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Hot Water Heater Basics

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Hot Water Heaters

A water heater is an important part of the home’s plumbing system and is considered a vital home appliance. Despite their hardy nature, a water heater is still just another appliance and as such has a lifespan that must be considered if it is to be kept in proper conditions throughout its entire service life.

As a homeowner, you will want to be aware of the conditions and lifespan of your water heater so that if it does need replacing you can do so without skipping a beat. At best a faulty water heater will deny you a warm shower, at worse, the problems can include extreme flooding and other problems.

So, the most important thing to know is how long a water heater can last and what you can do to extend their lifespan.

Tank Water Heaters – How Long Do They Last?

A regular water heater can be either electric or gas powered and provides heat energy to water passing through its insulated tank. On average, a water heater like this can last as long as 10 to 15 years if provided with the proper treatment. If you would like to verify the age of the unit in your home, you can do so by checking the serial number.

Tankless Water Heaters – How Long Do They Last?

Also known as on-demand water heaters, the tankless water heater is in high demand as they are very efficient. This is because unlike a conventional water heater the tankless water heater doesn’t have to heat an entire tank of water to provide you with warm water. Only the water that is used is heated and this makes it a very energy efficient appliance.

Further maintaining your tankless water heater is going to be easy because they don’t see the same kind of damage that a regular boiler type water heater will suffer. This is why if they are given the right kind of treatment a tankless water heater can last as long as 15 years. Many have even lasted over 20 years because they are so easy to maintain. As you may imagine, a quality option will be even more resilient.

Is it Time to Replace Your Water Heater?

You will want to begin considering changing your water heater if you see any of these warning signs.

Strange Noises — if you begin to hear any banging, cracking, or sizzling coming from your tankless water heater, there is something not right inside and it could be caused by the buildup of sediment within. This could be a sign that you will need to replace the item.

Cold or Lukewarm Water —the function of a water heater is fairly simple; it is designed to heat water to the desired degree. If this simple function is not being performed to the satisfaction of the users, there is obviously something wrong.

Rusty Water — if you see water coming from the water heater that is rust colored or otherwise contaminated, you may want to be sure the water heater is not responsible for this problem.

Leakage — there are some leaks that can be easily addressed with a simple DIY repair. Then there are leaks that render the water heater inoperable. If you begin to notice a leak, examine it at once. If you believe the problem lies within your capacity to repair, fix it. If not, call in the professionals immediately.

Age — age is another important thing to consider when determining the longevity of your water heater. As you may know when the water heater begins to lose its efficacy, it will have to be replaced. Furthermore, after a certain age, these water heaters are an accident waiting to happen. They may be working fine one minute and sprung full of leaks the next.

Tips That Will Make A Water Heater Last Longer

Anode Replacement — the anode is a rod that is placed in the water heater with the purpose of attracting the ions and minerals that tend to cause flaky mineral buildup in the tank. This will need to be replaced every two to three years to retain functionality. You can actually improve the functionality of your tank in the long term by adding another anode rod to the tank.

Water Softener or Scale Inhibitor — If you live in a region with highly-mineralized or “hard” water, you will have to be aware of the great tendency for scaly buildup in the tankless water heater. The best way to expand the longevity of the water heater is to use inhibitors that remove these minerals from the water supply.

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What You Need to Know About Tankless Hot Water Heaters

For many years, engineers have been working tirelessly to perfect the most energy efficient water heating apparatus they could. The good news, after exhaustive efforts and many millions spent on research and development, the tankless water heater was introduced to the markets.  These units can deliver the very best energy solutions and are available in a wide variety of design options with different specifications.

The alternative is the tank or boiler water heater. These will carry a tank with several gallons of water that is kept hot at all times and this means your energy is heating water that is not actually being used. This is not something you will have to worry about with the tankless water heater. Tankless water heaters only heat the water you need in the amounts you need them, and this saves a large amount of money in energy costs.

 It is important to know that the amount of maintenance and attention that your tankless water heater receives is going to affect the longevity of your appliance. Furthermore, the expertise with which it is installed will affect the strain it receives. Be sure to always sign on with a reputable professional when you are having your tankless water heater selected and installed.

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