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Sometimes clients want to reclaim the space occupied by their water heater as part of a basement finishing project, room expansion, or other remodeling. It’s a great idea in many cases since space is at a premium with home prices rising, and when the unit was positioned, for example in an unfinished basement or closet, the choice was more about convenience. At Covenant Plumbing serving the Bloomington, IL area, our water heater repair service provides advice and plumbing redesigns to support creative and efficient home space use including kitchens and bathrooms as well as hot water heaters. Our water heater installation and repair team can design the new plumbing, prep the space, make the move, and reconnect the unit allowing homeowners to have more flexibility in how they use their home’s space.
Choosing the New Location
Our water heater repair team can relocate your unit to a nearby location to make more room, or change the location significantly if you’re remodeling the entire home. Plumbing code and local requirements will specify where our water heater repair team can place it, usually near an outside wall when within the home. There needs to be room for ventilation including a flue in the case of gas-fired hot water heaters. Water heater repair candidates can have significant leaks and, occasionally, pressure-related explosions. The location of the water heater should recognize these risks, however remote. The cost of moving the electricity or gas supply and re-plumbing to the new location may be a factor as well, with major moves costing significantly more. Don’t forget to make sure that hot water pipe runs don’t pass through unheated spaces or other areas where the water may be cooled in winter, although insulation on the pipes can help to some degree.
Moving the Current Unit or Installing a New One
Water heaters last ten to fifteen years, shorter if only water heater repair visits have been made and maintenance has not been performed. Certain maintenance items such as anode rod replacement significantly affect the corrosion of the tank. When the anode rod is depleted and not replaced, the tank will typically not last the typical lifetime of a well-maintained unit. Our water heater repair team can inspect the unit and determine how much of its lifetime is likely to remain. With that information, and also budget details for a replacement unit, the cost of moving the unit versus removal and replacement, and any efficiency gains going forward, you can determine whether relocating your current unit or using the opportunity to replace or upgrade it is better for you.
Concerns That Affect Your New Location Choice
As we mentioned, local and plumbing code requirements are important to consider when planning a water heater relocation. The cost and effects of running new plumbing and possibly removing the old can be significant, and the same goes for the energy source, typically electricity or gas. Gas heat requires special safety and ventilation considerations. If you are planning on possibly changing from one energy source to the other or otherwise updating the unit in ways that will affect the space and connections required, that’s important to include in your plans. Issues concerning the effects of having a large volume of water under some degree of pressure are also part of the planning for many homeowners. In the basement, drains and sump pumps are available to clear large leaks, and moving the unit to another location may result in flooding issues that were not as large a concern downstairs.
Changing from Gas to Electric or Vice Versa
Changing the energy source of your water heater unit and installing a new unit designed to handle either electricity or gas, as appropriate, as part of the location move may provide operational cost advantages. Our team can help to plan the specifics of removing the old energy connection and arranging the new one at the new location. If the change is not part of the original plan, make sure that appropriate design changes have been made to accommodate requirements for electric or gas operation.
Tankless Water Heaters for Even More Space Saving
If you’re having our hot water repair team move your unit for space concerns and making a sacrifice somewhere else, a tankless hot water heater might be another option to consider. These units typically cost more initially, but they provide space savings and energy efficiency. Since they heat water as it passes through, they provide a virtually endless supply of hot water but with a slight delay as the heating element responds to the demand for hot water. In some cases, a limited supply of existing hot water will arrive as part of a “cold water sandwich,” where increasingly warm water follows, but with a short burst of cold water as the newly heated supply starts to move. Ask our water heater repair team about these effects and whether this kind of unit will meet your needs. They require a somewhat more complex installation, and still need a visit from our water heater repair team for regular maintenance, albeit minimal compared to the tank-based units.
Local Tankless Heaters
Ask our water heater repair and installation team about other solutions for your water heating needs, including a smaller tank-based unit and local tankless heaters for your kitchen and bathrooms. They can help you determine what your practical alternatives are for making more space where you need it, and keeping your hot water flowing the way you like it. Our expert plumbers are ready to solve all your plumbing installation and diagnostic issues, providing you with the kind of plumbing service that’s only available from a full-service organization like ours.
Your Bloomington, IL Full-Service Plumber
We’re Covenant Plumbing, serving Bloomington, IL and the surrounding area with creative solutions for homeowners’ remodeling needs as well as plumbing repairs and upgrades. Call us with your project ideas and together we can make them happen.