0:39 – Conventional Hot Water Tanks
1:47 – Hot Water On Demand “Tankless” Water Heater
2:45 – Heat Pump Hot Water System
3:52 – Solar Panel Hot Water System
4:22 – When Should You Replace Your Hot Water Tank?
5:35 – Which System Should I Get?
Whether you’re already living in a home or you’re thinking of purchasing a home, the hot water tank is an important part of your daily life. Whether you’re going to be cooking, cleaning dishes, using a shower, maybe the dishwasher. There’s so many uses of the hot water tank and it is a pain in the butt when it doesn’t work properly.
The first type of tank we’re going to look at is the conventional hot water tank. You’ve probably seen this inside of your basement or your mechanical room. It is an actual tank that keeps hot water. It is maintaining hot water at a regular basis, and this type of tank usually lasts between 10 to 15 years, depending if it’s electric or gas.
Electric usually lasts between 10 to 15 years, and gas usually lasts 10 to 12 years, depending on your insurance provider for your home, they may require you to switch them out at 10 years of age regardless if it still has life left in it. Depending where you live, the electric tanks are often more expensive to run than natural gas.
The conventional hot water tank will often cost between $1,000 to $2,000 with installation. The size of your tank will vary depending on how much you use it, the size of your family, and if you have a legal suite inside of your home; the larger amount of capacity you need the larger the tank.
These are the most cost effective, typical ones that you’re going to see inside of a house, and they’re usually easy to install.
So let’s move on to the next type of hot water heater, which is known as the tank-less water heater, simply because it doesn’t hold water in it on a regular basis, keeping it heated. This type of system is a hot water on demand where it has heated coils that will rapidly heat up the water, and you can have an either an electric or a natural gas version of this, but these aren’t usually seen in most homes because they are a little bit more expensive to install. With installation, you’re looking at anywhere between $3,000 to $5,000 because the tanks themselves cost around $2,000 to $3,000 plus installation.
The overall cost to run the machines is less expensive because they last much longer since you’re not holding hot water in a tank on a constant basis, keeping it warm. And on that note, because you’re not keeping water warm on a regular basis, you’re only using energy to heat the water when you need it. So your operating costs are a lot lower.
The next step of tank we’re going to look at is a heat pump system. Now, the heat pumps system is good in moderate climates, but if you live in a place that is extensively cold on a long period of time, this is probably not the best type of heat pump for you.
These types of systems are also notoriously expensive to install. They’re actually pretty similar to a hot water on demand system in price. Heat pumps generally use the differential between the exterior and the interior temperatures in order to keep water warm or cool. Same thing as a heat pump system for your air.
It takes the heat or the cool air out of wherever you need it from and then puts it into your home. Same concept as applied to the water system. There are some people that complain about noise as it is running it.
Solar panel options are great if you’re outside of city limits and you don’t have access to the utilities. Such as electricity or natural gas. These systems can often be expensive though because you’re installing solar panels to generate electricity for heating system. This can often cost you a lot of money. However, if you are living off the grid, this is probably your best option.
So how do you know if need to replace your hot water tank? The obvious answer is if it’s leaking, if it’s leaking, you probably need to get an emergency plumber in right away to take care of the issue.
Another way of gauging if you need to replace your hot water tank is the age conventional hot water tanks usually last between 10 and 15 years. 10 to 12 for gas and 10 to 15 for electric.
If you start seeing rust or corrosion coming from the top or the bottom of the hot water tanks, or if you see anything in the catch pans down below that is rusted or corroded, that’s probably a good indication that you need to get a plumber or an HVAC company in there right away to replace the tank.
If the drain valve doesn’t work and it’s not letting any water out. Probably a good indication you’ve got minerals or calcification inside the tank, possibly even rust or corrosion that’s building up and that’s an good indication. You want to get the service and possibly have to replace the tank.
Another indication that the hot water tank might be on its last legs is if you are getting intermittent, cold, lukewarm, and hot spells. If you should expect that you’re getting hot water but you’re not, that is definitely an indication that the heating system is probably not working properly and you’ll need to get it serviced probably replaced. In any case, you’ll be looking at a hot water on demand system or a conventional hot water tank. You’ll definitely want to speak to your professional HVAC company or plumbers in your area so that you can get various quotes on installation.