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4 Must-Ask Questions Before Replacing Your Home's Water Heater

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If your home's water heater is leaking or otherwise on its last leg, you might be looking for an experienced plumbing contractor to handle the replacement job. Before you sign on the dotted line for a water heater replacement, however, it's a good idea to ask a few key questions of your plumber. From there, you can be sure that you're getting the best value for your money.

Should I Upgrade to Tankless?

First of all, understand that replacing your water heater with a similar make and model is not your only option. These days, more homeowners are actually making the switch to tankless water heaters, which provide on-demand hot water with no need for a large storage tank. These models do cost more and may require extensive retrofitting, but if this is something you're interested in, it's worth asking your plumbing contractor about.

What Size Tank Does My Home Need?

If you do decide to stick with a traditional water heater, you'll want to make sure that the tank size for your new heater suits your household's needs. Most residential water heaters come with tanks ranging in capacity from about 30 gallons to 80 gallons. If you had issues with running out of hot water with your previous tank, mention this to your plumber so he or she can make a recommendation on a larger tank size.

Will My New Tank Save Me Money?

If your existing water heater is older, there's a good chance that your new water heater will be more energy-efficient and could save you some money on your utility bills as a result. Don't hesitate to ask about your tank's energy efficiency and information on your estimated savings, as an experienced plumbing contractor should be able to provide this to you.

Do You Include Any Preventative Maintenance?

Many plumbing contractors will include some preventative maintenance services with your purchase, so be sure to ask about this. Ideally, you'll want to select a plumber who will perform an annual inspection on your new water heater to keep it in great shape. This inspection should also include a flush of the tank, which can help to remove sediment and other debris.

Having your home's water heater replaced may not be the most exciting thing in the world, but it's an important project nonetheless. By asking the right questions, you can choose the right plumbing contractor to trust with the job.