Your water heater can go out on you at any time and leave you without a reliable source of water in your home. It can also be just something as easy as your daily water needs have increased. If that is the case, then your water heater might be working okay, but simply isn’t able to fulfill the daily household need for hot water due to inadequate capacity.
When considering a water heater replacement, there are many options available. You should take a few moments to think about what is best for you and your family. If you decide that you want to replace your entire water heating system, you first need to consider the following: will you be replacing your unit with a tankless type? Or, are you replacing your tank heater with a gas water heater which uses a separate condensing unit to heat water?
Tankless condensing units both use a similar heating technology. They both use Freon or an alternative refrigerant to heat the water that circulates through a copper or other metal casing. In the case of a tankless water heater replacement, the unit is located inside the home and draws its power from an outside source, usually an electric grid or gas line. This means that it can be located nearly anywhere in your home. As a result of being located almost anywhere in your home, some people choose to place them on the wall near a window or a door, thus giving them a more flexible install.
Gas water heaters are usually placed in a garage, basement, or on the side of a house. Because they are located so close to a home, they may have trouble being installed in places where a conventional heater would not fit. Although gas-fired units can be quite heavy, they are also not as difficult to install as a tankless unit, especially if you are replacing an older gas water heater with a newer electric unit. When it comes to tankless heaters, the most challenging aspect of installation may be the pipes, because you have to find a way to snake the new heater through the pipes, or install them much differently than you would with a conventional unit.
Once you decide to go with one of these systems, it is important that the plumber you hire understands the process thoroughly. There are two main types of gas water heaters: positive displacement and negative displacement. Positive displacement units use Freon to heat water and draw it into a closed cylinder, which causes the gas to rise. The gas in a negative displacement unit stays put, causing the water to stay colder. Because of the different mechanisms involved with both types of heaters, it is important that the plumber you hire knows how to identify the right system for your home, since some systems are not compatible with certain systems, such as under-the-sink tankless water heaters, or may only be compatible with gas water heaters.
Installing a new water heater replacement can be very costly, even if you buy an energy efficient model. Since the majority of water heaters are old and inefficient, they will not provide you with enough hot water when you use them. Instead of spending money on a water heater replacement, you could spend that money on energy efficiency upgrades that would make your entire home more energy efficient. Even if you cannot afford an energy efficient model right now, there are plenty of models available that are still very energy efficient. Your best bet is to find a professional plumber that can help you identify the best model for your home, and then install it for you. If the plumber does not know how to install the system or does not have enough experience, do not hesitate to pay someone else to do it, because the last thing you want is to have a faulty hot water heater replacement causing you to spend more money on repairs.