Time to replace your water heater? Here are some factors to consider

Posting Date: July 28, 2017
Posted by: Steve Ferguson, Branch Manager of Tampa, FL

If you have a conventional water heater (one with a tank), it will last about 8-10 on average – although that number can vary considerably depending on a number of factors that include:

  • The quality of the tank construction
  • The quality of your installation
  • The quality of your municipal or well water
  • How well the water heater has been maintained
  • The environment in which the tank is placed

If your water heater nearing its 10th birthday and you’re finding leaks near its base, or notice that it’s not working as well as it used to, it’s probably time for a replacement – preferably before it pours 40 or 50 gallons of water on your basement floor.

Water heater buying considerations

Before shopping for a new water heater, it’s helpful to know what kind of unit you have now as a starting point – that way you can either replace it with something comparable or know how to upgrade.

Most important information for your water heater can be found on its nameplate, including tank capacity, insulation R-value, model, and serial number. On electric water heaters, the nameplate will also list the wattage capacity and voltage of the heating elements.

When you’re ready to look for a water heater replacement, you’ll want to consider these features:

  • Gallon capacity (40-gallon and 50-gallon heaters are typical)
  • Recovery rate (how quickly your water heater can heat water)
  • Dimensions (your space may limit your ability to upsize your unit’s capacity)
  • Energy efficiency (a sticker on the side should list the estimated annual cost to run the unit)

One option to consider is switching to a tankless water heater, which heats water on demand. These suitcase-sized units cost a little more up front, but you’ll get unlimited hot water, more placement flexibility, and cut your energy bills by 30-40 percent – enough to more than offset the additional cost of the unit in just a couple of years.

Not sure what kind of water heater to choose? Ask us! Contact Broward today for a FREE, no obligation estimate on a water heater replacement or water heater upgrade.