Hot Water Heater Buying Guide

Selecting a new Hot Water Heater isn't something that most people do frequently. Therefore, it is a good idea to refresh your memory on the important features to focus on while shopping for a new Hot Water Heater. Looking at the various types of Hot Water Heaters, fuel sources, spacing requirements and accessories should provide an informative overview to help you make the right decision for your needs.

Types of Hot Water Heaters

Before purchasing a new Hot Water Heater, you'll want to consider the number of family members or how many people will be requiring hot water for showers on a daily basis. Be sure to consider that the more people in the household also increases the need for additional hot water for more loads of laundry and running the dishwasher more frequently.

Also, keep in mind that there are a variety of types of Hot Water Heaters that use various fuel sources, but you may be limited by which fuel sources are available where you live.

Storage Tank

The storage tank design has been around for years, and it is normally reasonably priced and available in a variety of stores and home centers. These may be purchased to run on natural gas, liquid propane or electricity.

In this unit, hot water is generated or heated in the storage tank. People purchase these models based on the number of gallons that the tank can hold and heat, which determines the size you'll want to purchase to provide adequate amounts of hot water when needed.

Always check the recovery rate on each unit you're considering. The recovery rate is the rate at which the unit can reheat water in one hour. Higher hot water demands require higher recovery rates.

Point-of-Use (POU)

The POU is much smaller than most standard units, and it is primarily designed for providing water to garages, workshops or any area where additional hot water may be needed.

Typical sizes range from 2.5 to 20 gallons. POU units are not designed for supplying water to entire households, but they provide hot water to the sink or showers where they are installed such as a secondary bathroom. The majority of units are electric.


Unlike storage tank devices, the on-demand or tankless water device does not store or hold hot water. Instead, water will be heated through coils inside the unit. Although it is typically more energy efficient compared to tank heaters, it does have a slow or limited hot water flow rate of about 3.5 gallons per minute.

The on-demand heater models can be purchased to run on natural gas, liquid propane and electric.


Water is heated using a burner, but units do require sufficient circulating air around them, which means more space for installation. Typically, these run higher than electric Hot Water Heaters to purchase, but they are normally more energy efficient. Size ranges available for purchase include 30 to as much as 100 gallons.

Solar Heaters

The initial outlay for the cost of a solar Hot Water Heater might be expensive, and you may take some years to recoup costs after your investment. There are at least five or more designs available from which to choose. It's recommended to consult with professionals when considering solar for your particular home design.

Generally, water is circulated through solar collectors on the roof of a home and it's heated from the sun. A pump may be used to direct the water into a storage tank where it flows into a conventional Hot Water Heater to supply hot water to the home.

Hybrid Hot Water Heaters

The newer hybrid heaters use heat pumps to extract heat directly from the air surrounding the heater and work in conjunction with traditional electric storage heaters. Hybrids are larger than regular electric heaters and more expensive initially than other units. Size ranges include 50 gallons up to 80.

These save nearly 60 percent on energy costs, but they require more space for installation and are frequently noisier than standard storage tank heaters.

Fuel Sources


Electric units heat water via heating elements that are replaceable. These devices are comparatively less expensive than many other fuel sources to run. They're very efficient and come in 20 to 100 gallons.

Propane or Gas

Storage tanks and tankless devices can be purchased that are designed to run on liquid propane or natural gas from your supplier.

Space Requirements

Standard sized Hot Water Heaters fit in most home fine, but there are times where there are space concerns and a lowboy or tall heater fits the available installation space better.

Short or Lowboys

These are much wider and shorter than standard heaters. However, they usually heat the same quantity of water. The lower height makes them perfect for cabinets or crawl spaces.


Taller heaters may hold 100 gallons, but they are much taller than other designs at 76 inches. These are ideal for garages or basements where height is not such a concern.


Most Hot Water Heaters are designed to stand-alone and don't require additional accessories to function. However, in some instances, you might find them handy. Common accessories on the market include Hot Water Heater stands, pans, blankets, alarms, timers and expansion tanks.

Energy Guide Labels

Federal law requires that new appliances carry an energy guide label for consumers that display energy consumption information. When comparing and shopping for Hot Water Heaters, you should check the information displayed on the large yellow and black energy guide label.

The labels typically provide information about the operating costs and annual energy requirements. The information is provided by averages, so your household may vary slightly depending upon usage.

When shopping for a new Hot Water Heater, take the time to compare brands, fuel source options, storage gallons and water recovery rates. You may also have to factor in installation charges if you require the services of a professional. Consider the cost of each model and what the average monthly or yearly costs are to run the unit. Also, think about how long you plan to stay in the house or apartment to recover your investment.

[optin-cat id=3083]


Finding the Best Emergency Denver Plumbers

Plumbing contractors are well-known for getting in the trenches to battle over their prices. Unfortunately, this isn’t what the customer wants. When there’s a plumbing emergency in your home, you’re worried about the quality of their work, not their price. While the plumber may feel like the price is their most valuable point, you just want your plumbing system fixed immediately.

Pay For Something Worth Having

In most cases, a plumber that charges the highest rate is the one that provides the best quality service. “You get what you pay for,” applies when it comes to emergency plumbing services. If you want a rock-solid repair that is guaranteed to withstand the tests of time, you need to find an emergency plumber that knows what they’re doing. Their emergency plumbing rate will reflect that confidence.

Your Plumber Should Always Be Prepared

Most highly credible emergency plumbers have an operator available 24-hour a day to help you get the quality service you need, when you need it most. They also have fully-stocked trucks and state-of-the-art equipment that’s ready to handle any plumbing emergency you throw their way. You don’t have to wait around for parts or tools. Reputable plumbers have their ducks in a row before they come to your home or office.

It’s Better To Pay More

Emergency plumbers that provide you with high-quality services have systems in place to ensure your emergency repair service runs as smoothly as possible. It may seem like it’s frivolous to pay a high price for emergency repair services, but it’s not. The better plumbing companies have to charge more for their services, because they have the resources you need in place to ensure you get the repair you need.

Quality Matters Every Time

It’s not hard to argue that the performance you get from the plumbing company is more important than the price you pay. If you pay $50 for a repair that only lasts through the night, you’re not likely to call the same cheap plumber back. However, if you spend $300 on a plumbing repair that lasts for ten years, the chance of you calling the more expensive plumber back is pretty high. You need to know that you’re getting a long-lasting repair, and that your money was put to get use. A more expensive plumber will deliver on that every time you call them for help.

Don’t Hire A Subpar Plumber

It’s not uncommon for homeowners to receive shoddy work from a subpar plumber to avoid having to pay heft unexpected fees. Unfortunately, those same people always wind up calling the more expensive plumber to fix the other company’s mistakes. Instead of paying for your repair one time, you wind up having to pay for the same repair multiple times. This can be avoided by simply investing in the more experienced, expensive plumber first.

Your Plumber Is Experienced

When you’re working with a plumber who charges more for their services, you don’t have to worry about them running into issues they can’t handle. Your plumber can charge more money because there’s nothing they can’t handle. They’ve had the proper schooling, training, and on-the-job experience. There’s never any second guessing when you hire a more high-end plumber. It doesn’t matter if you live in a mobile home or a sprawling mansion, that plumber will not exactly what you need.

The Repairs Last Longer

It can’t be stressed enough that an emergency plumber with higher prices than normal is going to provide you with a repair that outlasts all of their competitors work. This is one of the reasons they can charge you such high rates. You won’t be seeing them next week, month, or year to handle the same repair. Their repairs are long-lasting, and for this reason, they’re worth much more money.

Check Their Credentials

While it’s a good idea to look for more expensive plumbers when you have an emergency, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t research the company. You still need to know that they have credentials, are reputable, and have plenty of experience. This will help you narrow down your perfect candidate. When you find a plumber who is committed to helping people, experienced, and educated, you’re guaranteed to get long-lasting repairs at every turn. It’s not hard for any plumber to mark up their prices. What you need to look for is a plumber with a professional vehicle, proper plumbing equipment, and plenty of referrals available. A reputable plumber will have no issue proving these things to you. They’re likely to do it with a smile on their face.

[optin-cat id=3083]


Denver 2015 Plumbing Maintenance Checklist

Now that you've decided to run a general maintenance program on your home, spend some time triaging the trouble spots. For example, plumbing problems may cause the most destruction in both the short and the long term, so begin with making a plumbing maintenance checklist.

Taking A Larger View

Let's start by walking around your property, or better yet, take the overall view and cross the street to gain a fuller perspective of its location. If it lies on a gentle slope, your concerns about drainage will be alleviated. If there are thirsty willow trees as landscaping, your concerns may escalate. Take notes on your initial large view, and plunge into the question of which plumber to consult if a widespread plumbing problem presents itself. For example, if your home lies in a flood zone or is situated near a river or lake, then the local companies have firsthand experience with water issues. Their advice is invaluable and you need to note the premier plumbing company in your area.

Securing The Great Outdoors

Now that you've decided on a reliable plumber, zero in on the yard. You may have not thought about the infrastructure supporting your property, but you need to familiarize yourself with the location of both the water meter and the water shut-off valve for the entire home. Walk around the foundation, searching for cracks or signs of leakage. Critique each lawn, as sprinkling systems may spring a leak from ground upheaval or careless use of a lawnmower. Areas of burgeoning, uneven grass growth or swampy areas point to a sprinkling system problem underground. Move around to outdoor faucets and check for leaks; if the winters are freezing in your location, you need to wrap the faucets before cold weather starts for the utmost protection.

Eliminating Winter Woes

Speaking of winterizing outdoor faucets, the first step consists of disconnecting garden hoses for draining and storage. Next, inspect your faucet to see if it's frost-free. A good rule is that a frost-free knob is perpendicular to the house, and a knob that is at a 45-degree angle is not. Even a climate with mild winters and occasional freezing needs these simple safeguards to prevent split pipes and costly repairs. As you inspect the outdoor faucets, see to the caulking around the pipes. If it's weathered or missing, it needs replacing. Once you've secured the great outdoors, move on to what will affect you and your family the most, the indoor plumbing.

Hot Water And Adequate Pressure: Two Basic Requirements

Now comes checking for proper water pressure. If your home is two or more stories, you already realize that showers and proper toilet flushing upstairs are critical, so remove shower heads to inspect them for sediment buildup that will constrict the pipes' ability to provide adequate pressure. Each sink, tub, and drain needs checking for drainage, because slow drainage indicates a clog or vent problem, and gurgling points to a venting problem. Next, the amount of people living in the home determines the size of a water heater. A family of four likely needs a 40-gallon capacity, and if the heater is old, sediments may accumulate and require draining the tank.

Prevent Toilet Disasters

Moving along to more intimate plumbing maintenance, make sure that each toilet is firmly seated by gently rocking it. Check for water leakage after a test flush, and make certain that the toilet does not continue to run after flushing. Lift the tank cover to inspect for rusting parts, and look for mildew in the hidden areas behind the toilet that will betray a leak. Bathrooms most often have tile floors, so search for cracked tiles that will have leaked water through to the floor and stained the ceiling of the room below.

Laundry Room Lookouts

The laundry holds a common source of trouble that is also the most easily fixed: the washing machine drain hose. Curious children may tinker with the hose by lifting it out of the drainpipe, and the results can be catastrophic. Simply check its position periodically as you conduct a general inspection of the washer's hoses to make sure they are not brittle or leaking.

Kitchen Concerns

Because we associate the kitchen with sinks, cooking, and dish-washing, we need to concentrate maintenance here. Check the out of the way places such as under the sink, because any leaks will have discolored or warped the floor inside. All faucets should not leak, and corrosion causes pipes to leak, too. Signs of corrosion are green stains around copper and brass fittings, and orange or yellow stains on steel pipe. The dishwasher's connections need periodic checking due to the vibration and force of water during its operation. Garbage disposals, too, vibrate when working hard and can loosen or leak.

A Last Moment

You're nearly through. Close your eyes and listen for water drips or the sound of water running when you know every faucet is turned off. When all is clear to your satisfaction, finish your plumbing maintenance checklist with a satisfied smile. You've completed your first run through of a very important part of owning a home.

[optin-cat id=3083]