Water heaters are not all the same. For the most part they look the same on the outside, but they are made differently. When purchasing a water heater you need to take a few things into consideration.
Size: You need to figure out what size water heater meets your hot water consumption needs. 30 Gallon water heaters are almost never installed unless there is a space issue. They are more expensive than a 40 gallon and hold 10 less gallons. 40 gallons is the “standard” size. This heater will take care of most households that have 1-5 people living under one roof. A 50 Gallon is needed when a family tends to use more than the average amount of hot water. This size is being installed more and more for those people who want the assurance that they’re not going to run out of hot water. A 75 gallon unit is needed (for a single family home) if a person has a jacuzzi tub that needs to be filled.
Venting: Do you have a gravity vented heater or do you need a
power vented heater? A gravity vented heater is vented vertically out of the top of the heater and is usually tied into a chimney. It has galvanized metal piping coming off of the top of the unit that carries the exhaust up and out of the home.A power vented heater is needed when there isn’t a way to gravity vent the heater (ie. you do not have a chimney in your home). This style heater has a blower motor on top of it that blows the exhaust horizontally out of the home usually through PVC piping.
Brands: There are only a handful of manufacturers that make all the water heaters on the market. These manufacturers make different grades of water heaters to meet different price points. When they make a cheaper priced heater they make it to different specifications to meet that price. The privately labeled water heaters that are out there (ie. State, Richmond, GE, Whirlpool, etc. ) are made to meet Home Depot, Menards, Lowes, and Wal-Mart’s price needs. Because of this the best quality water heaters to buy are the heaters that have the actual manufacturers name on them. Examples of these would be A.O. Smith and Rheem. They may cost a fraction more to begin with but they tend to last longer and have less issues than the cheaper models. In other words, you get what you pay for.
Efficiency: How much energy does the water heater consume vs. how much the water heater costs. High efficiency water heaters cost significantly more than standard heaters. A high-efficiency heater isn’t usually practical because you don’t save enough gas to make it worth the extra cost of the unit.
Warranty: The last thing to consider is the warranty of the heater. The
standard in the industry for a warranty is 6 years. Heaters that have longer warranties on them aren’t necessarily better heaters. Usually the difference between a longer warranty heater and a standard 6 year warranty heater is the number of anode rods in the heater. An anode rod is a “sacrificial lamb” placed in a water heater to take the brunt of the abuse that your city water dishes out. It attracts the minerals in the water that would normally wreak havoc on the tank itself. It is put there to be destroyed. A heater with a longer warranty usually has 2 anode rods inside the tank, thus doubling the protection and in theory increasing the life of the heater.
Here at LeVahn Brothers Plumbing and Hardware we prefer to install Rheem and A.O. Smith water heaters. We can get them in any size and style to meet your needs.
To reach us call 763-551-8990
Stop in and see us at 12700 Bass Lake Rd. Maple Grove, MN 55369
Visit us on the web at levahnbros.com