You probably don’t think about your hot water heater until a cold shower suggests you need a new one. How to choose? Storage tanks cost less but tankless heaters save energy by only heating the water you draw.
Before you shell out hundreds for a storage-tank heater or thousands for a tankless, let our team check to see whether your old water heater can be fixed. A corroded storage-tank model is history but a leaky drain or pressure-relief valve or a burned-out heating element can often be fixed.
Review some of the features of each options and rest assured we’ll get you set up right for your needs and budget.
Gas Water Heaters
Most hot water heaters are essentially steel cylinders fed by a cold-water inlet pipe (the dip tube) that protrudes into the tank (this line includes the shutoff valve). Water is heated in the tank, and hot water exits through a hot-water pipe atop the tank.
Gas is the fuel of choice if you already have natural-gas service or can run a gas line to your home economically. Gas models cost more than electrics. But on the basis of national-average fuel costs, a gas water heater will cost you about half as much to run as a comparable electric model. Thus, a gas heater might amortize the up-front difference in cost in as little as a year.
Electric Water Heaters
Tankless Water Heaters
Tankless models (a.k.a. instantaneous water heaters) are suitcase-sized units that heat water only when needed by using an electric coil (typically for low demand) or natural gas (for high demand) to heat water passing through a heat exchanger inside. They eliminate the risk of tank failure and the energy lost by constantly reheating water, though their heat exchanger can clog or fail.
What’s more, they’re expensive to buy and install, and include limitations on hot-water flow rates, a possible issue in large households. And cooler incoming water in winter typically means your hot water may not be as hot as you like. We also offer hot water heater repair in Charleston, Dunbar, and Kanawha Valley.