Photo By CP
The first thing to consider about water heater replacement is whether you want to schedule it based on the expected lifetime or wait until you’re sure it can serve you no longer. In the first case, especially if you have annual maintenance, your plumber can observe the tank condition and tell you it’s time-based on corrosion and tank wall thickness, and the risk of leaks and bursting. In the second case, you’re looking at a lack of hot water if the heater fails, and a potentially major cleanup if the tank fails. At Covenant Plumbing in Bloomington, IL, we want to help you perform your water heater replacement a more relaxing way, on your terms.
Planned Replacement Strategies
A typical standard hot water heater lasts about 10 years, less if no maintenance is performed, more with good water quality and careful maintenance, especially replacing the anode rod correctly. The tank condition is the key factor, as functional components such as heating, gear are fairly serviceable. If the heating elements need repair and your tank is in its last year or so, the combination might trigger a water heater replacement a bit early to save repair costs. If we’re servicing your unit from year to year and observing the changes in the tank condition and other factors, we can probably help you plan and budget for a replacement pretty accurately. That means we can help you get the work done when holding the doors open to transport the old unit out and the new one in won’t bring in freezing cold air as well, and perhaps even when your family can do without hot water for a short while as the changeover is performed: in a large family, it seems like stopping the flow of laundry and showers can be nearly impossible!
With Advanced Planning Comes More Water Heater Replacement Choices
When you know the day is coming when you’ll need a new water heater, you don’t have to make a quick decision to replace a failed unit. If you like, you can consider other types of water heaters with potential savings on energy, maintenance, or both. In particular, the big three of traditional water heaters, hybrid water heaters using heat pump technology as the primary heat source, and tankless water heaters that use gas or electric heat, but a lot less since they’re not constantly heating a tank full of water. Without the tank, there’s usually a lot less maintenance, too. Installation can cost more, but the amazing service life that tankless units offer plus the energy savings can make the numbers very attractive. When you plan ahead, you have time to run the numbers, or talk with our team and have us help you gain perspective on the advantages of each type of unit, and the various models available. We can also talk about a replacement of one kind with another, which may involve plumbing changes, energy source changes if you switch from gas to electric or the other way around, and in the case of tankless water heater replacement models, figuring out what to do with all the extra space you’ll have when the tank-based one is removed.
Other Factors Experienced Homeowners Consider with Water Heater Replacement
Many homeowners have had a water heater replacement performed only to spend considerable time afterward picking up plumbing bits, sweeping the floors, and otherwise doing cleanup after the replacement was performed and the workers left. Our experienced and reliable plumbers are also fairly tidy, as we treat your home with respect, whether we’re working in your basement or the master bathroom. So, it’s not just a matter of which replacement model you choose, but who installs it and the quality of their work. There are also the details, from skilled plumbing techniques whether it’s a simple swap to an equivalent model or re-plumbing for a different type of unit. The work should be neat and carefully done, and if you’d like extra details such as making sure the temperature and pressure relief valve overflow goes to a drain, or your new tank-based unit and basement pipes are insulated, those options should be available and done with care.
Tilting the Scales of Water Heater Replacement Towards Tankless
When you have a tank-based water heater, you always have to think about small overflows due to pressure problems, and major leaks or worse due to tank failure. If you store boxes of papers or other moisture-vulnerable materials on the floor nearby, they could be damaged or destroyed, even rugs and furniture nearby could be at risk. A tankless water heater could, in theory, still spring a leak as any other plumbing in the basement could, but not only does it give you more space where the old tank used to be, it also keeps nearby basement space safer. It’s perhaps not the top consideration when choosing, but something to remember.
Hybrid Water Heaters
Similar to tank-based water heaters but with a more efficient heat source as its primary method, hybrid water heaters take a bit more space above and need air circulation to gather heat with the heat pump. Other than that, they’re a fairly straightforward choice if you’re looking for better performance than your current standard tank-based water heater. In an unheated basement, you might find you’re not getting the numbers you wanted, so we can help you survey your home and gather more information.
Your Water Heater Replacement Experts in Bloomington, IL
As your plumbing partners in Bloomington, IL, Covenant Plumbing can help you look down the road and think about changes like a new water heater so you have time to plan ahead and make choices to last. If you’re not already getting routine water heater maintenance and repairs from us, let us help with that, and we’ll be glad to talk about your future water heater options — or emergency replacement options today — as well.