A water heater is a home appliance always running, but most homeowners don’t know how it works until they need to repair or replace the unit.
There are two main types of water heaters, the traditional tank-storage heater and the tankless water heaters.
Traditional tank-storage water heaters continue to be the favorite water heating system for the home. A single-family storage water heater offers an existing hot water supply of 20 to 80 gallons, which releases hot water from the top of the tank when you turn on the tap. The cold water comes from the bottom of the tank through the dip tube, where it is heated, guaranteeing that the tank is always full.
Advantages of Traditional Water Heaters
- The initial cost of a tank-storage water heater is lower than most other types of water heaters.
- They are easy to install without the need to upgrade.
- If there is a power outage, the highly reliable tank-storage water heater can still supply hot water for several days.
- Because tank-storage water heaters are the most common type, replacement parts are easy to find.
Most traditional water heaters have a shelf life of about 10 to 15 years. However, they can raise your energy bills because they run continuously. Other drawbacks include tank leakage, which can cause considerable water damage.
Considerations when Purchasing
Water heaters use electricity, gas, or a combination. Consider whether you’ll want to use the same energy source when looking at a new water heater. Changing the energy source may cost more upfront, but it might be a good investment in the long run.
Capacity means ensuring your water heater can meet the needs of your home. Generally, a 40 to 50-gallon tank is sufficient for an average household of 2 to 3 people, increasing by 10 gallons per additional person in the home.
About 18 percent of home energy use comes from heating water. An older appliance may be ready for replacement, as a more energy-efficient model would be on the market, yielding energy and utility cost savings.
Tankless Water Heaters
Tankless water heaters are also available. They are small, easily installed in limited space, and are space-saving. On-demand water heaters are energy efficient, saving homeowners up to 70% on utility bills.
While these are excellent benefits, the start-up cost of buying and installing a tankless heater is more expensive than a traditional one.
In addition, you may need to increase your home’s electrical system capacity to adapt to a tankless water heater. Finally, there is the expense of upgrading your home’s plumbing. Because they are new to the market, finding replacement parts may be challenging if your unit breaks down.
If you need maintenance on your water heater or to replace it, call Gene Wagner Plumbing. We are proud of being one of the best plumbers in Milwaukee. Check out our profile on Expertise. For more information, contact us or call us at 414-541-9217.