Water Heater Repair
If your water heater is old, and the warranty has ended, you should definitely make sure it gets regular maintenance. Proper maintenance can extend the life of your heater and insure maximum energy efficiency. Before calling us, try these water heater repair troubleshooting tips
Water Heater Purchase and Selection.
There are four major water heater manufactures. Virtually all the other models you might find at Loews or Home Depot are made by one of these companies. The big four companies are:
- AO Smith
- Bradford White
If saving money is a priority, you might do best to purchase your water heater at a large retail chain. Large outlets such as Loews or Home Depot are likely to have the best water heater prices. However, if you have more money to invest in your water heater it is worth keeping in mind that large outlet water heaters are usually made with inferior parts and labor; that’s why they can be sold so cheap. They usually come with shorter warranties, and buying parts, such they need repair, can be challenging. In the long run, we recommend you buy your water heater from us (trust our judgement) or at least from a plumbing supply house. And buy one of the big four models. They may cost more, but with longer warranties, better access to part, they are likely to save you money in the end.
Water Heater Energy Efficiency
When buying a water heater you should consider your unit’s energy efficiency. Energy efficient units will cost more initially but probably save you money over the long term. The factors you need to consider are:
- The cost and availability of fuel in your area,
- The EF (Energy Factor) = hot water produced per unit of fuel consumed per day.
Using these two factors, you can determine the annual cost of running the water heater you are thinking of buying and then compare it to the cost.
- Formula for electric water heaters and heat pumps:
365 days/year x 12.03 kWh/day -EF x Fuel Cost ($/kWh) = annual cost of operation
- Formulas for oil and gas powered:
o (Using Btu’s) 365 X 41045 ÷ EF X Fuel Cost (Btu) = estimated annual cost of operation
o (Using therm’s) 365 X 0.4105 ÷ EF X Fuel Cost (therm) = estimated annual cost of operation
Before purchasing a more fuel efficient unit consider the following factors:
- The extra cost of purchase (cost of fuel efficient unit –cost of less efficient unit)
- The savings per year for the more fuel efficient unit, (annual accost of running the less efficient unit) – (cost of running the fuel efficient unit).
Now divide the value of equation 1 by the value of equation 2. That will tell you how many years you must run the more efficient unit until it pays for itself.
If your heater has broken down, and the warranty is over, we can advise you as to whether or not your unit can be repaired or needs to be replaced. Our master plumber will review questions of cost efficiency and help you decide whether to repair or replace. The advantages of a brand new heater include a new warranty, plus greater energy efficiency, which is found in all new heater models. We can help you find the appliance that is right for your family, and can explain to you about energy efficiency ratings found on the newest models. Our services include selection, advice, installation, and follow-up maintenance.
For more information about all of our services contact our office at 410-967-6547