As a homeowner, you’re not expected to be a plumbing expert. Some people like to pick it up as a hobby so they can take some larger projects on their own. But most people just want to know the basics so they can keep everything working properly.
It’s also important to make informed decisions when it comes to having new plumbing or an appliance installed in your home. If you’re in the market for a new water heater, you may be surprised to see how many options you have. At Rooter-Man Plumbers, we’ve helped many Houston, Texas homeowners pick out the best water heaters for their home. Here are answers to the most frequently asked questions we get.
Traditional tank water heaters
- How does a tank water heater work? The tank heats and stores hot water at all times, so it’s ready when you need it. Tank hot water tanks come in a variety of sizes ranging from 30 to 80 gallons.
- What are the pros and cons? Since they are widely available, tank water heaters are cost-efficient to install. They can provide hot water to multiple outlets at a time. But the downside is there’s a limited amount of hot water available at one time. Once the tank runs out, you’ll have to wait for more to be heated. Tank water heaters also use more energy to heat the water 24/7.
- How long does a tank water heater last? The average service life of a tank water heater is 10-12 years.
- What maintenance is needed? Once a year, you should drain the water heater to remove mineral deposits or other sediment that can build up at the bottom of the tank.
Tankless water heater
- How does a tank water heater work? Sometimes called an on-demand water heater, a tankless system doesn’t store hot water. Instead, it warms up water instantly when it’s needed.
- What are the pros and cons? Tankless hot water heaters are more energy-efficient and can save you money on your monthly energy bills. Also, because it doesn’t rely on a storage tank, you can enjoy an unlimited amount of hot water. As for the cons, tankless systems are usually more expensive upfront for equipment and installation. Also, depending on the size, the unit may have a limited amount of hot water to provide multiple outlets on at the same time.
- How long does a tank water heater last? The average service life of a tankless water heater is about 20 years.
- What maintenance is needed? Tankless water heaters need to be cleaned and descaled. Since these units are small and complex, maintenance is better off left to a professional.
Other important questions
- How do I know what size I need? Size is calculated by the number of people in your household and first-hour rating (FHR). For tank water heaters, a 40-50 gallon tank is typically suitable for a family of 3-4 people. Tankless systems also come in different sizes based on the number of people and outlets it will serve.
- What are the signs that I need to replace my water heater? If your current water heater is nearing the end of its expected service life, it’s a good idea to replace the unit before it dies and leaves you without hot water in your home. Other signs include inconsistent water temperatures, strange noises coming from the unit, and leaking.
- What should I have a water heater professionally installed? Having a licensed plumber install your new water heater gives you peace of mind knowing that everything is set up correctly and safely. This includes following all codes and testing the system to make sure you get the best performance and efficiency. Also, a professional will ensure that you follow the requirements of the warranty that come with the water heater.
Water heater installation in Northwest Houston
Doing the research is the first step in picking out and having the best new water heater installed in your home. If you have any other questions or want an estimate, call Rooter-Man Plumbers today at 281.351.4422.