Water heaters are the most integral part of homes. They provide hot water for showering, doing the laundry, and cooking. Yet water heaters are often one of the most over looked appliances in homes. Most homeowners fail to recognize and appreciate the availability of hot water on demand until the water heater breaks down. Though most water heaters have the lifespan of about a decade, it only continues to function for so long if it is inspected and maintained regularly. Ideally, you should get water heater maintenance twice a year. However, despite maintenance, if your water heater continues to malfunction, you are only left with one option -water heater replacement.
When considering water heater replacement, you need to know many things about water heaters. Below is some important information about water heaters.
Types of Water Heaters
There are five types of water heaters, and each has a unique set of benefits. However in the US, only three types of water heaters are commonly used. These include:
Conventional Storage Tank Water Heater
Conventional water heaters have been used in the country for many decades. These water heaters have a heating unit installed, along with an insulated storage tank which can store the heated water. The storage tank in a conventional water heater can store anywhere between 20 to 80 gallons of water.
Each unit has a thermostat which records the temperature of water. You need to set the temperature once. The thermostat then controls the action of the heating element. Once the temperature drops below the set rating, the heating element begins to function and heat the water. These heaters are constantly working to ensure that the water temperature is maintained.
The water heating unit has two valves, the pressure valve and the temperature valve. It moderates and maintains the temperature when it reaches over 120 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature valve also helps release heat in case the water becomes super-heated. The pressure valve helps in releasing the pressure which can build up in the water heater. It opens up when the pressure reaches around 150 psi.
The heating element in the conventional water heater can be heated using natural gas or electricity, depending upon your preference. Since the heating element is working constantly to maintain a certain temperature, this type of water heaters use up more energy.
Tankless Water Heater
As the name suggests, tankless water heaters do not have any storage tank. Instead, there are coils which heat up the water instantly. This type of water heaters are also known as on-demand water heaters. This is because unlike conventional water heaters, the heated water is not stored. Instead, it is only heated on demand.
Both electricity and gas can be used to heat water in a tankless water heater. However, since the heating element is not running constantly, tankless water heaters can significantly help save energy costs. However, there is a drawback of this type of water heaters. If you need large volume of water, a single tankless water heater might not be sufficient to meet your needs. Instead, you will need multiple tankless water heaters which can provide you the required amount of hot water in your entire house. So while it will help you save energy costs, the installation costs of multiple water heaters might outweigh the benefits.
Hybrid Water Heater
If you want the efficiency of a tankless water heater and the storage ability of a conventional water heater, then you need a hybrid water heater. A hybrid water heater comes with a storage tank along with an additional pump which is installed on top of the water heater.
The pump’s function is similar to an air conditioner but the order is reverse. It draws in cooler air from the environment, heat it and feed it into the storage tank. This method of heating water is 60% more efficient compared to heating in a conventional water heater. Since they are more efficient, their price is normally higher than conventional and tankless water heaters. Also hybrid water heaters are taller compared to conventional water heaters. This is because of the additional pump installed on top of the tank.
Water Heater Maintenance
The average life of any type of water heater is around 10 years. However, you can improve the efficiency and increase the life of water heaters by regular maintenance. Below is some information about the maintenance requirements of different types of water heaters.
Conventional water heaters need maintenance twice a year. This helps in clearing up any collection inside the water heater. It will also help in identifying any potential leaks in the water heater. Regular maintenance ensures that the water heater continues to work efficiently for a longer period of time.
A tankless water heater needs more regular maintenance compared to a conventional water heater. Although there is no tank, the coils need scaling to avoid corrosion. Also the other smaller parts, which are more difficult to access by a layman, also need thorough cleaning by a professional plumber.
Hybrid water heaters can regular maintenance atleast twice a year. This not only improves the efficiency of the water heater but will also help prolong its life. If regularly maintained, hybrid water heaters can prove to be the most cost effective option compared to the other two types.
Need a Water Heater Replacement?
If you need water heater replacement, contact Mesa Plumbing Company. We provide all types of water heater services including repair, replacement, relocation and installation. Our team of qualified and experienced plumbers provide all sorts of residential and commercial plumbing support. From clogged drains to repair and replacement of water heaters, our professional staff is available 24/7 to help identify and solve all your plumbing problems. To know more about our services, visit our website or call now at 480-832-1660.