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Choosing the Perfect Replacement Water Heater

Plumber installing water heater at new home.

Water heaters are essential to your home, working hard to provide you with hot water for your daily needs. However, when it comes time to replace your water heater, the decision-making process can be intimidating. There are so many options out there for type, heat source, size and features, and it can be difficult to choose the perfect replacement water heater for your needs. Today, we’ll dive into all of the information you need to make the right decision. 

Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Water Heater

First, knowing when to replace your water heater is key to avoiding unexpected breakdowns. Here are the most common signs it’s time to replace your water heater: 

  • Age: A gas water heater has a typical lifespan of  8-12 years, while an electric water heater can last between 10-15 years.
  • Rusty or discoloured water: This can be a sign of corrosion inside of the tank.
  • Unusual noises: Loud popping, banging, or rumbling sounds coming from your water heater are usually caused by sediment buildup at the bottom of the tank. 
  • Leaking water: Visible signs of leaking water around the base of the tank or significant leaks indicate a serious problem with the water heater and should be addressed immediately.
  • Inconsistent hot water supply: If you start experiencing the water tank running out of hot water more quickly than usual, this may suggest the heating element is failing or that there may be other internal issues.  
  • Visible signs of wear and tear: If you notice any signs of wear and tear, like dents, cracks, or other damage to your tank, the structural integrity may be compromised. 

Types of Water Heaters 

As we mentioned above, there are many options for the types of water heaters on the market. The five most common tanks are conventional storage water heaters, tankless (or ‘on-demand’) type water heaters, heat pump water heaters, solar water heaters, and tankless coil and indirect water heaters:

Conventional storage water heaters

Storage tank water heaters are the most common type of heater. They are heated by either natural gas, propane, or electricity. These types of water heaters also come in a variety of sizes ranging from 20 to 80 gallons. In comparison to other water heaters, conventional storage water heaters are usually less expensive. They are very reliable and do not require a lot of special maintenance. However, one of the biggest drawbacks is the standby energy loss. The tank will eventually lose heat and need to be reheated, even when hot water is not in use. 

Tankless (on-demand) water heaters 

Tankless water heaters are just like the name suggests–tankless. They do not store hot water in a tank but instead, heat water only as needed. Typically, these heat water using natural gas or electricity. Tankless water heaters are more efficient than storage tank heaters, and you will never run out of hot water. These types of heaters are extremely space-efficient. However, they can be costly and complicated to install. They also require regular maintenance to descale and remove mineral build-up in the unit. 

Heat pump water heaters

Heat pump water heaters are very energy efficient. This type of water heater transfers heat from the outside air, or ground, to heat the water. It uses little electricity to do this, making this a cost-effective choice. However, heat pump water heaters are only suitable if you live in a climate that doesn’t get too cold. They require a certain minimum temperature outside your home and are ideal for hot climates. 

Solar water heaters

Solar water heaters make use of the sun and solar panels outside of your home to heat your water. These types of heaters are environmentally friendly and reduce the reliance on conventional energy sources. Solar water heaters have higher up-front costs, but they can significantly lower energy bills over time. They are a great option for those seeking a more sustainable alternative and live in an area that gets a lot of sunlight throughout the year.

Condensing water heaters 

Condensing water heaters use gas and can only be installed in homes with a natural gas heating unit. These types of heaters do have a hot water storage tank but use the exhaust gas from your central heating to power the unit. These types of water heaters reduce waste energy, making them cost-effective and environmentally friendly. The only downside is that they require natural gas as the primary heat source for the home.

How to Select the Right One

When looking to replace your water heater, it’s important to consider the following: the size, fuel type, energy efficiency, and cost associated with the heater and installation. To determine the appropriate size for your household’s hot water demand, ensure that the heater you choose has enough capacity to align with peak usage times. 

Consider the fuel types: gas, propane, solar, and electric. When considering a water heater based on its energy efficiency, make sure to check the Energy Factor (EF) rating, aiming for a higher rating to maximize savings and sustainability. Lastly, when it comes to cost, don’t forget to think about upfront costs, installation fees, and the cost of maintenance. 

Here at CampbellCare, we aim to deliver professional quality repair. Our technicians have years of experience and training and can quickly diagnose what is wrong with your air conditioner. We can then provide you with multiple options and a competitive quote for the repair. Contact us today with your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning questions!

Need Help?


Don’t wait until your heating problem becomes worse. Call us for help with your Vancouver, Surrey or Delta area home. CampbellCare has a highly-trained team, ready to come into your house and take care of the problem. Need help urgently? We offer emergency heating services to ease your mind and protect your family.

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