Nobody wants to replace their water heater. In fact, most of us rarely give our water heaters a second thought. We don’t see them often, as they tend to be out of our usual sight range, either in an attic, a garage, or a utility closet. Even if you’re among the folks who have regular water heater maintenance performed, chances are you hire a plumbing company to take care of it for you.
The homeowner needs to have at least a bit of familiarity with their water heater, if not a full-blown relationship. Only you can check your water heater for any signs of trouble, like water leaks, the smell of natural gas, clunking and banging noises, or anything that could suggest a problem.
Nick’s Plumbing & Air Conditioning wants to help narrow down your choices when it comes time to replace your water heater with these “brand pages.” We hope to highlight each brand’s standard features, what makes each brand unique, and why it may be a good choice for your home.
Nick’s offers our customers a wide variety of tank-type water heaters from several reputable and reliable manufacturers. Our goal with these brand pages is to provide the customer with this information, not sway them to purchase one brand of tank-type water heater over another. Instead, Nick’s wants our customers to be aware of all the options currently available to them, allowing them to make their own informed choices.
A Little A.O. Smith Corporation History
The son of a machinist, Arthur O. Smith believed that “by applying skill, creativity, and mechanical knowledge to any technical problem, one could always find a better way.” Smith’s first significant business venture in 1899 was the development of a lightweight pressed-steel car frame that was used in vehicles made by Pontiac, Oldsmobile, Packard, Buick, and Ford. In fact, by 1908, sixty percent of US-built cars were riding on an A. O. Smith frame.
Not content to let that one modern marvel be their only contribution, the A. O. Smith Corporation went on to develop improved technology for welding, enabling their entry into products made of steel. In 1933, when they had perfected the method for fusing glass to steel tanks to prevent corrosion, the ultimate vessel for the residential water heater was born. Of course, there were methods of heating water before the storage tank units, but the new units were more compact, required less energy, and were much safer than previous iterations. It must have been a good design, as the tank-type water heater remains the most popular water heater almost one hundred years later.
These days, the A.O. Smith Corporation operates headquarters all over the world, offering products uniquely suited to their markets. Canada, Europe, China, India, and Vietnam are all home to branches of the A.O. Smith Corporation. With almost fifteen-thousand employees worldwide, the company is heavily involved in water-related technologies and is still an innovator in the industry.
A.O. Smith Tank-Type Water Heater Features
A.O. Smith ProLine® Tank-Type Water Heater
Budget Friendly: $599 – $899 (Water Heater Only, Installation Extra)
Includes: ProLine, ProLine SL
Key Features: Simple installation, 6 – 10 year limited warranty (depending on model), available in capacities of 30, 40, 50, 75, and 98 gallons. Some models employ the High Recovery system, which carries an 80% thermal efficiency rating, meaning a minimal amount of energy is wasted in the heating process, which can heat 81 gallons of water per hour.
A.O. Smith ProLine® Master Tank-Type Water Heater
Mid Range: $849 – $1,799 (Water Heater Only, Installation Extra)
Includes: ProLine Master
Key Features: Ultra low emissions, higher efficiency than standard “builder’s grade” water heaters. Available in a wide array of sizes like the ProLine series. 5 – 8 year limited warranty (depending on model), able to recover 82 gallons of hot water per hour on a constant flow.
A.O. Smith Promax® Tank-Type Water Heater
Mid Range: $1,199 – $2,499 (Water Heater Only, Installation Extra)
Includes: ProLine XE, Promax®
Key Features: The FVIR-compliant ProLine Direct Vent gas water heater is designed to draw air from outside the home, eliminating problems caused by insufficient indoor ventilation. The unit has horizontal air intake and venting from the outside wall, requiring no electrical power. Featuring a 50-100 gallon tank and a high-efficiency gas burner, the GDVT-50L Direct Vent delivers a first-hour rating of 83 gallons and a recovery rate of 51 gallons per hour.
How Old is Your Water Heater?
Age may only be a number to us mortal creatures, but it plays a massive part in how efficiently and effectively your water heater performs. Tank-type water heaters have a life expectancy of between seven to twelve years, with the well-maintained and regularly serviced units most likely to reach the high-end of that scale. Nick’s Plumbing & Air Conditioning recommends that any tank-type water heater that needs extensive repair and is more than seven years old should be replaced.
Most tank-type water heaters can tell us that they’re nearing the end of their useful life, but it takes a conscientious homeowner to pick up on those clues. Rattling noises, discolored hot water, lower hot water pressure, and lukewarm water are all signs that your water heater is ready to turn in its retirement papers.
If your hot water isn’t quite as hot as you’re used to, or that clunking noise from the gas water heater keeps you up at night, it’s probably a good time to call in the licensed and experienced experts at Nick’s Plumbing! Our licensed and experienced technicians can install most tank-type water heaters in half-a-day, and tankless conversions in a full day.
Call Nick’s Today; We’re on the Way.