Replacing Your Water Heater: What You Need to Know

It’s the middle of winter, rain is pouring through the over flowing gutters outside. You get home from a long, hard day at the office and all you want to do is soak in the tub with a good book and an even better glass of wine. You open the taps, but to your dismay only cold water runs out. As you wait and wait the conclusion you’ve been trying so hard to avoid sets in: The water heaters broken.

It’s one of those things you never think about until it actually happens, but when repairing the appliance isn’t an option, replacing your geyser can be a real pain. The worst part? Not everybody knows a whole heck of a lot about them and not everyone is able to make an informed purchase, that’s for sure. Water heaters are usually already working in the homes we inhabit and so seldom break down that when they do we’re left not knowing what to do.
Well we thought we would take the time to go through the available options and look at what is realistically your best option when replacing a geyser in your home.
Firstly, there are two general types of water heaters out there:

The Tankless water heater

These units basically only start heating the water once you turn the tap and they’re usually gas powered.

Advantages

They never run out of hot water.
Can last up to 10 years.
Very efficient.
Smaller than conventional geysers.
Only heats the water being used.

Disadvantages

They’re expensive up front (up to three times more).
The hot water output is divided between all the home fixtures.
Needs a larger gas feed.
They produce greenhouse gases.
It can take a little longer to actually warm the water.

The Tank Type Water Heater

These geysers keep a tank of hot water on hand at all times, they are usually run with electricity.

Advantages

They’re cheap to buy.
Smaller gas/power requirements.
More easily adaptable.
Able to include solar pre-heating applications which can save on cost in the long run.

Disadvantages

Uses energy around the clock to keep the unit warm.
Larger storage tanks
Hot water supply is more limited.

So that’s a basic breakdown of the difference between the two, but you might still be wondering what the better option is. The truth is that they both have their up sides. The tank type water heater is still a very good option for the home. As insulation improves and they are now being assisted in many cases with solar power, they are becoming more cost effective. Also in living situations the amount of hot water these units are able to store can in most cases be sufficient. But in work environments where space is limited and demands are much higher, the tankless system can be a much more logical way to go.
Essentially you can’t really go wrong with either, but it does come down to what’s more practical for your situation and what your requirements are from the unit. Either way, safety is always paramount and it’s therefore really important to get a professional plumber to install the unit properly for you so you know it’s good to go.
We hope this article has helped demystify the water heater somewhat and has helped you make a more informed decision about what your home requires!

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