Water Heater Systems

There are a lot of choices whenever it comes to water heaters. A water heater comes in either gas or electric with each fuel source offering a different way to heat the water inside the home. A gas-powered water heater heats the water inside of the tank more slowly than an electric unit.

The main benefit of a gas heater is that it saves the homeowner more money because of its ability to heat water faster than its counterpart. An electric water heater is the more popular choice amongst units because of its consistency.

An electric water heater heats water very quickly so that there is no gap in-between cold and hot. The homeowner instantly receives hot water for many things in the home that include:

  • Bathing/showering
  • Washing dishes
  • Laundry (washer)

Tankless and solar water heaters are something new on the plumbing market. They provide hot water instantly but are more compact and efficient. A tankless system, for example, uses either gas or electric in order to heat the water up.

One of the main advantages to a tankless system is the money savings. There is no money being spent on heating the tank full of water like traditional units do. It does have some limitations though as it may not be able to heat the entire household.

Solar water heaters are heated by the sun. Panels are installed that help heat up the water. As it is a newer way to heat water in the home, there are some disadvantages such as the main installation cost being on the higher side.

The main advantages of a solar hot water heater is that it provides the homeowner with a less expensive run time and does not cause pollution. Solar also helps cut down on the dependency of electric and gas too.

Maintenance

A water heater is often placed in the crawl space of the basement and forgotten about. It is responsible for heating water in the home and allowing for warm showers to be taken along with using the “Warm” setting on the washer.

A heater that has been maintained will last anywhere from 10-15 years. If and when it goes; the owner will see the following signs as these are indications that it needs to be replaced:

  • Hot water that doesn’t last
  • No hot water at all
  • Noises
  • Leaks
  • Odd taste or smell of water

Little to not how water at all may be a problems stemming from the thermostat. If the water tank starts to show these signs, it’s important that a local plumber is called in immediately to replace the thermostat.

Most electrical appliances make noises. This is normally a low humming sound. But when there is a loud banging sound, it could mean that the unit needs to be repaired or replaced. It all depends on what the problem is.

Odd tasting or smelling water means that the water is tainted. Most complaints are that the water has a metallic taste or smell. This could means that the unit has aged or not being taken care of properly as maintenance is required for most plumbing appliances.

Replacement

If the water heater has finally gone out for good, upgrading to a new system is beneficial. New and efficient models can serve well into the future without needing any maintenance. Before buying a new water heater, there are some things to consider:

  • What size is needed
  • Where to be installed
  • Type of power source

Size matters when it comes to water heaters. Many make the mistake of assuming they all come in one size and upon getting it home, it needs to be returned for either a bigger or smaller- sized unit. Oversized units waste a lot more energy.

An area where the hot water tank is to be installed is important. Many feel that it’s safe to assume that the tank needs to be installed in the same spot as the old one. A water tank put into a smaller space risks extensive damages to the home such as leaks.

The main options for power are gas, electric and solar. Electric needs a dedicated line where as gas needs its own natural gas or propane line. Sticking with what is already there helps save homeowners money and time.