How much do you really know about your water heater? It’s one of the most important devices in your home, but how often do you actually think about it? Ideally, the answer is not very much—when your water heater is working properly, you shouldn’t have to give it a second thought. However, you’re definitely going to notice right away when something with your water heater goes wrong, so it useful to at least know a little about this crucial home comfort system. That’s why Lange Plumbing & Fire Protection is answering your Las Vegas water heater FAQs. Keep reading for what you need to know, and for top-notch water heater repair and installation services, just call our licensed experts.
Answering the Top 5 Water Heater FAQs
- How Many Types of Water Heaters Are There? The main answer to this question is two—there are two primary types of water heaters, traditional water heaters and tankless systems. While there are some hybrid systems that allow you to customize based on your needs, generally, when people talk about water heaters, they are referring to either tank or tankless models. Traditional tank water heaters store your water in a tank, and heat it again and again when you turn on the tap. Tankless water heaters, on the other hand, are what’s known as “point of use” systems. This means that instead of heating your water in a tank, they heat it as it goes through your pipes.
- Which Type of Water Heater Is Best? This is essentially a trick question, as either a traditional or tankless water heater may be right for you, depending on your needs. Traditional water heaters are easier and more affordable to install, so if upfront cost is a factor for you, a tank water heater may be the right call. Traditional water heaters also cost less to repair if you experience issues down the line. However, while tankless water heaters are more expensive to install and repair, they tend to break down less often, and they usually have a longer lifespan, which can make them a good investment in the long run. They are also extremely energy-efficient, as they do not use energy heating your water over and over again. Plus, tankless water heaters present the major advantage of providing hot water on-demand.
- What Size Water Heater Do I Need? Again, this question all comes down to the needs of the individual homeowner. For smaller households with 1-2 people, you can often get away with a water tank in the 20-30 range. For homes with 3-4 people, you will generally want to upgrade to a 50-60 gallon tank. For homes with five people or more, you may need a water heater tank that holds up to 80 gallons. Tankless water heaters are all generally fairly small (another advantage of tankless systems,) so size is not the issue to consider when deciding which model is right for your home. Instead, you will want to look at flow rate. The more people in your home, the greater the GPM, or gallons per minute rate your water heater will need to have. Traditionally, larger households have not been able to get the water they need from tankless models, though recent advancements in technology have helped to change this somewhat.
- When Is It Time to Replace My Water Heater? The average tank water heater lasts 8-12 years, though with regular maintenance, you may be able to get 15 years out of your water heater. Tankless models generally last up to 20 years with proper maintenance. You can usually determine the age of your water heater by finding the serial number on the unit and looking it up online. Other signs that it’s time to replace your water heater include rising utility bills, low water pressure, frequent trouble getting hot water, and visible damage like leaks and cracks.
- How Do I Increase My Water Heater’s Lifespan? There are several steps you can take to help your water heater last as long as possible, such as flushing your water heater tank out to get rid of sediment at least once a year. Tankless models also need to be flushed out occasionally, though this is a more involved process that will generally require a professional. You can also limit the time you spend in the shower to take some pressure off your water heater and try to use less hot water in general during the colder months, when your system has to work harder to provide the hot water you need (the good news is that in consistently warm areas like Vegas, your water heater rarely doesn’t have to overexert itself.) All that said, at the end of the day, the best way to help your water heater last as long as possible is simply to call for regular repairs and maintenance. Watch out for signs there is a problem with your water heater, such as funky tastes and smells, and strange or loud noises. And if you do suspect your water heater is having an issue, make sure to call a professional like our skilled water heater techs at Lange Plumbing & Fire Protection ASAP.