Water Heater Buying Guide - AZ Plumbing and Remodeling

Water Heater Buying Guide - AZ Plumbing and Remodeling
Water Heater
Buying Guide
Looking for a new
water heater? Trying
to figure out the
best water heater to
buy? Maybe your
current one is on its
last legs or you've
Avoid the cold water blues with the
simply outgrown
right water heater.
your old unit.
Chances are the technology, options and
accessories for water heaters have changed since
your last purchase. Use our handy guide on how to
choose a water heater. AZ plumbing is happy to
provide this buying guide on water heater
information as a service to you.
Water Heater Types
The size of your family, the utilities in your area
and the space available for your water heater all
play a role in determining how to choose a water
heater. Buy a water heater with the following
information in mind:
Storage tank water
heaters are the most
common type and the
best water heater to
buy. These units have
an insulated tank where
water is heated and
stored until it is needed.
They are available in
electric, liquid propane
(LP) and natural gas
models. Natural gas and
LP water heaters
normally use less
energy and are less
expensive to operate
than electric models of
the same size.
Storage tank water heaters are
the most common type.
Water Heater Size
Storage tank
water heaters are
designated by the
amount of water they
hold, in gallons. Tank
5 or more 50-80
size is one of the
major considerations
when purchasing one of these water heaters. If
you intend to use a storage tank water heater,
use our chart as a guide to finding the size you
Another consideration for storage tank water
heaters is recovery rate — the number of gallons
of water they can heat in an hour. The greater
your demand for hot water, the higher recovery
rate you need.
When you buy a water heater, look at the
energy efficiency and yearly operating costs of a
water heater before you decide which one is right
for your needs. This information can be found on
the EnergyGuide label.
Know the dimensions of the space where
your water heater resides. If your hot water use
increases and you need to upgrade to a larger
tank size, it may be necessary to run plumbing to
a different area so the new, larger unit will fit.
One alternative to running new plumbing is to
purchase a low boy or shorty water heater.
These units are shorter and bigger around than a
normal water heater, allowing them to hold the
same amount of water as their larger
counterparts while still fitting in areas with limited
Small storage tank water heaters, known as
point of use, utility or mobile home water
heaters, are good choices for adding hot water to
out buildings, shops or garages. Utility water
heaters usually range in size from 2.5 to 19
gallons. The largest of these miniature units can
also be used to provide hot water to secondary
bathrooms that may be situated far from your
home's main water heater.
Tankless or ondemand water heaters
do not store hot water;
rather they heat water
as it passes through a
series of coils in the
unit. Since the unit only
heats water as you use
it, a tankless heater is
usually more energy
efficient than a
traditional storage tank Tankless water heaters heat water
water heater. They are as you need it.
available in electric, LP
and natural gas models. A tankless unit can provide
an unlimited amount of hot water, but it can only
provide a limited volume. Most tankless units can
provide up to 3.5 gallons of heated water per
minute. These units are a good choice for anyone
whose demand doesn't typically call for hot water at
more than two points at a time.
Hot water dispensers
are convenient point of
use water heaters. They
are great for making
soups, sauces, oatmeal
and other instant foods.
These units provide
190° water instantly, so
be careful when using
Hot water dispensers are great for
There are many
making instant coffee or hot tea.
accessories available to
improve safety and efficiency in your water heater.
Water heater stands raise gas units off the
ground and reduce the risk of fire in the event of
a flammable liquid spill nearby.
Water heater pans sit under the heater
and collect water from leaks or overflows caused
by excess pressure in the tank. The pan has an
opening in the side for a drain hose to carry away
any overflow water.
Water alarms sit either on the floor or in
the pan beside the water heater. If the heater
leaks or overflows, the alarm will sense the liquid
and give an audio alarm to alert the homeowner
that there is a problem.
Tank expanders are plumbed to the water
heater. They are designed to hold the extra
volume of water that can be produced when cold
water is heated in the tank.
Pressure regulators are connected to the
outlet side of the water heater to keep the water
pressure from exceeding a preset limit as it exits
the tank. Regulating the pressure helps protect
the interior pipes from leaking or bursting due to
pressure surges in the plumbing system.
Timers are wired into the unit's electrical
supply and can be set so the water heater only
draws electricity at specified times. Running the
water heater only when needed cuts down on
energy use and saves you money.
Insulating water heater blankets are
made especially to fit over the unit and reinforce
the insulating ability of the water heater.
Insulating blankets are best for heaters that
reside in garages or other unheated spaces.
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