Hot water tanks are integral to comfortable and hygienic homes. They help with everything from washing dishes and laundry to washing yourself. For some buildings, hot water tanks also regulate heat in the home.
At Motor City Plumbing and Drain, we know our fair share about water tanks. We work with customers in the Metro Detroit area, and it’s important to us that our clients remain informed about choices and safety protocols regarding hot water tank repair and replacement.
Here, we’re going to talk a bit about FAQs we get and what your plumber might not be saying.
1. How Energy Efficient Is My Tank?
Water heaters, like every other appliance, are becoming greener. This is important as the planet faces a climate change crisis, and we try to reduce our carbon footprints.
Energy-efficient water tanks do more than save the planet. They also save your wallet. Something many homeowners aren’t told is that energy-efficient appliances will save them money over time.
The bigger price tag is sometimes a deterrent. Choosing a cheaper unit will save you dollar signs up front, but it could tack those dollars back onto your power bill.
EF, or energy factor, measures efficiency in water tanks. It divides the energy of your hot water by energy used throughout a 24-hour span by the heater. A standard tank likely has a rating of between EF 58 and EF 60. An energy-efficient model is closer to EF 68 or EF 70.
2. How Important is Preventative Maintenance?
The average hot water tank will last 10 to 15 years. The life span of your tank relies on a variety of factors, including preventative maintenance.
Preventative maintenance is something homeowners rarely want to spend on but should take the time to invest in. Why? Because it means there’s nothing wrong with your hot water tank…yet. Sometimes it’s hard to spend on a problem-free appliance. To keep it problem-free, you should have it serviced.
Water tanks should be inspected annually. During this time, the technician will look at things such as:
- Built up sediment
- Anode rod
- Pressure valve
- Fuel or power source
If sediment is a problem, the tank might need to be flushed to clear it out. Other components can be replaced or repaired as needed.
3. How Do I Know Which Size Tank to Buy?
Tank size is dependent on the amount of water you want to be heated for your home. This is vague, but the answer is reliant on house size, number of bathrooms, how many people live in your home, and whether you have additional water heating needs.
A standard-sized water tank holds roughly 25 to 50 gallons of water. There are also options for tankless heaters, which work without the tank and heat water instantly as needed. This is a separate option and one to discuss with your plumber or sales rep.
4. Where Do I Put My Old Tank?
Old water tanks can’t just be tossed on the curb with this week’s trash bags. Not only are they too bulky for the garbage trucks, but they’re also heavy and hard to move. In fact, it’s not recommended you try to lift a hot water tank on your own.
Your plumber may be able to give you some insight on ways to remove and dispose of the tank. You can also reach out to local recycling companies. Many of them will come to pick up the tank for you and take it away free of charge or for a small fee.
5. Is It Cheaper to Repair or Replace My Tank?
This depends entirely on the age of the tank and the problem you’re experiencing with it. If a part needs replacing and your tank is only in its first 5 years of use, it could be worthwhile to replace the part. If you’ve got a 12-year-old water tank on your hands, it’s better to replace it.
Another way to determine if it’s easier to replace or repair is the 50% rule. If repairing the hot water tank will cost you more than 50% of the cost of a new tank, it’s better to buy the new tank. Why? Because while that one repair might give you a few extra years of life, it could also be the first in many repairs.
Contact Motor City Plumbing and Drain to Learn More
If you live in Metro Detroit and need a hot water tank repair or replacement, we can help. Contact Motor City Plumbing and Drain to speak to an experienced member of our team today. You can also check out our available services online.