Water Heater Types and When to Get Them Repaired or Replaced

Your Hot Water Heater Specialists

Finding the best water heater replacement in Littleton, Colorado, can be daunting, especially since many options exist. If you’re looking for a quality product, look no further than Drain Terrier. We offer the highest quality products and guarantee our workmanship. Our technicians are trained professionals committed to providing you with exceptional customer service.

We’ve been installing and repairing water heaters for many years, and we know what it takes to deliver outstanding results. Whether you want a tankless system installed or simply need to replace your old unit, we can take care of it for you. We provide free estimates and honest advice about the different types of systems and how each works.

Water Heater Size

The size of the water heater you buy depends on how much hot water you use daily. A tank-style water heater might work fine if you’re planning to keep a small family of three warm throughout the winter. However, it’s best to opt for a larger model if you plan to entertain guests during the holidays or have a large family.

Depending on the manufacturer, a tank-style water heater ranges in size from 20 to over 80 gallons of storage. Most homeowners install one of those sizes, but some prefer smaller units because they are easier to maintain and less expensive to operate.

Tankless water heaters range in size between two and six GPM. This measurement refers to the amount of hot water produced per hour. You don’t want to go too high here—a six-GPM water heater could quickly run out of hot water. On the other hand, a lower flow rate isn’t always better. For example, a four-GPM unit won’t provide enough hot water for a family of five, even though it will save energy. Instead, look for a unit with a flow rate of about 4.5 GPM to ensure plenty of hot water for everyone.

Be sure to choose a new model that will supply enough hot tap water for the number of people in the home. The average prices below reflect the unit price alone, not including installation, repair, or maintenance fees.

Gas Water Heaters

Gas water heaters deliver hot water slowly, but you don’t have to worry about replacing parts as an electric heater does. Gas water heaters also work well in areas without reliable access to electricity.

Gas water heaters are typically used in homes with no attic space, such as apartments, condos, townhouses, and basements. A direct vent gas water heater discharges hot exhaust gases into the home’s living area. These units are often installed under kitchen cabinets and near appliances like refrigerators and stoves.

Electric Water Heaters

Electric water heaters use electricity to power heating elements inside the tank. This method delivers hot water quickly but requires expensive installation and maintenance costs.

Hybrid Water Heaters

Hybrid water heaters combine the best features of both gas and electric models. They start as gas units but switch to electric when electricity is cheaper than gas. Hybrid water heaters save money over time but aren’t always perfect. For example, they can take longer to warm up than electric heaters. They also tend to use more energy during cold weather.

Power Vent Water Heaters

A power vent water heater is generally less expensive than a direct vent gas water heating because it uses cheaper materials and does not require special plumbing. However, installing one requires some extra work. You’ll need to cut holes in walls and ceilings that connect to the outside air supply. Then you’ll need to run ductwork to connect the outlets to the exhaust vents.

You’ll also need to ensure the furnace isn’t already exhausting through the same vents. Some furnaces are designed to exhaust through a single opening. Others exhaust through multiple openings. To avoid running afoul of building codes, you’ll want to check with local inspectors about what type of ventilation system is required.

If you decide to go with a power vent water heater over a direct vent gas water heater, expect to spend an additional $500-$1,000 to install a venting system.

Types of Water Heaters

Tank vs. Tankless Water Heaters

The tank type of water heater is still the most common model. They are simple to install and maintain. However, there are many disadvantages to this system. First, it requires a large amount of space. Second, it takes up to 3 hours to heat a gallon of water. Third, it uses a lot of energy. Fourth, it must be emptied every six months. Finally, it can cost several hundred dollars to replace.

On the other hand, tankless water heater systems do not require a storage tank. Instead, they use a small electric heating element to heat the incoming cold water directly. As a result, you won’t have to wait for hot water. You’ll never run out of hot water again. And since there’s no tank to empty, you don’t have to worry about replacing it. All of these benefits make tankless water heaters very popular.

Water Heater Repair and Replacement

Water heaters are among the most durable appliances in your home. They’re designed to withstand extreme temperatures, high humidity, heavy use, and occasional flooding. But just because a water heater lasts longer doesn’t mean it’s always easy to find one that fits your needs.

Based on the manufacturer’s suggested warranty period, the average life span of a residential water heater is 8 to 12 years. That’s based on how well the appliance is maintained, where it’s located, the type of fuel used, and whether it’s installed properly.

If your water heater is more than ten years old, there could be several reasons why it’s failing. Leaks around the base of the unit, or if it works errantly, it’s probably time to replace it. Another possibility is that the unit is more than ten years older and needs upgrading to a newer, more efficient model.

In many cases, repairs and troubleshoots can save your current water heater. Before looking for a new unit, ensure that an electrical problem, like a blown fuse or tripping circuit breaker, isn’t the cause of the unit’s failure. Also, check the thermostat settings to ensure the temperature is correct.

Signs Your Water Heater Needs Repair Or Replacement

Temperature Fluctuations

If you notice that the temperature of the water coming out of your showerhead varies throughout the day, it might indicate a problem with your plumbing system. This happens because the incoming water isn’t always hot enough to reach the bottom of the fixture, causing some of the water to cool down.

When the water gets too warm, it evaporates, and the air inside the pipes becomes saturated with moisture. As the air continues to heat up, it expands and pushes against the pipe’s walls. Eventually, the pressure builds up enough to push the liquid back into the supply lines, creating a wave of warmer water. This cycle repeats itself every time the water heater heats up again.

The solution is easy: replace the old thermostat with a digital one. A digital thermostat allows you to set different temperatures for each homeroom, rather than just one setting for the whole house. Also, watch for signs of corrosion around the dip tubes. These are small metal tubes near the top of the faucet where the hot and cold water meet. They’re essential because they help prevent mixing hot and cold water.

 Leaking Water

A leaking water heater can cause significant damage to your home. Water leaks are often hard to detect because they don’t always appear as visible water pools. However, call our office immediately if you notice any puddling around your bathroom, kitchen, laundry room, or basement. We’ll send out one of our certified technicians to assess the situation and provide you with a free estimate.

Unclean Water

When the water from your faucet looks, smells, or tastes funny, you might want to check what’s causing the problem. If the water from your taps seems off, several possible causes exist. One of those is poor water quality. This happens when minerals like calcium and iron build up over time inside your hot water tank. These minerals cause the water to turn cloudy, smell unpleasant, or taste bitter.

Our specialists will inspect your water heater and ensure everything is running smoothly. We’ll also clean the heating element and replace it if necessary. You’ll see immediate improvements once we’re done.

Noisy Functioning

If you hear strange noises emanating out of your water heater, there are several possible causes. One is corrosion. The heating element heats up and expands slightly, creating a banging sound. This is normal and nothing to worry about. However, if you notice a constant banging sound coming from your water heater, you might want to check the thermostat. A faulty thermostat can cause this.

Another possibility is sediment buildup. Over time, the heating element gets dirty, and the buildup of dirt creates a rumbling noise. You can clean the element yourself, but contact a professional plumber if you don’t feel comfortable doing so.

The third reason for weird sounds is damage to the heating element itself. If you find that the heating element looks burnt or cracked, you’ll want to replace it immediately.

Contact Drain Terrier For Hot Water Heater Repair or Replacement

At Drain Terrier, we know how important having reliable hot water is to your home. That’s why we are dedicated to providing quality water heaters and maintaining them properly. When you sign up for our maintenance program, you’ll receive expert advice and high-quality products. Plus, you won’t pay for unnecessary repairs.

Our goal is to ensure that every homeowner in Littleton, Colorado gets the most value possible from their plumbing system. We offer high-quality equipment and expert repair and installation services at affordable prices. When you choose us, you can rest assured knowing that you are getting the best solution for your needs. Call us today at 720-999-6120.


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