Photo By OntheRunPhoto at istock
Hot running water is one of the most prevalent conveniences of a contemporary household. Water heaters allow homeowners to take care of some daily activities with utmost ease, from showering and bathing to laundry and cleaning dishes. However, as with most plumbing fixtures, the water heater is also prone to damage and malfunctions. This article explains the intricacies of taking care of your water heater.
Types of Water Heaters
It is important to distinguish the different water heater types to understand how to approach repairs and replacement. At Benjamin Franklin Plumbing, we handle different types of water heaters and their associated issues. Water heater types include;
1. Conventional Storage Tanks
These tanks have been in use in most American households for decades. Typically, conventional storage tanks come with an insulated tank holding between 20-80 gallons of water. These heaters are powered by either propane, gas, electricity, or fuel oil. Common problems associated with this traditional water heater include:
- Inefficiency. Conventional water heaters typically have 60-65% efficiency, meaning heat loss of up to 40%. This further translates to increased energy bills.
- It consumes valuable space. These water heaters take up plenty of space. Consequently, due to the massive sizes and heat they radiate, it is advisable to keep flammable items away from them.
- Continuous water heating. Traditional water heaters have to keep their water temperatures constant, making them less energy-efficient.
- Tank capacity limits hot water volume. Therefore, if the tanks run out of water, you will have to wait for incoming cold water to be heated for use.
- Sediment buildup. Conventional water heaters involve pumping cold water into the storage tanks for heating. The cold water is likely to have sediments that float to the tank’s bottom.
- Odors over time. Unfortunately, the magnesium anode rod inside conventional water heater tanks are designed to corrode before the primary equipment. Consequently, you will notice a musty scent in the water.
- Shorter lifespan. Unlike its alternatives, traditional water heaters do not last as long.
- Whether these issues become more prevalent, consult an expert Myrtle Beach, SC water heater replacement professional immediately.
2. Tankless Water Heater
Tankless water heaters utilize heating coils to provide hot water on demand, also referred to as on-demand water heaters. This cuts down the requirement for additional storage tanks. Providing hot water only when required helps you save a lot on energy expenditure. Tankless water heaters are available in electric and gas-powered models. However, natural gas-fueled heaters are relatively more prevalent in most American households.
Common issues facing the tankless water heater include:
- Low hot water capacity
- Blockages in exhaust pipes
- Ignition failure
- Collection of minerals.
Should I Repair or Replace My Water Heater?
Tankless water heaters typically last up to 20 years, while storage tanks last between 10-15 years on average before suffering in performance owing to old age. With time, even properly maintained water heaters lose efficiency and develop issues common with tear and wear. It is worth considering which is the best alternative between water heater replacement or water heater repair in such situations.
Below are signs that you need water heater repair or water heater replacement in Myrtle Beach, SC.
Signs that You Need Water Heater Repair
- Fluctuating water temperatures. If your water is not coming out as hot as before, this could be a sign of an issue. Consider scheduling water heater repair, especially if it is still relatively new. However, if it is too old, consider a replacement.
- You are running out of hot water too fast. Water heaters are typically designed to keep your hot water ready at all times. Water heaters have two heating elements, one at the top and another below. Should you run out of hot water abruptly, the chances are that one or both of these is malfunctioning and needs immediate repair.
- Funny noises originating from the tank. A little noise is perfectly normal. However, this becomes a cause for alarm if the noise is louder and banging. Consult an expert to advise on whether you need to repair or replace it.
Signs That You Need Water Heater Replacement
- Old age. The water heater is past its lifespan. Check with the manufacturer for the expected water heater lifespan. If it is past the lifespan and is starting to malfunction, it is time to consider a new fixture.
- Rusty-colored water. This means that the water heater’s interior material has possibly corroded with no chance for repair.
- Frequent, costly repairs. If your water heater repairs keep piling up, chances are your fixture is beyond functioning normally despite any repair efforts you take.
- More leaks than before. One or two leaks is understandable and easily fixable. However, the more they become, the less efficient your water heater is, calling for immediate replacement.
- Louder odd noises coming from the water heater’s interior. This could be a sign its time to replace your water heater.
What Is the Cost of Water Heater Repair?
This can be a determining factor when deciding between water heater replacement or repair. Consult an expert plumber on the most cost-efficient methods between the two. If the repair costs are equal to or more than half of the water heater replacement cost, it may be worth considering the long-term benefits of replacing instead of repairing. You will save more money on energy bills and future repair costs.
It is also essential to ask yourself how much you spend on heating monthly? If you notice that the cost of heating your household water is continuously rising, this is a clear sign that your water heater is losing its efficiency and demands immediate replacement.
Water Heater Replacement Myrtle Beach, SC
Generally, water heater replacement makes more sense financially and functionally. A new water heater provides twice the efficiency of an old, regularly repaired water heater. More importantly, it is more energy-efficient and saves you money on possible repairs. Call our plumbing experts at Benjamin Franklin Plumbing in Myrtle Beach for an expert opinion on water heater replacement and repairs.