There are many reasons that you might be in the market for a new water heater. The most common reason is that your current water heater is no longer working and/or is old and begin to show signs that it will not be around much longer. Another common reason to be researching water heaters is that you are not satisfied with your current water heater. And yet another reason for a water heater purchase is that you are building a new home. All of these reasons and a few other pieces of key information will help you to decide how to select the best new water heater to meet your needs, so you’re ready when you contact a trusted local plumber.
When You Are Replacing An Existing Traditional Water Heater
The first question that you need to ask yourself when you are replacing your current water heater is how satisfied are you with the one you have. This answer should reflect your long term satisfaction rather than just the recent time when it is old and beginning to fail. Consider how long the water heater lasted, how much you paid for the unit, and how well it supplied hot water for you on a daily basis. If you were completely satisfied with the unit that you have, then replacement with a similar unit is a good place to start your shopping.
But if you noticed that you never really had enough hot water when everyone was showering or when you were washing dishes, then you have some choices to consider. One option is to select a traditional water heater again, but this time choose one with a larger tank capacity. This will provide you with more hot water for multiple uses such as many showers, dishwashing, and laundry. The other choice is to consider installing a tankless water heater. These units have no holding tank and only heat water on demand. But the great part about them is that they will heat as much or as little water as you need. So the tankless models are like having endless hot water.
When You Are Building A New Home
With a new build, you certainly have more options than a replacement of an old water heater. You will want to consider the type of utility service that you have, such as gas or electric, the size of your new home, the maximum demand that you might have for hot water, and even the layout of the house. All of these factors will have an impact on which type of water heater is best for your new home. And while this all sounds more complicated than you ever imagined, your plumber will be able to help you answer some of the more technical and challenging questions.
The Short List Of Pros And Cons
Nothing is perfect for every person or every situation. But having a shortlist of pros and cons for traditional water heaters and tankless water heaters will provide you with some basic yet very important information for your selection process.
Traditional Water Heater Pros:
- Very affordable
- Easy to service
- Available in natural gas, electric and propane
- Available in various sizes
Traditional Water Heater Cons:
- Shorter life expectancy than tankless models,10-15 years at the most
- More expensive to operate as it maintains a tank of hot water
- Limited capacity
Tankless Water Heater Pros:
- Unlimited hot water on demand
- Can provide water to the entire house or a single area
- More energy efficient/lower operating cost
- Easy to repair
Tankless Water Heater Cons:
- More expensive to purchase
- Can require re-plumbing in some cases
Making Your Selection
The most important thing to remember when selecting a new water heater is that there is no one size fits all model. And because this is an important investment in your home, you will want to carefully consider your options. A trusted local plumber will be a great resource not only to answer your questions but also to provide you with specific information about pricing and the products that are most successful in your area.
Then you can begin to gather written estimates to determine which plumber can best meet your needs for a quality water heater and professional installation within your budget. There are always options for units that are high-end, mid-range and more budget-conscious, but what is most important is that the unit will provide you with the function that you need in your home for at least the next decade.