If your hot water heater is no longer working and is five years old or older, you may want to have it replaced instead of getting it repaired. If you decide to do this, now is your chance to get a hot water heater that will operate more efficiently and provide you with more hot water. There are several different hot water heater features you should evaluate and compare so that you can choose the best system for your home.
If you have ever experienced times when you ran out of hot water in your home, it might be wise to get a larger tank than the one you have. You may want a larger system because you have many people taking hot showers in a short amount of time. Before you do this, though, you should make sure the tank will fit. When hot water heaters are located in small utility rooms, space might be an issue; however, space is usually not as much of an issue when a hot water heater is located in a basement.
To determine what size to get, look at the size you currently have. For example, if you currently have a 50-gallon tank, you may want to bump it up to an 80-gallon tank. This would provide you with 30 gallons more of hot water, which would most likely prevent you from running out of hot water.
Another important factor to consider is how fast the hot water replenishes after it is used, and this is especially important if you have ever run out of hot water. All hot water heaters are different when it comes to how fast they replenish, but many are able to replenish a full tank of hot water in around one hour. You can compare systems by looking at the recovery rate, which should be listed on the system.
If you choose a system with a really fast recovery rate, you may not need to purchase a larger size simply because the system may be able to produce hot water fast enough for the demands of your household. In addition, if you lack space for a larger tank, choosing a smaller one with a really fast recovery rate would be a great solution for your problem.
Gas or Electric
One other thing you should consider when it's time for water heater replacement is whether to choose a gas system or an electric one. If your home does not have gas run to it, you may be stuck with an electric system; however, if you have gas in your home, you may want to consider getting a gas system even if your current system runs on electricity.
Gas hot water heaters usually have faster recovery rates than electric ones. This means that you will have hot water faster in your home, which is important if your family uses a lot of hot water. Electric systems are typically considered to be more energy-efficient than gas ones, but this does not necessarily mean operating an electric system will cost less. The cost of electricity can vary and can often cause people to spend more to create hot water when they have electric hot water heaters.
Both types of systems last approximately equal lengths of time, but a gas system is usually cheaper to purchase upfront. You should also realize that you could choose a tankless system, but these are often a lot more expensive to buy.
If your hot water heater is not functioning right now, you should call a plumber as soon as possible so they can help you choose the replacement system that will be best for your home's needs.