Vs. gas water heaters electric

There are two types of conventional water heaters: gas and electric. An electric water heater can be used almost anywhere. A gas water heater is more likely to be installed in a home that already uses gas for other appliances, such as an oven, stove or stove. Building codes stipulate the location of gas water heaters and restrict them to areas outside normal domestic activity.

Probably, if you change a water heater, you will simply replace it with the same type of unit you already had. There may be exceptions to this rule, for several reasons. In any case, if you choose to replace an electric unit with a gas unit, or vice versa, ask a professional to do the job. Installing or removing gas lines is not a project that you can do yourself.

Even when a unit of the same type is replaced, there are possibilities for improvements that must be considered. For example: if space allows, you can choose to increase the unit’s storage capacity to suit your growing family. Another important consideration is the unit’s energy savings. Changing the heater is the perfect time to reduce your energy bill if you choose a water heater that is more efficient than the one you are replacing.

When looking for a water heater, consider these resources:

  • Capacity in liters.
  • Recovery rate (the number of liters the heater will heat in an hour).
  • Dimensions (width and height; the physical space may limit the possibility of improving the capacity of the unit. Will the heater fit in the space intended for it?).
  • The energy saving rating (a sticker on the side should list the estimated annual operating cost for the unit)

However, before making any repairs or purchasing a new water heater, check the label on the side of the current unit. Here you will find useful information, including tank capacity, insulation R value, installation guidelines, working pressure, model and serial number. If you have an electric water heater, the label will also list the capacity in watts and the voltage of the heating elements.

This information will serve as a starting point in your search for replacement parts or a complete replacement unit.

Change or repair the heater

The water heater works a lot in most homes. Based on the manufacturer’s suggested service life, the estimated service life of a water heater is approximately 8 to 12 years. This, of course, will vary depending on the severity of the local climate, the amount of lime from the public water supply, the design of the unit, the quality of the installation and the level of maintenance the unit has received.

If your water heater is more than 10 years old, leaks from the bottom of the tank, malfunctions or does not work, it will probably need to be replaced. In any case, make sure that the cause of the unit failure is not an electrical problem, such as blown fuses or a tripped circuit breaker.

Common issues

Perhaps the most common problem with a water heater is water that is not as hot as you would like. This is usually caused by a defective thermostat or defective heating element.

Here are some basic steps to take when the water is not hot enough:

Electric water heater

  • Make sure the power supply is connected. Restart the thermostat.
  • Drain the water heater. Purge the heater to remove sediment from the tank.
  • Insulate the hot water pipes. Replace the heating element or thermostat.
  • Increase the temperature setting of the thermostat.

Gas water heater

  • Make sure the gas is connected and the pilot light is on.
  • Purge the heater to remove sediment from the tank.
  • Insulate the hot water pipes.
  • Clean the gas burner and replace the thermocouple (safety device that automatically cuts the gas outlet if the pilot flame goes out).
  • Increase the temperature setting of the thermostat.

Other common problems and possible solutions

  • Hissing or crackling noises – Sediment may accumulate in the tank. Empty the tank until the water is clean. Dip the heating elements in vinegar and scrape the tank to remove sediment.
  • The pressure relief valve leaks – replace the valve.
  • Leaking water supply pipes: tighten the connectors. If that doesn’t work, turn off the water tap and replace the connectors.

When change is needed

If you are skilled with tools, we recommend that you change the water heater. For a total replacement, the installation must be done directly. Basically, it consists of putting the new unit in place of the old one, including the connection of the water and electricity lines to the new unit. To mark water lines and electrical cables, we suggest the use of duct tape or duct tape (the typical type used in painting tasks). Follow your unit manufacturer’s instructions.

Note that it may be necessary to add threaded connectors (if you have not already installed them) to the ends of the pipes so that you can connect them to the new water heater with the appropriate supply lines. If the tubes are copper, you will need to weld the connectors to the tubes. If your tubes are rigid plastic (CPVC), you can install them by solvent welding. Compression fittings are used for flexible plastic tubes that are installed with a wrench.

Consider these questions when deciding whether you want to take on the task:

  • How will you dispose of your old water heater? Consult the local laws governing the disposal of such devices.
  • Will you be able to manipulate the unit? The water heaters are large and heavy. You may want to get help.
  • Do you have the tools to do the job? The necessary tools are basic, but you will need adjustable screwdrivers, screwdrivers, a saw and good quality pliers. You may also need a propane torch if you use copper pipe for your installation.
  • Do you have time to take care of this task? Replacing a water heater is not a task that can start today and end another day. Hot water is necessary, so once it starts, it has to end.
  • If you want to exchange the electric heater for a gas heater or vice versa, hire a professional.
  • If you are not completely comfortable doing the job, contact a professional plumber.

Uninstalling the old water heater

Turn off the electricity to the water heater at the switch. Test the wires connected to the heater to make sure the power is off.

Disconnect the heater wiring. Continue to mark the wires when disconnecting them, to know where each one goes when reconnecting them to the new water heater.

Turn off the water supply to the water heater and turn on all the hot water taps in the house. Connect a garden hose to the drain valve on the tank and direct the end of the hose through where the water flows to a location that is not affected by boiling water. Allow the tank to drain completely.

Disconnect the cold water inlet and hot water outlet tubes from the unit. If the tubes are strongly attached to the water heater, it will be necessary to cut and reinstall them. If the tubes are installed in the water heater connection hoses, simply unscrew them.

Uninstall the water heater. Water heaters can be heavy, so you may need help.

When working with electricity, always:

  • Disconnect the power.
  • Check the cables to make sure the power is off.
  • Lock the switchboard so that no one can accidentally turn on the electricity while you are working.
  • Check with your local authorities if a license is required. It is not likely, but it can happen.
  • Wear protective goggles and a dust mask.
  • To avoid overloading the circuit, consult a certified electrician.

Installing the new water heater

Put the new water heater in place.

Reconnect the cold water inlet and hot water outlet tubes to the new water heater. If your old water heater did not have connecting hoses, now is a good time to add them.

Open the water supply for the water heater. Make sure that the hot water taps are still open so that air is not trapped in the hot water pipes while the tank is filling. Let the tank fill until the water comes out of all the hot water taps. When this happens, let the water run for a minute and then turn off the taps.

Reconnect wiring to the heater according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Reconnect the switch and wait for the water to warm up.

Solder all connections before installing copper tubing on the water heater connectors.

Water heater maintenance

Due to their manufacture, today’s water heaters require little or no maintenance, but (as with almost all appliances) many problems can be avoided with regular maintenance.

Here are some maintenance tips to extend the life of your water heater:

  • Drain the water heater twice a year to remove the accumulation of corrosive sediment and to increase its efficiency.
  • Test the pressure relief valve; to do this, lift the valve lever and release it to snap it back into place. This procedure should release water in the overflow drain line. Otherwise, install a new valve.