The water heater gets quite a workout in most homes. Based on manufacturer’s suggested service life, the life expectancy of a water heater is about 8 to 12 years. That, of course, will vary with the severity of local weather, the unit design, quality of installation and the level of maintenance your unit has received.
If your water heater is 10 years or older it is probably only running at 50% of its efficiency, which is costing you more money. The good thing is that there are plenty of options these days from gas, electric and even tankless water heaters. The cost to replace your water heater depends on the size you choose, and how many code upgrades are required. Give us a call to schedule a time for a free estimate
If your water heater is leaking around the base of the tank, and / or the top, works erratically or not at all, it probably needs to be replaced. In any case, check to see if the pilot is light is lit, and make sure that an electrical problem such as a blown fuse or tripped breaker is not the reason for the unit’s failure.
If you have an old, leaky water heater that’s not performing well, or if you’re simply tired of paying so much in energy costs, it may be time to sit down with one of our technicians to discuss a replacement.
Electric vs. Gas Heaters
In electric heaters, an electric current passes through resistance coils which heat up the water around them where as gas heaters rely on burning natural gas to heat the tank much like a giant kettle on a stove. Since gas heaters do not rely on electricity, they can operate in power outages while their electric counterparts cannot.
Efficiency and cost:
While electric water heaters are more energy efficient, the cost of natural gas is less than electricity, making gas water heaters less expensive to operate. Despite the slightly higher purchase price of gas heaters in general, the lowered operation cost makes up for it in a matter of months. Because gas heaters actually heat faster as well, they are a popular choice for homes with heavy water usage.
Capacity and First Hour Recovery
While the number of gallons or capacity of the water tank does make a difference in its ability to provide continually hot water, another important factor to consider is “first hour recovery.” First hour recovery refers to the ability a water heater has to produce hot water for the first hour. It’s actually possible for a smaller-capacity water heater to have a higher recovery rating, thus making it possible to run hot water for longer. When choosing a water heater, be sure to check the “first hour recovery” rating as well as the capacity.
The typical life span of electric and gas water heaters on average is 7-10 years. Repair costs when heaters reach this age usually justify purchasing a new unit.
The Tankless Heater
A lot of people, especially in the Salt Lake City and Sugarhouse areas, are switching to tankless heaters because of the following benefits
Saves space in the home: tankless heaters are small and can be mounted almost anywhere, including the outside of the house.
Lasts longer than tank-based heaters because there is no need to store water which causes mineral build-up and rust
Saves on energy costs due to no pilot light and not having to store water
These things can be taken care of usually at a minimal cost:
Put a fiberglass sleeve around the water heater for added insulation
Flush the water heater once a year, especially if you live in areas with hard water
Have the sacrificial anode rod checked out annually. Look for buildup and replace it if you can see the internal wiring