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All About Water Heaters: Location, Troubleshooting and More

Someone filling up a tub and testing the water temperature.

From providing the hot water for a long shower in the morning to ensuring the washing machine keeps your whites bright, water heaters are an indispensable part of everyday life.

Whether you’re looking for a traditional tank model or a more advanced tankless design that conserves energy, today’s water heaters provide convenience and affordability. With the right choice, you can enjoy hot water whenever and wherever you need it without breaking the bank.

About Water Heaters

Water heaters use a variety of technologies to convert cold water into hot. There also are different designs, such as the tradition tank-style models as well as new, energy-efficient tankless models.

Tank water heaters have a large drum, which is filled with water that is constantly heated and ready to use when needed. The size of the tanks vary, but are often 40-60 gallons in the average home. A tankless water heater does not have a tank of hot water ready to use. Instead, it heats water on demand. It does this by heating water as it passes through the unit, which is more efficient than constantly heating a tank of water like a traditional water heater. For this reason, tankless units are often referred to as on-demand water heaters.

Depending on the type of tank water heater, generating hot water can involve gas or electric heating systems. These components are connected by pipes and valves and regulated with thermostats to ensure that the desired temperature is maintained in the tank. This allows for reliable hot water delivery whenever it is needed.

Are tankless water heaters better?

Tankless water heaters typically cost more than tank-style water heaters, but can save money in the long run. That’s because of their efficiency—they use less energy than models that heat a tank of water all the time—and because they tend to have a longer life span and require less maintenance. For these reasons, Aspinwall often recommends tankless models and proudly installs Navien tankless water heaters.

How long should a water heater last?

The best way to help your water heater last as long as possible is through regular maintenance by a skilled technician. This includes an inspection for any possible issues and enables the tech to repair any small issues before they cause a breakdown. With maintenance, water heaters usually last:

  • A traditional tank-style electric or gas water heater can last 8-12 years.
  • Tankless water heaters can last 12-15 years or more.

Troubleshooting Before Calling for Repair

When the hot water goes out in your house, there are a few things you will need to know before you call for service.

Where is my water heater located?

Water heaters are usually placed somewhere in a home that is out of the way, but easy for technicians to access for maintenance or repair. Often, they are found in a basement or garage, but sometimes they will be in a utility closet. A tank water heater will be easy to spot because of the large drum filled with water, while a tankless water heater will be a rectangular panel with pipes coming out of it that is mounted to the wall.

Who installs water heaters: plumbers or HVAC technicians?

When it comes to whom to call for water heater service, it might not be immediately clear what kind of company to call. A plumber? An HVAC company?

Typically, even companies that only offer HVAC services oftentimes also offer water heater services, but it depends. Aspinwall, on the other hand, is licensed to perform both HVAC and plumbing in Massachusetts. You can feel secure choosing Aspinwall, because our crew is qualified and experienced in water heater repair and installation!

Schedule your appointment today by calling (617) 539-7672.

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