Water Heater Basics For Every Homeowner

October 13, 2021
Water Heater Guide in Colorado Springs, CO

Every home needs to have a water heater to produce warm water for bathing and cleaning. As a homeowner, it is likely that you are going to have to deal with water heater repair or replacement at some point in the future. For this reason, it’s a good idea to have some basic understanding of how a water heater works and what some of the most common problems are that you are likely to run across.

How Do They Work?

Traditional tank water heaters are fairly easy to identify with a large cylinder with various pipes running in and out of it. This large drum becomes filled with cold water through a dip tube that is positioned at the bottom of the water heater. The heating mechanism inside of the water heater works to heat up the water inside of the tank.

Most water heaters will run on either an electric heating element or a gas burner, depending on the type of fuel that you decide to use in your home. The water will be heated up to whatever temperature you specify on the thermostat of your water heater. Water heaters can typically be set between 120 and 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Most manufacturers recommend setting the temperature between 120 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit for optimal energy efficiency.

How Long Do They Last?

Most tank-style water heaters are specifically designed to have a lifespan of about 10 years. Typical water heaters will come with a five- or six-year warranty for parts and the tank. Labor is usually only covered for one full year after the installation of the water heater.

What Size Do I Need?

Residential water heaters come in sizes ranging from as low as 30 gallons to as high as 120 gallons. For small households of one to two people, you can typically get away with a 30- to 40-gallon water heater. For houses of three or four people, you will want to upgrade to between 50 and 60 gallons. If you have more than five people living in your home, you may need to purchase an 80- or 100-gallon water heater, depending on the amount of hot water that your household uses on a regular basis.

What Do They Cost?

The price that you’ll pay for a water heater is highly going to depend on the size of it. For smaller water heaters of 30 to 40 gallons, you can expect to pay between $300 and $900. For midrange water heaters between 50 and 70 gallons, you can expect to pay anywhere between $450 and $1,500. Finally, for the larger size water heaters of 80 gallons or more, you can expect to pay anywhere between $1,000 and $3,000.

It is crucial to know that these costs are just for the actual water heater itself. You are going to need to pay for labor if you have a professional take care of the installation or replacement of your existing water heater. Installation costs are going to be more expensive than a simple replacement as your professional installer will have to take care of running plumbing and pulling permits to install your water heater correctly.

What Are the Most Common Problems That Water Heaters Have?

Over the lifespan of your water heater, it’s likely that you’ll experience an issue or two. The most common issue that homeowners experience is that their water heater is not producing hot water. This is typically due to incorrect thermostat settings, broken heating elements, faulty thermostats, or tripped circuit breakers.

Another common water heater issue is rust-colored water coming out of the faucets. In most cases, this issue is created by a faulty anode rod. When this anode rod is not working properly, it is unable to attract rust-causing particles from the inside of your water heater tank. Therefore, it is necessary to get this rod replaced and completely drain out your tank to continue to use it.

Quality Water Heater Services

Home Heating Service, Inc. provides quality water heater services for the Colorado Springs area. We’re also here for all of your indoor air quality, duct cleaning, duct sealing, attic air sealing, insulation, green comfort, home energy audit, AC repair, AC maintenance, AC installation, swamp cooler, gas fireplace, heating maintenance, heating installation, heating repair, and mobile home heating needs. Call us today to schedule an appointment with our skilled service technicians.