Professional Water Heater Installation in Houston
Learn About Hot Water Heater Installation:
- What Are the Different Types of Hot Water Heaters?
- How Much Does It Cost to Have a Professional Plumber Install a Hot Water Heater?
- Can I Install a Hot Water Heater Myself?
- How Much Does It Cost to Install a Hot Water Heater From Home Improvement Store?
- When Should I Install a New Hot Water Heater?
- What To Consider When Installing a New Hot Water Heater
We ask it to provide hot water for washing our dishes, to clean our laundry, and to make our showers as hot as we want, for as long as we want. With all the work we expect from our water heaters, it’s no surprise that your water heater has already started to die from the day of installation.
Once your tank-type water heater is filled, it will remain full for the rest of its useful life. Remember, this is a metal tank full of water, probably located in your attic, a utility closet, or, if you’re lucky, in the garage.
Tank-type water heaters have an average life expectancy of 7 – 10 years, with regular annual maintenance. For homeowners that choose not to have regular maintenance performed should start saving their pennies now, so you’ll be prepared to replace your water heater after only five years of service.
If you currently have a traditional tank-type heater and need to replace it, or you’re looking to upgrade to a tankless unit, there’s only one place to call; Nick’s Plumbing and Air Conditioning Services. Before deciding on a new, professional water heater installation, give this blog a quick read as we answer some of the most commonly asked water heater questions.
What Are the Different Types of Hot Water Heaters?
Tank-Type Water Heaters
The most common type of water heater is the tank-type unit, which has remained essentially unchanged since it was invented in 1889. Initially made from cast iron, it was quickly discovered that a method to prevent rust and corrosion would be necessary if the tank were to last more than a year or two. By the time Edwin Rudd received a patent for his creation in 1897, it was determined that stainless steel was a better conductor of heat, and its non-reactive properties ensured that it wouldn’t affect the taste or the color of the water.
Water heater tanks come in several sizes that can suit the needs of any household. There are small under-the-sink units for individual faucets that heat between 2 and 5 gallons of water alongside whole-house units that store up to one hundred gallons. Nick’s Plumbing and Air Conditioning Services offer professional tank-type water heater installations of both gas and electric-powered versions. Since tank-type water heaters store large quantities of hot water, they require a sizable amount of floor space, usually about a small closet size.
Tankless Water Heaters
While popular in European countries since the 1980s, tankless water heaters have been slow to catch on in the US market. Tankless water heaters have become tremendously popular in the last decade, owing to their space and energy-saving features. As a bonus, your tankless water heater offers “endless hot water,”; which means you’ll never run out of hot water again!
Want to take a 30-minute, scalding hot shower?
Go right ahead!
Want to fill that Roman bathtub with piping hot water?
You can do that too!
Want to just run your hot water for hours, just because you can?
Well, we don’t recommend it, as it’s a tremendous waste of water and energy…but, yeah, you could.
Nick’s Plumbing & Air Conditioning offers tankless water heaters in both electric and gas-powered models. Tankless units are the size of a small suitcase and are hung on an exterior wall, and they can even be mounted outside of your home. Since tankless water heaters are not heating a tank of water 24-hours a day, only heating water as needed, you will start to notice a decrease in your monthly energy bills right away.
How Much Does it Cost to Have a Professional Plumber Install a Hot Water Heater?
Like any professional service or installation call, it is almost impossible to give a precise cost estimate on any job. Many variables come into play with a new water heater installation, from the water heater’s price, where it is located, any retrofitting that needs to be done when changing over to tankless, and the list goes on.
Based on our service call records, it appears that tank-type water heaters can be installed for as little as $1,000, including the cost of the new water heater. Of course, for that price, you’re getting the bottom-of-the-line water heater, what we in the trade call “builder’s grade.” It’s not that builder’s grade appliances are unreliable; they’re just the least inexpensive option available to a new home builder. Builder’s grade appliances come with warranties, so you are somewhat protected in the event of a faulty unit.
Tank-Type Water Heater & Installation Average Cost: $1,000 – $2,200
Tankless Water Heater Installation w/Plumbing Retrofit: $4,000 – $8,500
The prices listed above include the replacement water heater, the labor cost for installation, and in the case of switching from tank-type to tankless, the re-routing of pipes to accommodate it.
Can I Install a Hot Water Heater Myself?
If you’re asking this question, the odds are good that you are one of those handy, “do-it-yourself” type of homeowner. We love our DIY customers and understand that any home improvement project’s most critical aspect is minimizing costs wherever possible.
Sadly, though, unless you happen to hold a current plumbing license issued by the state of Texas, you are legally prohibited from performing any plumbing repair or installation.
Installation of water heaters or any major plumbing work is best left to an experienced and licensed plumbing technician. Water heaters require electricity to operate thermostats and ignitors, they require connecting to a natural gas line for fuel, and they also have to be connected to your plumbing network. That’s three different things that can go horribly wrong, from electric shocks to explosions caused by gas leaks, to flooding your entire house because you left one of the pipe fittings off.
Please, even if you don’t choose Nick’s Plumbing & Air Conditioning for your water heater install, get professional assistance when it’s time to replace your old, faulty water heater.
How Much Does it Cost to Install a Hot Water Heater From Home Improvement Store?
If you walk into your local “Big Box” home improvement store, like Lowe’s or Home Depot, you will find a vast selection of water heaters. Before you shop for your water heater, make sure you know if you need a gas-powered or electric-powered unit, the size of the unit you need, and whether you want to install a tank-type or a tankless model.
On the cheaper end of the scale, there are several builder’s grade, 40-gallon tank-type water heaters available for less than $500. Tankless water heaters usually run between $1,000 for an entry-level model, up to $2,500 for higher output, higher BTU rating, and more feature-packed units. For the homeowner that needs to have the best of everything, you can indulge yourself with an 80-gallon, ultra-high-efficiency, high output model for around $3,000.
These prices do not include the cost of installation by a licensed plumber.
When Should I Install A New Water Heater?
For homeowners with a regular water heater maintenance schedule, you can expect to get between 7 – 12 years of faithful service. If you’re unsure of the age of your water heater, check the manufacturer’s stickers on the tank; this label will have model and serial numbers, as well as your water heater’s birthday. You know, in case you ever want to get it a card. Seriously, the date of the water heater’s manufacture date will let you know if it’s time to start thinking about a new tank-type or tankless water heater installation.
While many water heater repairs are inexpensive, replacing anode rods and heating elements can cost less than $100 each, multiple repairs in a short period indicate serious issues. Nick’s Plumbing & Air Conditioning suggests that any water heater older than seven years be replaced at the first signs of trouble. If your water heater has not been regularly flushed, adjusted, and inspected, severe problems like excessive buildup of mineral sediment can leave your unit less efficient, running poorly, and more likely to fail in less than five years.
Symptoms of a Water Heater on the Brink of Failure
- Hot Water Doesn’t Get Hot Enough or Last Long Enough
As water heaters age, they become less efficient as mineral sediments settle at the bottom of the tank, not allowing water to get close to where the heating elements are located. This results in reduced hot water capacity in the tank, and it uses more energy to heat the water at the top of the tank. Listen to your water heater while the hot water is running; any “crunching” or “banging” sounds result from the mineral deposits moving around in the tank. Think of this sound as the “death rattle” of your water heater.
- Rusty-Colored Hot Water
Another fatal diagnosis for your water heater is hot water that comes out with a brown tint to it. Your water heater tank is rusting from the inside out, and it won’t be long before that tank starts to leak, eventually bursting and emptying its contents into your ceilings, walls, and anything else that shouldn’t ever get wet. Rust-colored hot water is a problem that can’t sit on the back burner for long; it’s time to get that old, corroded tank out of your house before it has a chance to fail. Check to see if your cold water is also rusty, which would suggest a rust problem somewhere in your water supply lines.
- Water in the Drain Pan
Every water heater must have a pan installed at the base of the unit to catch any condensation that may drip from it during exceptionally hot or cold weather. If you find yourself having to bail the drip pan out from time to time, that could be a sign that your water heater tank is leaking. Water heaters are prone to failure at the tank’s seam, and any small leak you see now can become a soggy nightmare at any time.
What to Consider When Installing a New Hot Water Heater?
Finding and installing the right water heater is about more than simply going online or heading to your nearest big box store and picking out the most visually appealing one. Whether you chose to install a tankless or traditional tank version, the right fit for your home and family can bring you tremendous long-term benefits, including lower energy bills and long-lasting heating capabilities. But there are three critical factors that you must consider before you make this type of investment.
- Consider Your Hot Water Usage Needs
If the water heater you currently have has suited your family’s demands, your best option is to replace it with a similarly sized unit. Unless you have a large family that all takes hot showers in 5 separate bathrooms simultaneously, bigger is not necessarily better for your water heater. Water heaters that are too small will struggle to keep up with demand, become overworked, and break down more often. Too large of a water heater is inefficient, as you are heating 80 gallons of water around the clock.
- What Features Do You Want?
For most homeowners, the only feature they look for in a water heater is…heating water. I know, right? For those who like to have an interactive experience with their appliances, just about every manufacturer is making wi-fi-enabled water heaters. Using your smartphone or tablet, download the app that applies to your water heater and enjoy modern conveniences like adjusting your water heater’s thermostat from anywhere in the world. Many water heater apps include usage tracking and dashboards that show you a graphics-based analysis of your hot water plumbing system.
Ready to Replace That Clunky Gas or Electric Water Heater?
Call the Experts at Nick’s Plumbing & Air Conditioning
Your water heater has always been there for you, and it never asked for anything more than an occasional maintenance service. That water heater has been so reliable and efficient that you haven’t even given it a second thought in several years. Then one day, your shower is freezing, and you have to wash your dishes by hand, which makes you think about your water heater again, and how it’s probably time to replace it.
That’s where we can help.
Let Nick’s Plumbing & Air Conditioning advise you on selecting the right water heater for your home and to get it installed professionally. Once your new water heater is installed, ask your Nick’s technician about setting up an annual maintenance service to keep it healthy for many years.