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There’s nothing better than a hot shower on a chilly morning or at the end of a long day. However, at some point, there comes a time when that water stops hitting the temperature that relaxes your muscles and helps melt away the day’s troubles. If you call a plumbing service, and learn that your water heater is unrepairable or the repairs will cost more than the replacement, you’ll need to make a quick decision on a new model that meets your family’s needs.
Check Your Energy Source
Your water heater may run on gas, propane, or electricity. The electric model uses two heating rods. These are replaceable, which allows you to maintain the appliance longer before needing to replace the entire unit. Additionally, the electric option isn’t limited to tank size. Fueling burning water heaters are often more energy-efficient than electric styles.
These use a burner to heat the water and might be more complicated to repair than electric ones. But fuel-based appliances often last longer than other types, providing some homeowners with reliable service for a decade or longer. Unless you’re looking to complete the upgrades necessary for an electric tank, you’ll want to stick with a comparable gas or propane model. For more information on replacing your electric, gas, or propane water heater, contact our plumbing service and we can help answer any questions.
Another choice is a heat pump or hybrid tank. These are dual-fuel systems that use energy from the air to heat the water in the tank and can save between 30% and 50% on energy costs. The hybrid solution limits the tank size range to 50 to 80 gallons, which may not be adequate for your family size. Additionally, these need more room than all traditional styles. For more information on energy efficiency, all products have a rating on the side of the appliance that lists the energy factor, first-hour recovery data, and flow rate for tankless options.
No matter which type of heater you have, never attempt to make repairs yourself. Always contact a licensed and plumbing service. These appliances involve electricity, fuel, and water. An experienced professional is the only person qualified to maintain, repair, and install a new water heater safely.
Decide On the Water Heater Type
Yes, there’s more to replacing a hot water tank than matching the heat source. There are a few styles to consider. The traditional storage tank, which is available in electric, propane, and natural gas models, is the most common. These have a tank that fills and an internal heating source, such as elements or a burner to heat the water.
A style that’s growing in popularity is the tankless or on-demand water heaters. As mentioned, these don’t have a tank, which means they are more versatile for homes and businesses with limited space. Tank-free options have a series of coils that heat the water as it passes through and only runs when you’re using it, making it much more efficient than other styles. Although it may sound like tankless options won’t provide enough hot water, most models heat 3.5 gallons of water per minute. To find out if tankless models will work for your residence or business, contact our plumbing service.
Another option is a point-of-use or utility style. These aren’t full-size, regular heaters. Instead, they’re small and ideal for adding hot water to outbuildings, such as garages, sheds, barns, and pool areas. Additionally, if one area of your home doesn’t get hot water quickly, you can use one to reduce time. For questions about how to improve hot water access to all rooms and buildings on your Myrtle Beach, SC property, contact our plumbing service.
For mobile homes, you need a special water heater approved by the U.S. Housing and Urban Development Agency (HUD) because of the smaller door openings and access areas. These can be gas or electric and must meet all safety requirements for space and access. If you need help with a mobile home hot water tank, contact our plumbing service.
When you are ready to replace your home’s hot water source, pay attention to capacity. If your family has grown over the years, so has your need for hot water. Homes in Myrtle Beach, SC that have the room are perfect candidates for a higher capacity tank. For example, a family of three to four people needs a 50-gallon electric tank, and the same family-size should have at least a 40-gallon capacity with a gas model. Homeowners that are looking for this upgrade can contact their local plumbing service for assistance.
Consider the Space Available
Hot water tanks come in different heights, along with various capacities. The two options are lowboys or short units that are wider and shorter than a traditional heater. These are between 30 and 49 inches and are ideal for tanks in a crawlspace or under a cabinet. For limited space, but extra height availability, such as basements or garages, tall models, which range between 50 to 76 inches, are the better choice. When deciding on the new model, it must fit into the space available unless you have more room and can hire a contractor to open the area up for a larger tank. If you are changing the fuel source to electric, you will have extra space that may allow a different style or higher capacity unit. However, for homeowners switching to a gas or propane tank need to leave extra space for safety reasons.
For help with your home or business’s water heater, contact Benjamin Franklin Plumbing. We handle all your plumbing service needs, including 24/7 emergency repairs, upgrades, and replacements.