“My water is dead, what are my options?” This is a questions we receive often since the average lifespan of a standard water heater is generally 8-10 years. Soft water and regular tank draining can extend that life several years but, they don’t last forever.
So, what are the options.
In most cases, if you don’t have natural gas or propane, the replacement is generally a tank-type electric water heater. We recommend purchasing one through a reputable plumbing contractor as opposed to a big box store to insure proper installation by a licensed contractor as well as to guaranty the manufacturer’s warranty. Gas and propane tank-type water heaters come in various sizes and types so it’s important to know the size of your family before guessing at the size of the water heater. Tankless water heaters such as Navien, Rinnai, Rheem, Bosch and a host of others have become very popular. Their claim to fame is an endless source of hot water as well as being more energy efficient than tank-type heaters by only making hot water when needed.
So what are the limitations to tankless? First, they only make sense when fueled by natural gas or propane. The electric powered units are far less efficient than a standard tank-type. Second, it is imperitive that hard water not be used as the small tubes will clog or calcify in a very short period of time due to the calcium being disbursed as the water passes the high heat. Water softeners are a must and we recommend a thorough maintenance cleaning be done at a minimum every two years to improve efficiency and extend the life.
We install all types of water heaters based on customer preference and budget. See which type makes the most sense before you just ask for a straight replacement as there may be a better option for you.