two hot water heaters beside each other

Most individuals don’t give a second thought about their water heater. It works quietly in the background, providing hot water for showers, sinks, and water-based appliances. However, when that water refuses to get warm, and you are left shivering in the shower as you hastily try to wash your hair, that is the only thing on your mind.

Thankfully, the passionate team of plumbers at Bewley Plumbing understands what it takes to keep a water heater running strong. We provide unparalleled water heater maintenance, repair, and installation services for the residents of Collin and Denton County, Texas. We get many questions about our water heater services and about water heaters in general, which is why we have created this FAQ guide. If you have additional questions, please feel free to reach out to our team!

What Are the Different Types of Water Heaters?

Water heaters can come in two types: tank and tankless. Here is a look at each one:

What Is a Traditional Tank Water Heater?

Traditional tank water heaters store and preheat the water in a large storage tank. The water is then delivered to the appliance or faucet with the hot water turned on. Traditional water heaters have a lower installation cost and easier serviceability than tankless water heaters.

However, the downside is that traditional water heaters use a bit more resources than tankless water heaters, leading to higher utility bills. This is because for the water to be hot on demand, the traditional water heater has to continuously heat the water stored in the tank, which draws a lot of energy.

What Is a Tankless Water Heater?

A tankless water heater has no storage tank and instead heats the cold water as it travels through the system by either a gas burner or electric element. This allows the tankless water heater to heat water on demand, providing a more economical and environmentally friendly solution.

Due to their smaller size and absence of a storage tank, tankless water heaters are perfect for any size home. The ability to heat water on-demand also helps reduce the risk of being without hot water in the middle of a shower. They are also more energy-efficient than the traditional water heater and have a much longer lifespan. However, the installation and upfront costs are significantly higher than a traditional water heater.

What Type of Water Heater Is Best For My Home?

tankeless hot water heater in an attic

A tank water heater is a better option for homeowners who do not have the initial investment. However, if you can meet the upfront cost of a tankless water heater, you can see a return on your investment throughout its lifespan due to the savings in your energy and water bills.

What Size Water Heater Do I Need for My Home?

Water heaters vary in size, so it’s important to know your home’s hot water needs to avoid purchasing a water heater that is too small or too big.

A traditional water heater comes in gallon capacity. Typically, a 23-36-gallon water heater is usually sufficient for a home with only one or two residents. For larger households, you may need to go up to a 56-gallon tank or higher.

Tankless water heaters are measured by how much hot water is needed at any specific time. This is measured in gallons per minute (GPM). The more fixtures and water-based appliances you typically operate at one time, the higher flow rate capacity you will need from your tankless water heater. 

What Are the Signs That I Need to Replace My Water Heater?

One of the best ways to determine if your water heater needs to be replaced vs. repaired is to look at the age of the unit. The life expectancy of a traditional water heater is between 10-15 years and a tankless water heater can reach up to 20 years. If your water heater is at the tail-end of its lifespan, more frequent breakdowns and repairs will be required to keep it running. These costs can add up quickly, so it is best to go ahead and get the entire unit replaced.

Other signs that your water heater needs to be replaced are as follows:

  • It suffers from frequent leaks
  • It is taking a long time for the water to get hot
  • There are rumbling noises during operation
  • The hot water is taking on a rusty color

I Moved Into a New Home, How Can I Tell How My Water Heater Is?

You can always look up the serial number on your water heater to get an idea of how old the water heater is. 

What Is the Best Temperature Setting for a Water Heater?

Typically, most homeowners get plenty of hot enough water by keeping their water heater set to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. (This is the pre-setting for many water heaters.) If you have an older model, setting the thermostat to medium should keep it warm enough for you and your family.

Why Does My Water Heater Keep Running Out of Hot Water?

plumber checking a water heater

If you have noticed that your water heater is not providing as much hot water as it used to, this could be a sign that your water heater needs a tune-up and repairs. A broken dip tube, a failing lower heating element in your electric water heater, or even a build-up of sentiment can prevent your water heater from providing you with the amount of hot water it is capable of. 

Your trusted team of plumbing experts can inspect your water heater and get to the root of the issue. However, in some cases, your water heater may just be suffering from old age, which even the most thorough repairs won’t be able to save. In this case, investing in a replacement may be the most economical option.

My Water Heater Needs Repairs or a Replacement

When your water heater is struggling or you are looking for a replacement for your older unit, you can rely on the team at Bewley Plumbing to help. Our team works hard to ensure that your family always has access to hot water by offering comprehensive water heater maintenance, repair, and installation services. Contact our team today for more information or to schedule an appointment!