Having a water heater on the brink is not just a huge inconvenience to your home or business, it is also a potentially expensive endeavor to undertake water heater maintenance, repair or replacement without sound, knowledgeable advice and competent service from the right partner.
Statistics from the US Department of Energy show that the average American household uses 64 gallons of water every day, and spends $400-$600 on water heating every year. In fact, water heating can account for up to 18% of a typical home’s utility bill, making it the second largest household expense.
How do you make sure that you don’t end up with the short end of the proverbial stick, when it comes to knowing what to do when your water heater breaks down? What are the things you should consider when choosing the right plumber for your repair or replacement needs?
Take stock of your situation.
What exactly is happening? When did the problem start? You will need to answer some basic questions when you call someone in to look at the problem. Be ready with the information. You will also need to make yourself available for an on-site evaluation visit. A thorough inspection by A Better Plumber is always your first logical step.
Do your homework.
Know your water heating needs and the various options that are available to you. Often, people only consider repair when a new purchase could be a more viable, cost-efficient option, depending on the circumstances.
How do you know when to repair and when to consider a replacement?
If you have a conventional system that has been in place for the last 10-15 years, you are not alone. The Department of Energy estimates that around 27 million US households have a conventional water heater that is more than 10 years old. With a system of this age, you will want to prepare to replace your water heater, rather than deal with the maintenance challenges that go with aging equipment. Such a system may be causing you additional expenses due to lack of energy efficiency, even on its best days. If you have a newer system in place, repair is normally your best option, unless your system has major issues with leakage, or with its thermostat, circuit breaker, or pilot light.
Also, water heater repair is not for the inexperienced, nor even for the avid DIY’er. It is never a good idea to try your hand at repairing a system that makes use of water and gas or electricity together. Also, there are significant code and safety requirements, including inspection and permit, for repair, removal or replacement of water heaters. The right plumbing partner can ensure that your water heater is properly checked, expertly repaired when needed, and regularly maintained, to ensure safe and worry-free operation.
When considering a replacement, what are the available options?
Today, homeowners can choose from several different types of water heaters.
- Traditional water heaters use natural gas, propane, or electricity for power. This type has a tank to heat or store water, with a capacity sizes ranging from 20 to 100 gallons.
- Tankless water heaters, also called demand-type heaters, heat the water directly, as needed, through a heat exchange system.
- Indirect and tankless coil heaters make use of the space heating system of a home to heat water. This type of system can be an extremely cost-effective means of heating water, when used with a properly insulated tank and a high-efficiency furnace or boiler.
- Solar water heaters use the sun’s energy to provide hot water. This type is 50% more efficient than electric or gas water heaters, but are more expensive to install and may require a back-up system, depending on weather and demand.
- Heat pump water heaters do not generate heat directly. In order to heat the water, heat is transferred from one place to another. This type of water heater is more energy-efficient and consumes less electricity than the conventional types. However, installation location is a big factor in the performance of this type of system, particularly during the heating months.
How do you know what type of water heater would be best for you?
Overall, the main things to consider when choosing the right water heater are fuel type, size, efficiency and cost of installation, operation and maintenance.
- You should consider your location and available facilities when choosing the fuel type or energy source for your water heater. The right choice will affect your annual operating costs, energy efficiency and size. You can also compare costs. You may find that you can save money by choosing a different fuel type.
- The newer types of water heaters can offer better energy efficiency which translates to lower energy bills and more savings in the long run. Sometimes, factors such as climate and installation location can play an important role in achieving optimum energy efficiency. Be sure to ask your preferred installer if the system you want is ideal for your location.
- The impact of installation and maintenance costs on the overall cost are often underestimated when making a purchasing decision. Make sure to ask about these aspects before you decide.
- Some types of water heaters and some counties in the Maryland area offer property tax credits and incentives for certain types of water heater installations. Contact your local government or look for information on tax credits, rebates and savings at energy.gov for more information.
Choose the right partner for the job.
How do you select the right plumbing professional?
Finding the right company to repair or replace your water heater is one of the most important decisions you will make for your household. According to Home Advisor, the average water heater repair project in Maryland will cost around $495.
With a faulty water heater, taking cold showers would be the least of your problems, without the right plumbing professional by your side. Here are some of the things that you should consider before you decide on your plumber-of-choice:
- List down all of the options in your area. Do your research. Look at their websites. Read customer reviews online. Call to ask about service charges and ask if they are familiar with your water heater.
- Request for formal quotes. Make sure to ask about any variable options or fees. If you have an older, conventional system that needs major repair, consider asking for a comprehensive replacement quote, inclusive of planned maintenance.
- Before you make a decision, ask for customer references. Then, check them out. Nothing beats a solid recommendation from an actual satisfied customer or two.
Why is A Better Plumber LLC your right partner for your water heater repair and replacement needs?
A Better Plumber LLC offers competent, professional service for all of your residential and commercial plumbing needs. We have been in business serving the Maryland, Northern Virginia and Greater Washington DC area for more than twenty years.
“Better Service, Better Quality, Better Price”.
These things are only some of the many reasons why we are “A Better Plumber”:
- 24-hour emergency plumbing services;
- Free plumbing inspections and estimates
- Free estimates, with a guarantee to beat any competitor’s estimate by 10%*
A Better Plumber LLC has the best water heater repair and installation services in our coverage area. We are one of only a handful of companies in Lexington Park, MD that specialize in the installation and maintenance of indirect water heaters.
As our many satisfied customers will tell you, there is no better plumber than A Better Plumber.