Learn From a Charlotte Plumber How to Choose a Water Heater

Maybe your hot water heater is giving you water that’s too hot or too cold—either way, it’s definitely no Goldilocks (just right). Maybe you’ve noticed some corrosion or part damage, or maybe your water heater system is just about old enough to vote.

It might be time for a new water heater. Knowing how to choose a water heater and what questions to ask will make the process simple so you can get that perfect shower temperature again in no time.

Repair or Replace?

First things first: Do you actually need a new water heater, or do you need your existing one repaired?

That depends on the problem, and an experienced water heater repair company will be able to diagnose the issue. It could be a thermostat malfunction (which could make the water much to hot or keep it from heating at all), a location-specific matter (maybe you just need a hot water recirculation pump for a limited area of the house, like the master bath), an electrical component problem (corroded wires or the electrical system shorting out—causing you to lose hot water), or physical damage (cracks or dents, which are sometimes indicative of a larger issue).

When the fix isn’t cheap or easy, it might be time to replace. Your system is a good candidate for replacement if:

  • It’s constantly requiring repairs, and you’re leaking as much money as water.
  • Your energy costs are rising significantly—that’s a sign of an inefficient system.
  • You have never done maintenance on it (annual flushing; anode rod replacement every three years) and you’ve had it a while.
  • Your unit is beyond its 10-to-15-year lifespan.

Choosing a Water Heater

Replacing a water heater is a major investment, so you’ll want to do your homework. (Consider us your tutor!).

The first choice you need to make is tank versus tankless.

Tank Water Heaters:

  • Are less expensive than tankless hot water systems
  • Require annual maintenance
  • Are a good choice if you plan to live in the home less than 10 years
  • Are a good choice if three or fewer people live in the home
  • Are a good choice if your laundry/shower/dishwasher usage is less than average (that is, not multiple times daily for each)

Tankless Water Heaters:

  • Are more expensive than tank hot water systems
  • Do not require annual maintenance
  • Are a good choice if you’re going to be in the home more than 5 years, as they last twice as long
  • Are a good choice if there are four or more people in the home
  • Are a good choice if your laundry/shower/dishwasher usage is high
  • Save you approximately 40% in heating costs because they are more energy efficient (they don’t use energy when usage is low or nonexistent)

Other Water Heater Tips

Want a tax credit? Look for an ENERGY STAR-certified one, because all ENERGY STAR water heaters are eligible for tax credits.

Fuel source is another consideration—natural gas, electric, or solar? See our 2017 Water Heater Guide post for more information about system and fuel options.

Expert Charlotte Water Heater Repair and Installation

If you’re having problems with your tank or tankless hot water heater, contact us. We’re experts in both hot water heater repair and installation and have been serving the Charlotte area for 20 years. Give us a call at 704-846-5371 or use our online contact form for service 24/7, 365 days a year.

how to choose a water heater, charlotte plumbers

Article Summary

Quick question & answer: Are there benefits to buying a tankless water heater?

Yes! One benefit to buying a tankless water heater is that it does not require annual maintenance. It’s the ideal choice if you’re planning on living in your home for more than 5 years. If you have four or more occupants and high laundry/shower/dishwasher usage, tankless is a great option. Tankless saves you approximately 40% in heating costs.

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