Choosing a New Hot Water Heater

Hot water tanksIf you’ve got guests coming for the holidays you may want to give some thought to the age and condition of your hot water heater.  Having extra people showering, running loads of laundry, creating dirty dishes, etc. can substantially increase the demand on your hot water heater.  You certainly don’t want that old hot water tank giving out in the middle of your holiday fun and creating holiday chaos.  As you think about a replacement here are some categories to consider before making a selection.

Size – the size of a hot water heater is calculated by the maximum temperature rise possible at a given flow rate.  In order to properly determine your size requirements, you’ll need to determine the temperature rise and flow rate your home requires.  The best way to do this is to find the flow rate for all of your hot water devices and then add them together.  If you anticipate a need to run the shower, the kitchen sink, and the washing machine simultaneously then add up the 3 flow rates for these items.  In order to calculate your temperature rise rate, you’ll need to subtract the incoming water temperature from the output temperature.  For most homes water comes in at around 50°F and is set to heat to 120°F.  In that situation you would be looking for a temperature rise of 70°F.  Once you have these two pieces of information you can look at the various hot water heaters and determine which ones can meet both of these requirements for you.

Tankless vs Traditional Water Heater – tankless water heaters have grown increasingly popular in recent years as they provide on-demand hot water, without the need for a storage tank.  They are more energy efficient and thus less expensive to operate.  For most families they can expect to save about $100/year on their energy bills by selecting a tankless system.  They do have their limitations though.  They have a lower potential output of hot water.  So running items simultaneously, such as the shower and the dishwasher, could be a problem.  In larger households it may be necessary to install two or more tankless systems in order to meet demand. Tankless systems also have a longer life expectancy with many lasting over 20 years.  Its recommended that you consider whether your current set-up is gas or electric before making this decision as it can be quite expensive to change over from one to the other and may be cost prohibitive to switch to an electric tankless system.

Cost – of course the purchase price for a big ticket item like a tankless system should always be given consideration.  It’s important to remember to think beyond just the sticker price.  Look at the longer term cost of operation, the average lifespan for the one you select, and the warranty.  Most hot water heaters will last an average of 8-12 years, the best warranties are offered for 9-12 years.  So it’s not unreasonable to expect that you can find a warranty that will last for the majority of the life of your hot water heater.

The professionals at All Star Plumbing and Restoration can help in the process of selecting and installing your next hot water heater.  Let us take a look at your current set-up, talk with you about your hot water requirements, and then explain to you the different options from various hot water heater manufacturers.  We know the ins and outs on long term maintenance, availability of replacement parts, durability, and warranties for many different products on the market.  Our team of expert plumbers can then order and install your new hot water heater which will then come with the All Star Plumbing and Restoration guarantee of a quality service job.

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