Is it time to replace your old water heater? Or maybe you are doing research because you are ready to upgrade? Either way, it’s smart to learn more so you aren’t in a situation where you must make a high-pressure decision or face taking cold showers!
Consider this a Water Heater 101 as we answer some of our customer’s top questions about water heater replacement.
How long does a water heater last?
The quality of the water heater makes a difference in how long it will last. Your water purity also matters as hard water ages your water appliances faster than filtered water. That being said, you can expect your water heater to last 7-14 years.
How old is my water heater?
To determine the age of your water heater, you will want to check the manufacturer label. This video will give you a clue about where to find it and determine the age.
However, if you notice that your water isn’t staying as hot as it used to, or you are hearing noises or the water smells, it may be time for a service call, regardless of the age of the unit.
What is the best water heater?
The best water heater depends on YOU. There are some brands who are well known because of their commercials. There are also brands that are high quality that you aren’t aware of because they are only available to those of us professionals in the industry.
Your best water heater is based on your budget, how long you plan to be in your house, the size of your household and your water demands. A good plumber will provide you with a few options or give you an estimate based on the needs you have shared with them.
How big of a water heater do I need?
To balance energy efficiency, cost benefits, and water supply needs, you should choose a water heater based on your household demand. If you find you are constantly running out of hot water, that’s a good sign you need a larger heater. (Or, your water heater needs to be serviced because it isn’t running efficiently.)
What about tankless water heaters?
Tankless water heaters are a great option for homeowners who have high demands for hot water on an ongoing basis. There are other considerations as well, such as space, venting, and current configurations, as these are likely to change. These changes can incur additional costs, but there are right times to do it, such as with a new build or remodel, or when the demand just makes sense.
What is an expansion tank?
An expansion tank is part of replacing a water heater that brings it up to current plumbing codes. When water heats up, it creates steam and expands, and when it cools, it reduces. This repetitive expansion and contraction can cause extra pressure on the pipes and fixtures, causing them to crack or explode.
An expansion tank is designed to hold the water that overflows so the additional pressure isn’t put on the system. This helps it last longer and keeps it safer for your family.
It is cheaper to leave it off – and that’s how some companies “save” you money. In essence, they aren’t following current plumbing code and are leaving your home at risk for a rupture and resulting water damage. For pennies on the dollar, you are being preventative by installing a new expansion tank with your water heater.
Is there a benefit to electric versus gas?
There are different reasons for why someone would choose a gas water heater over an electric one. Efficiency, earth friendliness, and current energy configurations are the primary considerations. Talk to your plumber about your goals, and they can suggest the best water heater for your specific needs.
Can I install a water heater myself?
Technically, you can, but we don’t recommend it. As mentioned, safety is a top priority and given it’s likely been nearly a decade since the water heater was last installed, new plumbing codes are in place that make the unit safer and more efficient. Because we are up to date on this, and each water heater is a bit different, it isn’t the best DIY project. Plus, we handle delivery and disposal, so you don’t have to.
Water heater replacement is something most of our clients aren’t aware we do! Let Garvin’s Sewer Service take care of all your drain and plumbing needs, including water heater repairs and replacement. Give us a call today for a quote or more information and let our 80 years of service work for you in a new way!