Most people think that they only need water heater upgrades when it dies on them. However, there are other reasons that will also entail you to install a new one.
- You run out of hot water more than once a week. Oftentimes, this is caused by a water heater that is too old or too small for the household.
- Your water heater is too old–i.e., more than a decade.
- There are signs that your heater is ready to retire–e.g., rusting, leaks, longer heating cycles, internal parts corrosion, the water looks cloudy or rusty, and weird noises.
You may also like:
- Signs You Need a New Water Heater System
- 5 Different Types of Water Heater (and how to know which model is the right one for you)
Upgrade to your Water Heater
Now that you know the signs that your water heater is ready to retire or needs improvement, let’s delve into the top four upgrades you may want to consider.
1.Tankless water heater
If you have a large family or live in a home with a high hot water demand (especially if you have a spa system), you may want to upgrade to a tankless heater because it does not run out of hot water.
Aside from giving you an endless supply of hot water, tankless heaters also take up less space, use less energy, come with a lower risk of leaking, and often have a longer lifespan than traditional heaters (20 years versus 10-12 years on average).
According to previous studies, you can reduce your heating cost by up to 50% with a tankless water heater.
2.Add a recirculating pump hot water system
If you don’t want to upgrade to a tankless water heater, a good alternative is to install a recirculating pump hot water system, which is also ideal if you have a high hot water demand.
This adjunct hot water system consists of a cold water return line and a pump that moves hot water toward the tap while pushing cold water to the heater. Hence, hot tap water is always available when you turn it on.
Some recirculating pump hot water systems use “intelligent” technology, meaning they “recognize” your water consumption pattern and make automatic adjustments depending on your daily use. However, the standard design requires you to adjust the specification manually–for instance, only run it when hot water demand is high or continuously regardless of your usage pattern.
3.Install an expansion tank
When water is heated, it expands and creates excess pressure inside the water heater tank that needs to be released. For this reason, today’s heater has a check valve that releases this pressure, which in turn prevents backflow.
Most homes with a check valve on their water main don’t have an expansion tank because it is just a recent code requirement. Depending on your plumbing system, you may or may not need it; however, if water is dripping from the relief valve on the heater or your plumbing fixtures are eroding rapidly, it’s highly advisable to add an expansion tank.
Simply put, an expansion tank protects your home’s plumbing system from excessive pressure.
4.Place a drainage pan
This metal pan is placed beneath a water heater in an attic or any area of the house. The idea is to protect the structure from water damage.
A drainage pan is not required if your water heater is in a garage or anywhere that is not a living space. Nonetheless, it remains ideal to use one to prevent water pooling around your heater.
Since 2001, Patrick’s Hot Water has been offering plumbing and water heater services (installation, repair, and maintenance) to homeowners and businesses in Rocklin, Granite Bay, Roseville, Loomis, Lincoln, and other nearby areas.