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Tips For Buying a New Water Heater

Although you would like them to last forever, eventually your water heater will stop working. Standard gas and electric water heaters generally last for 10 to 15 years while tankless water heaters, which heat water only as needed and do not store hot water, can last up to twenty years. If you’re in the market for a new water heater, you probably have a lot of questions. At WM Buffington, we are pleased to guide you through the process of buying and installing a new water heater with some expert tips and insights.

What Kind of Water Heater Should You Buy?

When it comes to choosing a new water heater for your home, it can be an overwhelming task. With so many types, brands, and models available in the market, you might find yourself caught in a whirlwind of questions and confusion. Follow these tips, and the process will become a lot smoother and more manageable.

Understand Your Needs

The first step in choosing the perfect water heater is to understand your needs. Consider your household size, water usage, and energy consumption. If your family is large, you may need a water heater with a larger capacity. On the other hand, if you are a couple or a single person, a smaller tank will be a more energy-efficient choice.

Energy Efficiency

Water heaters can consume a significant portion of your home's energy. That's why it's essential to consider energy efficiency when purchasing a new one. Look for models with a high Energy Factor (EF) rating. These types of water heaters might cost more upfront, but they can save you substantial money in the long run because they use less energy to heat water.

Type of Water Heaters

The next crucial factor is the type of water heater – tank or tankless? A tank water heater constantly heats and stores a large amount of water, but it can run out if multiple people use hot water simultaneously. On the other hand, a tankless heater heats water on demand, providing a never-ending supply of hot water, but with a limited flow rate. Studies show that tankless water heaters can be 24-34% more energy-efficient than conventional storage tank water heaters for homes that use 41 gallons or less of hot water daily.

Size and Space

Consider the size of the water heater and the available space in your home before making a purchase. You'll want a unit that fits nicely without causing any inconvenience or requiring any substantial home modifications.


Don't forget to check the warranty for your new water heater. A good warranty period signifies the manufacturer's confidence in their product and can save future repair costs. 

Professional Installation

Once you've decided on the perfect water heater, you'll need a reliable, professional plumbing contractor to install it. Professional installation ensures your water heater is set up safely and correctly, reducing the chance of leaks, mishaps, or premature failure of the system.

Future Maintenance

Like any appliance, water heaters require regular maintenance for longevity. You’ll want to find out what type of maintenance your new water heater will require so you can plan accordingly.

Tips on How to Get the Most Out of Your New Water Heater

Other than going without hot water, there’s just no other way around it – installing a new water heater is a costly investment. Once you install a new water heater, you’ll want to do everything you can to ensure that it runs smoothly and efficiently for many years to come. To help you better maintain your water heater and preempt potential damage, here are several tips you should follow:

Regularly Inspect and Maintain Your Water Heater 

Regular inspections and maintenance can significantly extend the lifespan of your water heater. It is recommended to have your heater professionally inspected at least once a year to identify any potential problems. Professionals will catch any potential issues early, such as leaks, rust, or other signs of wear and tear that could eventually lead to bigger problems. 

Drain and Flush Your Water Heater 

Over time, sediment can accumulate at the bottom of your water heater tank, which can reduce its efficiency and eventually lead to damage. To prevent this, you should drain and flush your tank at least once a year. Flushing the tank involves turning off the water and power supply, attaching a hose to the drain valve, and emptying the tank until clear water comes out. Unless you already have experience doing this yourself, it’s probably best to call a licensed plumber – for your safety and to prevent any damage to your system.

Install a Water Softener 

If you live in an area with hard water, the high mineral content can lead to faster deterioration of your water heater. To counteract this, consider installing a water softener. A water softener will reduce the mineral content in your water, therefore, reducing scale build-up and increasing the lifespan of your water heater.

By taking the above steps, you can significantly extend the life of your water heater, ensuring you have a steady supply of hot water while possibly saving money on potentially unnecessary repairs. 

Need a New Water Heater? Contact WM Buffington!

Professional advice always comes in handy when buying a new water heater. With over 70 years of experience, WM Buffington has been providing high-quality, reliable plumbing services and expert advice to the residents of Central Pennsylvania. If you're considering a new water heater, don't hesitate to reach out to us. Our team of experienced plumbing professionals will guide you through the process, ensuring you choose the perfect water heater for your home and budget. With WM Buffington, your comfort and satisfaction are always our top priority!

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