Your Top 7 Hot Water Heater Questions Answered

smiling technician servicing an hot-water heater

Got hot water heater questions? We’ve got answers!

As the Albany and Saratoga region’s hot water heater experts, we field numerous hot water heater related questions from homeowners every day. Here are the answers to the seven most common questions we hear:

 

  • How long does a hot water heater last?

Hot water heaters have an average lifespan of ten years. That being said, regular maintenance is needed to keep your water heater running for the whole decade. Certain factors like malfunctioning parts, size, and even geographic location can cause your water heater to fail prematurely. Have your plumber inspect your water heater annually to help prevent premature failure.

 

  • How much does a new water heater cost?

There are many factors that contribute to the price of installing a new water heater in your home. Whether the tank is electric or gas, tank or tankless, or includes an expansion tank or not, are all contributing factors. The size of your home, number of bathrooms, and household use contribute to the cost of your water heater as well.

Our prices range from as low as $1,375 for a standard tank gas water heater, to $4,000 for a tankless gas water heater. Unlike Big Box stores, our prices include installation. Empire State Plumbing’s installation includes the removal of the existing water heater, as well as redoing the venting, plumbing, and gas piping for your new water heater.

 

  • Will my hot water heater work when the power is out?

Gas water heaters can run during a power outage, however electric water heaters cannot. If you live in an area prone to power outages, you may want to consider investing in a gas water heater.

 

  • How quickly after my water heater installation will I have hot water?

Again, this depends on your model. If you have a tankless hot water heater, your water heater should provide hot water in no time. If you have a standard tank hot water heater, it usually takes between 45 minutes to 1 hour for a hot water heater to supply hot water. Electric water heaters can sometimes take twice as long as gas water heaters to heat up.

 

  • Can you repair a leaky hot water heater?

Hot water heaters can leak from a number of places. If its leaking from its fittings, drain valve, or temperature and pressure relief valve, some simple tightening of connections may fix the leaking. However, if your the tank of your water heater is leaking, it cannot be repaired. The only option is to purchase a new hot water heater.

 

  • Do I need a thermal expansion tank?

When water is heated by your hot water heater, it expands in volume and creates pressure, a process known as thermal expansion. Typically, cities have an open system, meaning the pressure from the expanded water can be absorbed by the city water supply.

“You don’t necessarily need an expansion tank,” says Tom Darling of Empire State Plumbing. “But a lot of people have outdoor irrigation sprinkler systems and they have a built-in check valve in the house so that the water can’t expand back into the city water. Therefore, you need a thermal expansion tank. If you don’t have the thermal expansion tank or the ability to expand back into the city water, then it puts extra pressure on your tank which causes premature failure.”

 

  • How do I know if my anode rod needs to be replaced?

The anode rod is a critical component on the inside of your water heater that prevents it from rusting prematurely. Anode rods typically have a five year life expectancy. If your water heater makes loud popping noises when heating up, has a sulfurous “rotten egg” odor, or your anode rod is heavily corroded to the point where you can see it’s core, it’s time you call your plumber.

 

Was one of your hot water heater questions not answered? Contact Empire State Plumbing online today or call us at (518) 213-9256 for a comprehensive consultation. We are the hot water heater experts in the Albany and Saratoga areas!