Should I Look For the Lowest Priced Water Heater?

When choosing a water heater, you might think that it’s a good idea to go with the lowest price. Everybody loves a deal! Sometimes plumbing companies are able to advertise very low prices because they have purchased a large quantity of a certain water heater in order to obtain a discounted rate. Unfortunately, it often occurs that, like hotels and airlines, the advertised low rate doesn’t cover everything. Many times, the prices only include the water heater and installation. When installing a water heater there are a lot of other necessary parts including the drain pan, pvc pipe, copper pipe and fittings, and gas lines. These items will be added to your final invoice – usually at a very high mark-up. We have seen plumbers add $300 for the drain pan which is normally about a third of that price. Many customers will find that their $500 water heater ends up costing $1200 or more by the time installation is completed. Use My Guy makes sure to show all of the items that will be needed as part of the price. There will be no hidden or surprise costs.

Which Type of Water Heater is Better – Tank or Tankless?

There are pros and cons for both styles of water heaters. We currently only install tank water heaters by Bradford White, an American owned company whose water heaters are all made here in the United States. We chose Bradford White because they ensure that their water heaters always meet changes in code through their rapid product updates. This means that their water heaters are reliable and safe and will give you peace of mind. Additionally, the quality of their products is much better than comparably priced brands on the market. They also have an excellent warranty and service program which makes it easy for the homeowner. Finally, Bradford White is not available in big box stores and can only be purchased by a plumbing professional so that you get the right heater for your needs and so that the water heater is properly installed per Bradford White’s requirements and local codes.

Tank Water Heaters:

Pros:

  • Most homes already have electrical plumbing and gas in place, so no expensive modifications are required for installation.
  • You will have unlimited hot water when you go with the proper size heater.
  • Tank water heaters are better at getting hot water to the tap faster.
  • Circulation pumps can be installed for on demand hot water.
  • Tank water heaters provide you with an emergency water supply – – In the event of an emergency that causes water services to be turned off the tank contains 40+ gallons of potable water.
  • The tank can also be insulated to prevent standby heat loss, thus keeping your energy bills lower.
  • Tank water heaters are much more affordable.

Cons:

  • Tank water heaters are sometimes prone to leaks. (NOTE – It’s important to check the pan under your heater – if there is water in the pan, this indicates a leak!)
  • Tank water heaters have to keep reheating the same water which leads to standby heat loss.
  • A tank water heater needs to be drained/serviced annually to flush out deposits.
  • A tank water heater takes up more space.

Tankless Water Heaters:

Pros:

  • No tank to burst or leak.
  • Takes up less space.
  • According to the Department of Energy, tankless heaters are 8 to 34% more efficient because they only heat the water as it is used rather than keeping a full tank heated.

Cons:

  • Much more expensive and complicated to install because they require modifications to the electrical and plumbing systems.
  • Can have a longer delay from turning on the tap to receiving hot water because whatever water is in the pipe will come out of the faucet first.
  • Selecting the right unit for the volume of water usage is complex and a tankless water heater often has problems delivering hot water to more than one location (for instance, if you are running the washing machine and the dishwasher at the same time).
  • Tankless water heaters are often confused with instant hot water. It is not the same thing and cannot be operated with a circulation pump for instant hot water.
  • Many homeowners end up needing more than one tankless water heater in order to keep up with demand for hot water.

What is On Demand / Instant Hot Water?

Many consumers often misunderstand what On Demand/Instant Hot Water is. With both types of water heaters (tank or tankless) there will be water in the pipe from the water heater to the faucet. This water cools as it sits there in the pipe and when you turn on the hot water faucet, you get the cool water first. This is why there is a delay in getting hot water. For instant hot water, you can add a circulation pump. A circulation pump will cycle water through the pipes and back into the hot water tank. The pump is turned on to begin the circulation and will ensure that the water in the line is heated and has not been sitting and cooling. Then when you turn on the faucet in your sink, tub, or shower, you will get hot water right away. Since an average home wastes about 31 gallons per day waiting for the water to get hot, a circulation pump will not only save you money on water bills, it will also help conserve one the earth’s most precious resources. Again, a circulation pump cannot be installed on a tankless heater, so if you want the best of both worlds, a tank water heater with a circulation pump is a great way to get hot water on demand at an affordable price.

Water heaters are a necessity in every home and it’s important to work with a licensed professional who can help you choose the right heater for your needs and who will then install it to code for you. The right water heater and expert installation will make sure that your heater works safely and efficiently for years.

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