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Sweetwater Plumbing Blog

Choosing a New Water Heater


Picking a new major appliance in your home is no easy task. It takes research, an understanding of what your home needs, and there’s budgeting to consider. Let’s help you by making the process a little easier.

We offer water heater service in Riverside, CA to install your new water heater, but before we get to that, let’s see if you need a new one. Then, we’ll list all the ways to know how to select the right water heater replacement for your home.

First, Find Out if You Need a New Water Heater

Water heaters aren’t meant to last forever. If they encounter any of the problems in this list, it’s time to consider a replacement. A technician will be able to describe the problems to you during maintenance or repair.

  • Rising heating costs over time.
  • Discolored water.
  • System age.
  • Visible corrosion.
  • Frequent repair visits.

If you aren’t sure whether or not you’re encountering these issues with your water heater, the best way to know it’s time for a replacement is the 50% rule. If the repair is 50% or greater than the cost of a new unit, it’s time to replace it.

How to Choose a New Water Heater

Let’s look at the criteria to select a new water heater before you make your decision. Keep in mind that if you’re planning an addition to your home in the near future, you’ll want to purchase a water heater that accommodates that new section of your home. You don’t want to be forced to upgrade before it’s necessary.

Fuel Type

Some water heater brands only make units with specific fuel sources in mind. That could be propane, natural gas, electricity, geothermal, or even solar energy. Since you’re upgrading, you can always move to another fuel type if you want. If you already have a natural gas line, it makes sense to replace your water heater with another natural gas unit.

Tank vs. Tankless

If you choose a conventional water heater with a tank, you need to choose a size that makes sense for your normal water usage. If you have a large family and/or multiple bathrooms that are frequently used, it’s not practical to go for a smaller water heater than what you have now.

Tankless water heaters can help you save money, but it is very case-by-case. They generally last longer than conventional water heaters but have a higher installation cost. Weigh the pros and cons of each before deciding which one works for you.

Energy Efficiency

Water heaters use Energy Factor (EF) ratings. The higher the rating, the more efficient your water heater is. This tells us what percentage of the fuel source is effectively being used to heat your water.

Generally, larger tanks require more energy to evenly heat your water and that reduces their EF rating. This is a great factor to consider since it will impact your water heating bill for the next 10-20 years. Currently, electric water heaters have the highest EF ratings regardless of tank size.

Ready for a New Water Heater?

If you’re ready for a new water heater, we’re here to help. Now that you know how to determine what the best water heater for your home is, contact us to get the ball rolling and schedule your new installation. Stop settling for your old inefficient water heater.

Contact Sweetwater Plumbing today to schedule your new water heater installation. We don’t charge by the hour, we charge by the job!

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