Frequently Asked Questions on Water Heaters

There are several things to consider when purchasing a new water heater or getting your current one fixed. A water heater essentially heats the water to give your home hot, running water. Whether you’re looking for a new water heater or just want some overall water heater tips, we have a few frequently asked questions that may help you.

How do I choose the right water heater for my home?
Choosing the right water heater involves several factors. You should decide how much hot water you will need, the size of your household, and how long you plan to stay in that home. There are a few options when researching the type of water heater to purchase. You have tankless, condensing, and storage units. You should also have a good idea of where you will be placing the water heater so you know whether you will need a gas or electric model.

How long does it take for my water to heat up?
Your water heater should have hot water ready in about 45 minutes. Gas heaters generally tend to heat more quickly than electric. However, even electric heaters should take no longer than one hour to heat up. If you find that after an hour you still have no hot water, you should check all your connections and any pilot lights to see if your heater is functioning correctly.

Why is my water heater leaking?
Is there a puddle around your water heater? This usually signals that the water heater’s tank has cracked and needs to be replaced. In some instances, the pressure inside the tank may have caused the top of the unit to leak. If the top of the unit is leaking, then oftentimes it can be repaired. If your tank has cracked at the bottom, you will need to replace your unit.

Why does my hot water smell?
Normally this problem has to do with the water source itself rather than the water heating unit. The magnesium anode rod inside of the tank reacts with chemicals in the water to create the odor you smell. Sometimes this can be fixed by replacing the rod with one of a different type. If this doesn’t appear to be the problem, or your water is smelly and discolored, it is best to call your water supplier or a water heater technician.

Do I need to put a blanket on my water heater?
Water heaters have become much more efficient now and with most water heaters being powered by gas, using a blanket can be a significant fire hazard. The insulation that blankets used to provide is now built into most models. It is still possible to use a blanket with electric models, but the savings are negligible in most cases.

About the author: Adrianna is a guest contributor from North Winds Heating & Cooling, a heating and cooling company that provides water heaters in Lansing, MI.

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