Hot water is important. We know how to keep it flowing.
There are many types and brands of water heaters. They all make hot water, they all have safety devices, and they all have a reasonable service life span. They typically use one of four types of energy to heat water; electric, propane, natural gas, and solar.
Electric water heaters have come a long way. The direct replacement for older electric tanks heat up water faster and have better insulation to reduce energy costs. They come in all shapes and sizes to fit your needs.
The new hybrid electric water heaters use a heat pump on top of an electric water heater to get an insane uniform energy factor (UEF) of 3.75. A traditional electric tank-type heater from 2000 would have a UEF of about 0.68 , a 2021 model would be around 0.9.
Electric tankless water heaters can be problematic in the Verde Valley. Our water is very hard. This hardness gets caught in the elements and burns them out. It will also spread through your system clogging screens and possibly scratching seal surfaces causing drips. If you want an electric tankless water heater we recommend a carbon filter and water softening system that is properly sized and adjusted to your house and hardness.
Traditional gas tank type water heaters are very reliable and often last longer than the expected. They should be replaced after 10 years old, not repaired, due to the risk of fire. They can crack and allow insulation down into the combustion chamber. This can cause flames to come out of the unit and start nearby objects on fire. They can also crack on the tank and leak.
Gas Tankless water heaters are very efficient. The unit only produces water when you need it. Some models can be connected to a recirculation sysytem. They are quite nice for people that have a large family, a large tub, or like long showers. If your current heater is operating properly but you still run out of hot water, tankless is a great option. They do need maintenance every year and should be used with some sort of water softening or conditioning. If not, it would be advisable to have a sediment filter after the unit to catch the debris coming out of the heater
Recirculation Systems keep hot water flowing through your house so you do not have to wait for it. We can install and maintain these systems for you. There are two types in residential. One uses a dedicated line that is attached at the furthest point away and creates a loop that a pump is put on to recirculate the water. This system must be sized and installed properly to avoid odd issues and not prematurely wear the pipes out. The other system uses a pump at the water heater and a special valve at the furthest tap that uses the cold line to push hot water back to the tank. This causes the cold line to be luke warm when opening it. It is a trade off that some are okay with while other are not.
Residential water heaters differ in many ways from commercial units. Both have about the same life expectancy. Commercial units are larger in both tank size and capacity. They usually have a port that allows them to be cleaned out, unlike residential units. The ignition system is quite complicated vs a standing pilot. They are also
Expansion tanks are important in a hot water system. They protect your plumbing from the thermal expansion created by the water heater. It is a code requirement on most systems.
T & P Valves are a safety device that allows water to escape if it is over 210 degrees or 150 psi. Without them a water heater could explode. The line connected to this valve should go outside. If this is not possible it needs to be close to the floor to keep from getting scalded. The valve should be exercised or tested yearly and replaced if found faulty or leaking.
The Anode Rod is a sacrificial rod that is designed to attract the minerals and corrode to keep those processes from attacking the steel tank. Once this rod is gone it is only a matter of time before the tank is compromised.
Boiler valves are on every tank water heater. They are at the bottom and are used to drain the water out of the tank. These valves can often block up with minerals due to their design. This is why we recommend installing a full port ball valve when it is serviced the first year.
A Direct vent water heater gets its air from outside, not the room it is in. These are used to install in areas that do not have the air volume to serve the heater. A regular heater installed in this situation could hurt or kill any occupants.
Many cities and towns require water heaters to be installed by a licensed professional and to have a permit. They should be installed to code to avoid bodily injury and property damage.