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Hot Water Heater Installation and Repair Services in Shreveport and Bossier City, LA
You also have several options, based on the fuel source and system: gas water heater or electric water heater, storage tank or tankless water heaters.
It can be difficult to know where to start.
At Pioneer Comfort Systems, our plumbing experts can help you make the right decision for you and your family. We’ll help you pick out the perfect water heater for your home or business so that you can have the best and most efficient water heater for your needs.
Signs You Need a Water Heater Replacement
Most water heaters have a 8-12 year lifespan. While a failing water heater is difficult to miss, there are other signs that it may be time to get rid of your old water heater. Additionally, there are several risks that accompany ignoring major issues with your unit, with a leak being the most destructive.
You can have a Pioneer Comfort Systems professional come out for an evaluation. We can address repairs for hot water heaters, as well.
The most common signs that you need a water heater replacement include:
What to Consider When Buying a Hot Water Heater
Before we dive into the water heater replacement costs, let’s address whether it’s better to try and repair your water heater or if you should pay the hefty water heater replacement cost. (We know, it hurts having to spend money on something like a water heater!)
Repair or Replace a Water Heater
If you’re researching online and see that there aren’t many local plumbers who recommend fixing your water heater, that’s because water heaters really weren’t designed to be repaired. They’re actually built to work well for a certain amount of time and then be replaced.
Like we said, most water heaters are built to last 15 years, absolute max. So if your water heater is anywhere close to this age (even 10-11 years) then you really need to replace your water heater.
Now, there are always exceptions to the rule. Obviously, if you have a newer water heater and you haven’t experienced any trouble, then you should look into repairing the water heater.
If you’ve determined that you need to replace a water heater, then there are a few factors you need to consider:
Size of Water Heater
When determining the water heater replacement cost, the size of your water heater will be one of the biggest determining factors. Water heaters are always measured in gallons, and you need to select a size that will meet the needs of your home.
If your current water heater doesn’t provide enough water for your family members to shower, then you may need to look into upgrading your water heater to a larger capacity unit. And, if you live alone, then a 40-50 gallon water heater should suffice.
How to Calculate Size Requirement for New Water Heaters
To calculate the size of the water heater that you’ll need, you can start by determining what time of the day has the largest amount of hot water use and then, calculate the number of gallons that are used during that peak time.
Showers can take up to 20 gallons of water per person. But, you’ll also need to consider other activities that use hot water, including:
- food prep (typically 1 gallon)
- dishwasher (7 gallons)
- laundry (7-19 gallons)
- showers (20 gallons per person)
Water Heater Fuel Source
With traditional or conventional water heaters, the water is heated and stored inside an insulated reservoir until it’s needed. You may also hear this type of water heater referred to as a tank water heater.
Water heaters with a storage tank typically hold 50 gallons, but you can find some that hold 30 or even 60 gallons, as well. The storage tank capacity you need will depend on how much hot water you use.
Tank water heater systems can use natural gas, fuel oil, electricity, or propane. And, these tanks will continuously heat water so that it can have the full capacity when you need it.
This also means that you are paying a good amount to have hot water regardless of whether you need it right then or not.
The two most common types of tank water heater systems are electric water heater and gas water heaters. In some areas, you can opt for a solar water heater, as well.
Electric Water Heater
If you have an electric-powered home, then you will probably want to opt for an electric replacement water heater.
Electric water heaters are measured in watts. So, the higher the wattage, the quicker the electric models are able to heat the water.
Electric units are cheaper, upfront, than gas water heaters, but they are more expensive to operate, over time. They’re also typically easier to install, which may reduce your water heater installation cost.
Gas Water Heater
If you have a gas-powered home or if gas is the main source of fuel, then a gas heater is possibly your best option. Gas heaters will require a natural gas line and a direct vent pipe. This will be an additional cost if your home doesn’t already have this.
Natural gas is measured in BTUs. So, the higher the BTU, the faster the gas burner can heat the water.
Gas water heaters are more expensive upfront, when compared to electric water heaters. But, gas water heaters usually offer more energy savings than electric water heaters.
Solar Water Heater
Solar water heaters are the most environmentally-friendly out of the three tank-style water heaters, but they are also the most expensive. They can also be difficult to locate.
If you live in a region where it’s sunny most of the time, then a solar water heater may be a good option for you. However, if you live in an area with unpredictable weather or an area with a regularly cloudy climate, then a solar unit may not be a good fit.
Most water heaters fall into one of three categories:
- Standard efficiency
- High efficiency
The Department of Energy has a national energy rating system called Uniform Energy Factor.
This rating is actually very helpful for consumers looking to purchase a new water heater. The rating lets consumers know how much hot water the water heater can produce in typical situations. It also provides estimated yearly energy costs associated with each model, as well as how well certain water heaters perform against other models.
The higher the UEF rating, the more energy efficient the model is.
It’s important to note that energy efficient models typically cost more upfront but save money over time with energy savings.
There are two major types of water heaters: tankless water heaters and storage tank water heaters. Up until this point, we’ve discussed storage systems.
Tankless water heaters work a little differently. With tankless systems, heated coils heat the water as it’s needed.
A tankless water heater is an excellent choice for families or businesses that need to multitask. When you have a tankless system, you can take a shower, wash clothes, and do the dishes all at one time.
If you don’t have a gas supply or a natural gas line, then you may need to have that installed before getting a tankless system.
Tankless water heaters are also incredibly energy efficient and take up much less space than traditional water heaters. Tankless water heaters are more expensive upfront, but if your family uses a good amount of water, they can quickly pay for themselves with reduced energy costs. A tankless unit will also provide your home or office with an endless supply of hot water to meet everyone’s needs- no more fighting over who gets the first shower.
The average lifespan of the standard, storage-tank water heater is 8-12 years, while a tankless water heater can last up to 20 years.
Condensing and Non-Condensing Tankless Water Heaters
There are currently two types of tankless hot water heaters to choose from: condensing and non-condensing.
Condensing water heaters are exponentially more efficient than non-condensing, with some having up to 98% efficiency ratings. These heating units work by heating water with the waste heat that comes from flue gasses, meaning that they can recover a good amount of heat that would have been lost.
While condensing water heaters are much more efficient, non-condensing water heaters are still much more efficient than their storage tank counterparts.
Similarly to the argument for tankless over storage tanks, the cost of a condensing water heater is higher upfront but will save money in the long run because of its energy efficient process.
If you are replacing a water heater with one that has the same size tank, then you won’t need to worry too much about space requirements. But, if you’re considering an upgraded heater installation, then you need to ensure that there is enough room for the new hot water heater.
Additionally, a tankless water heater won’t require any additional space if you are switching from a traditional water heater to a tankless water heater.
Hot Water Heater Costs
Typically, when a person needs to repair or replace their hot water heater, the first questions they have are “How much do water heaters cost?”, “How much does it cost to replace a hot water heater?” and “What determines the hot water heater installation cost?”
Those are both valid questions that any responsible consumer would ask. There are many variables that affect water heater costs.
Keep the following in mind when you’re discussing water heater installation cost with a Shreveport HVAC professional at Pioneer Comfort Systems:
- water heater model
- labor costs
- fuel type
- disposal of your old water heater
- emergency/unforeseen costs
Water Heater Model
The type of water heater will affect the cost. You can choose from a tank-style water heater or a tankless counterpart. Once you decide between the two, you’ll then need to select condensing or non-condensing, if you’re going with the tankless version. And, if you’re opting for the tank-style water heater, then you’ll need to choose between solar, electric, or gas.
Location of Water Heater
The location of your unit will affect the labor costs associated with water heater removal and installation. When a local plumbing inspector is replacing a water heater in an easily accessible area, then he or she will charge less than if a water heater installation requires additional steps.
Depending on where you live, you may need a permit to replace a water heater. Local governments will determine this.
You may need to schedule an on-site inspection for changes in electrical wiring, water lines or gas lines.
When you speak with an HVAC professional at Pioneer Comfort Systems, ask if you’ll need a local permit, as this could increase the cost of your water heater installation cost.
Disposal of an Old Water Heater
Most of the time, consumers expect their old water heater to be hauled away. Depending on where the unit is located, this could affect the cost of your installation, as well.
Sometimes, things just happen that we didn’t see coming. This happens to even the most careful professionals. Most of the time, everything runs smoothly and goes according to plan. However, you should always budget for the unknown, when you’re replacing something that has been in your home for over a decade.
Can I Install a New Water Heater by Myself?
Sure, but most professionals wouldn’t recommend it.
Most power vent water heaters need to be properly vented, and for gas water heaters, you’ll need to hook up the gas line correctly.
If you make even the smallest mistake, your DIY project could easily lead to a dangerous or even life-threatening situation.
Additionally, if you are changing from an electric water heater to a gas water heater, you’ll need to install venting pipes and a gas line in order for your unit to work.
Depending on what type of unit you purchase, you’ll need extensive experience with: gas piping, your water line, discharge pipe, gas control valve, pressure relief valve, shutoff valve, drain valve, etc. This type of installation isn’t as simple as flipping the circuit breaker and plugging in a new appliance. There’s a lot more that goes into the process, and keeping your family safe is our number one priority at Pioneer Comfort Systems.
Water Heater Installation and Repair in Shreveport and Bossier City, LA
At Pioneer Comfort Systems, we try to give our customers the most fair price possible. We want our clients to trust that we’re looking out for their best interests. Whether you need our help selecting a new water heater, installing a water heater, or if you just need water heater repair work completed, the HVAC professionals at Pioneer Comfort Systems are here to help.
We offer emergency plumbing services in Shreveport and Bossier City, LA, because we know that emergencies don’t always happen during regular business hours.