If you’re like most, your first question about water heater replacement in Atlanta (or anything else) is what it means for your budget. Fair enough: Let’s talk turkey.
Wondering if you need water heater replacement in Atlanta? First of all, if you have to ask, chances are good a new heater is in your future. Second of all, and perhaps more importantly, it’s time to do some budgeting.
Before you can do so effectively, of course, you’re going to need more information. Just like any other repair in Midtown Atlanta, getting a new water heater is going to cost you some dough. Buying a new system can range significantly, depending on brand and features, but it will represent a considerable expenditure either way.
That might initially motivate you to seek repairs instead, so your first step is to find out whether you need a repair or a replacement. From there, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of replacement, after which we’ll weigh the two to see how your household budget feels about that new heater.
Lastly, it’s important to consider how the company with which you work affects the cost and long-term benefits of your new water heater. So grab that cup of coffee, take a deep breath and get ready to get stoked on the idea of a new appliance. (Yes, people can get stoked on new appliances, okay??! Or at least…we do.)
Let’s dive in.
Is It Time to Replace That Hot Water Heater?
First and foremost, if you’re going to replace your water heater, you need to make sure it’s the right time. Otherwise, you might end up spending way too much money when your appliance still had good years left in it.
A good plumber will always advise making a repair rather than replacing it unless a) the heater is no longer within its predicted lifespan, or b) it is showing major signs of not doing its job. What are those signs, you ask?
Here are some of the most obvious:
The serial number indicates the heater is out of date.
You can find the number on the upper front of the water heater and looks like 1191A39968. You can see a date in the form of 11/91, or November 1991. Sometimes the four-digit date will appear buried in the number, but it’s there. If it’s older than ten years, it’s almost certainly replacement time.
You hear a lot of knocking and pinging inside the heater, which indicates the buildup of rust and other debris.
While you can flush your heater throughout its useful life, eventually the accumulation is too great. If knocks and pings become too frequent, it’s time.
When you turn on the hot water in the kitchen or bathroom, you see rusty water.
Sometimes it’s only rusty for a few seconds, or sometimes it takes on a yellowish cast. Even if you don’t notice the water itself, yellow staining on tile, grout or porcelain is also a sign.
Water is pooling around the heater, which indicates a crack somewhere in the tank, failing valves or other problems.
These are usually fixable if the heater is only 8-10 years old, but after that, replacement is a safer bet. Otherwise, you might waste money on repairs that fail quickly.
Your hot water taps don’t produce very hot water, no matter how long you wait between showers and other hot water use.
It’s like you’ve become an unwilling member of the Polar Bear Club. Ditto if you turn the water heater up all the way and don’t notice an appreciable increase in heat.
You have a growing family.
Maybe your tank is now too small to accommodate everyone in the household who needs water.
You would like to try a more energy-efficient tankless gas water heater.
After all, it has a lifespan of 20-25 years and can substantially reduce the chances you’ll have to deal with your water heater again.
If any of the above signs resonate with you, it’s time to throw in the towel and get yourself a new heater. If you’re not quite sure, on the other hand, let’s consider some pros and cons before turning to the budget.
Water Heater Replacement: The Cons
It goes without saying that replacing your water heater will make a significant dent in your budget. A traditional water heater will run you around $1,000 on average, whereas a tankless gas water heater is $3,000. Either way, it’s expensive. If you have to do any rewiring or other home updates, you will pay additional hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Bummer. That’s the bad news.
Water Heater Replacement: The Pros
The good news is that a new heater is bound to use less energy. Considering that water heating accounts for about 18% of your home’s energy use, it seriously pays to increase efficiency. After all, if that water heater is running at half efficiency – which many outdated heaters are – you’ll waste hundreds of dollars a year.
Other benefits include:
- The disappearance of those annoying symptoms above
- Hot water whenever you need it
- Separate hot water to bottom stories and top stories, if you choose to install more than one tankless water heater
- On-demand hot water with a tankless unit
The Takeaway: Water Heater Replacement in Atlanta Is a Budgetary Win
Still unsure about what this all means for your budget? Let’s do the math.
The average monthly electric bill in Atlanta is $160, which translates to $1320 per year. Heating water is 18% of your home energy bill, which means it accounts for about $237 per year. If you have an energy-efficient heater, you’ll get that $237/year rate. However, if you have an out-of-date or inefficient electric heater, you may lose half your energy efficiency, pushing that yearly expense to around $475.
Here’s where we start to see a real gap between traditional and tankless gas water heaters. Let’s assume a tankless heater costs $2,000 more than a traditional one. That’s $3,000 for a high-end gas heater without wiring or a lower-cost one with some home updates required, minus the $1,000 cost of a traditional heater. At a $237 difference per year, you can make up that $2,000 difference in less than ten years, which is when you would need to buy another traditional heater.
Hot Water For Days… Or Decades
However, if you get an energy-efficient tankless heater, you will have a good water heater for the next 10-15 years at no extra cost. Plus you get to keep paying half the rate on your energy bills as you would with that new traditional heater you now have to spend money on. So even if it takes you a full ten years to recoup the cost from the more expensive option, you now get a free ride for the next decade – and you save the Earth’s resources at the same time.
When you combine that with the benefits from above, the choice is obvious.
Where Should You Go for a New Heater?
Well, it’s no secret that we here at Morningside Plumbing are pretty big fans of Morningside Plumbing. That just goes without saying. More to the point, though, our customers are big fans of us as well. We’ve been serving the Midtown Atlanta area for a quarter century, and boast a combined 75 years’ plumbing experience. If you’re looking for a plumber you can trust to help you make the right water heater decision, you’ve come to the right place.
Ready for water heater replacement in Atlanta? Give us a call at 678-726-1408 or click to speak to the Morningside Plumbing staff and find out more.