Residential Water Heaters: FAQs

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Water heaters play an important role in the home, as they are integral to everything from cleaning to bathing. However, these appliances are often one of the most neglected in the home by homeowners. By becoming familiar with the basics of these appliances, you will know when a repair is necessary. Here are a few frequently asked questions regarding residential hot water heaters.

What Kinds of Hot Water Heaters Are Available?

There are two primary types of residential hot water heaters: traditional and tankless. Traditional hot water heaters consist of a large tank that holds a certain amount of water as the water warms up. Tankless hot water heaters function on-demand and warm up the water as it is needed. Depending on the tankless unit that is selected, it can supply hot water to the entire house or to a single room like the bathroom.

How Do You Know When Repairs Are Needed?

The first warning sign of a problem with your water heater is a loss of heat. Some other warning indicators that hot water heater repair is necessary include loss of water pressure, water discoloration, and leaks around the water heater tank.

How Long Do the Appliances Tend to Last?

Like all other appliances, hot water heaters have a "shelf life". Generally, traditional water heaters have a life span of about a decade. If your water heater is getting close to that age, then you should consider investing in a replacement as opposed to having it repaired when the time comes. Tankless water heaters are known to last longer than their traditional counterparts—double the time in fact.

What Kind of Hot Water Heater Is Most Appropriate for Your Home?

When it comes to choosing a hot water heater for your home, there is no right or wrong answer. It all comes down to individual preferences. However, it helps to know the facts. For instance, traditional hot water heaters are less expensive upfront to not only purchase but to install as well. In addition, these water heaters tend to consume more energy. Tankless hot water heaters are much more energy-efficient (meaning they don't consume as much energy to function); however, if you use a significant amount of water at once, it may not all get sufficiently hot. You should evaluate your individual household needs and speak to a plumber in your area to help determine the type of water heater that is most suitable for you and your family.

For more information, reach out to a local plumbing service.