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Buying a new water heater can be a very daunting task for any homeowner. Even if you have purchased a water heater in the past, finding a new model can be just as confusing. A lot has changed over the last few decades, and there are dozens of options, styles, and features. That is why it is advisable to consult with a plumbing service in Arlington, TX to make sure you purchase a water heater that is the right style and size for your home.
A water heater is a sizable appliance. If you make a wise purchase it can last for a decade or two with proper maintenance from a plumbing service in Arlington, TX. However, that will only happen if it is large enough to support the needs of your home and is properly installed by a professional. If the replacement is an emergency you may feel forced into purchasing the first water heater you see, but if you are aware yours is getting old you can start looking at replacements while you have the time.
It is always better to be proactive about replacement so that you don’t find yourself without hot water or find a flood in your basement. The following is a complete guide that can help you figure out what water heater will be best for your home. It covers sizing issues, model issues, and installation issues. Keep in mind that while this information will help you make a more informed decision, you should always consult with an Arlington, TX plumbing service before making your final purchase. You also should always allow a professional plumbing service in Arlington, TX install your water heater to ensure it is safely and correctly installed.
Water Heater Types
The best place to start is with the basics: water heater types. In general, there are three different types of water heaters. Once you pick out the type you want, then you can start to look at sizes and features. There is no sense of comparing features and sizes until you know the exact type you want. Choosing the right type for your home will help you narrow down your search perimeter to make it easier to choose among your options offered by your plumbing service.
Storage Tank Water Heaters
The first type is storage tank water heaters. These are the most common and conventional options. Chances are this is the one that you have seen the most. This type of water heater features a large tank that is insulated. It stores water in the tank until it is needed and then refills the tank as the hot water is used. Storage tank water heaters generally run on either gas or electricity. If you are not sure which power source you need, consult with an Arlington, TX plumbing service who can identify the size and power source of your current hot water heater.
Hybrid Water Heaters
If energy efficiency is your top concern, you may want to consider a hybrid water heater. Hybrid heaters capitalize on ambient heat that exists in the air. They pull the heat out of the air to warm water that is kept inside, but the problem is they need to be placed in a warm area so that there is heat for them to extract from the air. In warmer locations, this is not as large of an issue but bear in mind that if you have the A/C on year-round in Arlington, Texas this can still be something worth thinking about. Additionally, hybrid water heaters by nature are large and awkward, which can make them hard to discreetly hide in your home. They do reduce energy consumption, however, so if this is important to you then it may be worth mulling over with your plumbing service to see if there is any possibility of it working for you.
Tankless Water Heaters
As the name implies, tankless heaters do not store water and do not have a tank. Tankless heaters heat water on demand by running it across hot piping. They don’t store any water so they only run when you need hot water. This alone can help cut down your energy costs, and it can help people who consume a lot of hot water. Since the hot water is produced on demand, you don’t have to worry about your hot water tank running out of hot water while you are in the middle of a task. Of course, there are downsides to using a tankless water heater as well. While they don’t run out of water per se, they can struggle to keep up with supplying hot water to multiple fixtures at the same time. Thus, they work best in homes with smaller families due to the lower demand for hot water simultaneously. Your plumbing service can help you decide if it would be a good fit for your home or not.
What Is Your Average Hot Water Use?
Now that you have an idea of what types of hot water heaters are available, you need to think about what you actually want from your hot water heater. The very first thing you need to consider is how much hot water you use in your home. If you are looking at traditional storage-tank water heaters, the amount of water you use is known as FHR or first-hour rating. If you are looking at a tankless water heater the amount of water is assigned a GPM rating or gallons-per-minute.
While they are rated in different ways, they give you an idea of how much hot water the given hot water tank can produce in a fixed amount of time. Most water tank heaters start at around 55 gallons of water and then increase higher. Once again, before you make a choice you need to know how much water you use. While it can be tempting to choose a smaller model because they are cheaper, any good plumbing service will tell you that you will pay for this dearly if you are a heavy consumer of hot water.
If you have a large family, multiple bathrooms, or often run hot water from multiple areas of the home frequently you need to consider a larger tank. Even if your family is small you may run more hot water than you think. For instance, all you need to do is run the dishwasher while someone washes their hands and another person takes a shower for the water to run cold. On the other hand, you don’t want to buy a large, obtrusive water tank that is hard to fit into your home if you don’t really need a large amount of hot water.
Energy costs factor into your final decision on the size as well. A larger capacity water heater will come with a higher price tag. Even a tankless water heater will cost more if you choose one that can produce more hot water per minute because it will utilize more heating coils than its smaller counterparts. If you have no idea what the average water consumption looks like in your home you may want to talk to a plumbing service. Based on your previous hot water tank, family size, and layout of your home, your plumbing service can probably offer you a very reasonable usage estimate.
What Type of Warranty Is Offered with the Water Heater?
Even if you buy the best hot water heater and you have a professional plumbing service in Arlington, TX install it things can still go wrong. Like any major appliance, sometimes one simple flaw is all it takes for a system to breakdown. A hot water heater is a major appliance and a major investment, as such, you should analyze warranties carefully to make sure you protect your investment. Sometimes the plumbing service that installs your new water heater also offers their own add-on warranty so it’s worth inquiring.
On average, water heaters last between two to 12 years although a carefully maintained and lightly used water heater can last up to two decades. With this in mind, you want to choose a hot water heater with a reasonably long warranty period as well. Usually, models that come with longer-warranties cost more, but this is because they offer better insulation and heating elements. The company is willing to offer an extended warranty because they know it is unlikely their product will fail. This is the type of reassurance that you should look for when purchasing a new hot water heater.
Depending on where you purchase your hot water heater, you may also have the option to add on an extended warranty from the store itself. Some stores allow you to purchase a warranty that starts after the original warranty on the product has expired. This can be another great way to protect your future investment. Always do your homework and shop around before buying a model. In general, it is a good idea to buy a product with the longest warranty period that is within your budget. Keep in mind that if you buy the water heater independently, you should still hire a plumbing service to install it. Proper installation by a professional plumbing service plays a large role in the overall lifespan of a hot water heater.
What Features Would You Like in a Hot Water Heater
Now that you have covered the essential basics, you are free to have a bit more fun choosing your next hot water heater. Modern hot water heaters have a lot of fun features that are worth exploring. While you may not think your hot water tank needs many features, you may change your mind when you see what is out there.
For example, some smart hot water heaters have digital displays on the outside of the tank to display the current quantity of water. The display also might alert you to other contaminants inside of the tank. Over time sediment from hard water builds up at the bottom of the tank and interferes with the heating process. At this point, you will need to call a plumbing service to investigate why your water is not heating properly. If you have a digital display that alerts you to contaminants you can be proactive and have a plumbing service remove them before it interferes with your hot water supply.
Other smart hot water heaters allow you to precisely choose the temperature you want your water. Instead of a gauge that varies from hot to cool, you can choose the exact degree you want your water heated too. For families with young children, this is a great safety measure that can set everyone’s mind at ease. Others like the idea of smart water heaters because they can turn them on and off from their mobile devices. This can be a great way to save money, especially if no one is home during the day. Setting the hot water heater to come on an hour or so before you arrive home reduces the costs of heating water in the tank all day.
Of course, all of these extra features do come with a price tag. The more features you want, the more you will end up paying. Therefore, you need to weigh how beneficial the features will be, and if you give up a few features to get a larger hot water tank or vice versa. Once again, a plumbing service expert is a great person to weigh in on what features are the most important and useful for your home.
Ready to Buy or Install a New Hot Water Heater?
Now that you know what to look for, you should feel a bit more comfortable with buying a water heater. Benjamin Franklin Plumbing of Fort Worth has been helping Arlington, TX residents choose and install hot water tanks for years. Their knowledgeable plumbing service technicians would be happy to walk you through the process of purchasing your next hot water tank to ensure that your needs are fully addressed. We are happy to help our customers find a budget-friendly hot water tank that also offers a few bells and whistles to make the investment a bit more fun and less stressful.