage, and the culprit is often the water heater. That’s why it is important to inspect your appliance’s overall condition and maintain it when required.
Basically, not all water heaters are created equal. Some models are manufactured overseas, in Asia for example, and may seem like a cheaper alternative. However, you must keep in mind that they might not meet the same quality standards as those that are made in Quebec and that their warranty period is usually shorter. These two factors may force you to replace your water heater earlier than expected. Choose a water heater made in Quebec instead, like those offered by HydroSolution. Not only will you get a higher-quality and more reliable appliance, but you will also get the best warranties on parts and customer service.
The life expectancy of water heaters: other factors to consider
Water quality: This is the factor that will most affect your water heater’s life expectancy. If your appliance is electric and your water supply comes from a municipal water system that provides high quality water, sediment deposits will not accumulate as quickly and your water heater will need little maintenance.
Maintenance: If your water supply comes from a well or if you live in an area where the water contains high concentrations of minerals, regular maintenance (such as draining your water heater) is then recommended to ensure proper operation and to extend the life of your water heater.
The quality of the installation: You may be tempted to install your water heater yourself or call on your friends and family, but the installation must comply with strict electrical and plumbing standards to remain covered. The manufacturer may even choose to void its warranty in the case of improper installation. An installation carried out by a professional reduces the risk of water heater damage.
What are the signs of an aging water heater?
The overall temperature of the water: Does your water seem less hot than usual?
The amount of hot water: Are you getting less hot water than usual when taking your shower or when filling the bath?
The colour of the hot water: Does your hot water seem a little rusty or are your clothes stained when they come out of the washing machine?
The condition of the tank: Finally, is there rust at the base of your tank or condensation on the outside wall of your water heater?
THESE SIGNS DO NOT LIE. IT’S TIME TO REPLACE YOUR WATER HEATER.
How can you extend the life of your water heater? Tips and tricks
Replace the sacrificial anode: If your water contains high concentrations of iron, acid or any other type of mineral particles, periodically replacing the sacrificial anode is an excellent investment. For a few dozen dollars, a new anode can add several years to your water heater’s life.
Get a water softener and regularly drain your water heater: Only if your water is hard, installing a water softener would be a good idea to reduce its mineral content. Combine this with draining your water heater regularly, and you’ll be putting the odds in your favour to extend the life of your water heater.
Operating the safety valve manually: This valve, also called the temperature and pressure relief valve, is designed to discharge water to release any excess pressure in the tank. Operating it manually allows you to eliminate tartar or limescale build-up. It’s simple, quick and should be done once a year.
IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT THE AGE OR THE CONDITION OF YOUR WATER HEATER, CALL US. WE’RE HERE TO HELP!
Find the water heater that’s right for you
household water consumption
Low to average
Members of your household take up to 4 showers or 2 baths every day, you wash your clothes with cold water, and you run the dishwasher every 3 days.
Members of your household take more than 4 showers or 3 baths every day, you wash your clothes with hot water, and you run the dishwasher every day.