Understanding Water Heater Installation, Repairs and Replacement

A water heater is an essential household appliance that is used for heating and storing hot water. Various activities like bathing, cooking, washing laundry, and cleaning all make use of hot water in and around the home. It is therefore important for it to be readily available for use when required. This is especially so during the really cold winter months, when quality water heater installation is vital.

The integrity of a heater depends on its reliability. This means that at any point you open a tap in your home, you should be able to get hot water.

This device is common in most homes and they are typically big metal cylinders that have heating elements. They are usually located in the laundry room or the basement of a house. Some newer models are smaller and may not be cylindrical. They may also be located in the bathroom or the kitchen. These models provide water-on-demand but do not store it like the older models.

Depending on the type of water heater installation in your home, it may be part of your home’s HVAC system. Also, depending on your HVAC, it may either be gas-powered or electric powered. 

How it Works

Aside from the outer tank which is seen, a typical heater contains a dip tube attached to the top where cold water from your home supply comes into it. There is also a shut-off valve which is a separate component from the heater and is usually located outside it. This shut-off valve stops water from flowing into the tank. It also contains a heat-out pipe that is suspended towards the tank’s interior at the top. It allows hot water to exit the heater into your home.

There is also the thermostat for regulating the temperature, a heating element that does the actual heating, and a drain valve located close to the bottom which makes it easy to empty the tank, removing sediments or replacing elements in the tank.

Also included is the pressure relief valve that keeps the pressure within the heater within safe limits. Finally, there is the anode rod that can either be made of magnesium or aluminum and has a steel core. This helps to prevent corrosion

Older models with tanks come with a thermostat that regulates the temperature inside the tank. Most manufacturers recommend a temperature setting of between 120-140°F though you can set the temperature anywhere between 120-180°; which is around 49 to 60° Celsius. Setting it to a lower temperature will save you energy costs.

This entire water heater installation process begins with cold water being fed into the tank through the dip tube. The heating element then heats the water until it reaches the temperature that was already preset by you. The heated water rises to the top of the tank using a mechanism where the hottest water is always at the top while cooler, denser one is below. This then comes out of the heat-out pipe located at the top of the tank into your home when a tap is opened. This is a simplified explanation of how water heaters work.

Although the older tank-style heaters are still very popular, tank-less ones are becoming popular too. A tankless heater does not work as described above but rather provides hot water on demand.

What this means is that it does not have to store water, it only heats it when it is needed. You simply activate it by switching it on. This saves you a lot on energy in the long run but the initial cost as compared to a tank-style heater is higher.

Installing a New Heater

As a homeowner, you may want to install a new heater, repair the existing one if it has issues or replace it. This would involve getting in touch with a professional, such as those at summersphc.com/brownsburg/services/plumbing/water-heater-installation/, who could give you advice on what is best for your home. If you are installing a new one, you need to determine what your hot water needs are and also the type and size of the heater you want. This could either be a tank-styled one or a tank-less one.

You should also consider where it will be located. Most tank-styled are placed in the basement while tank-less models can be placed virtually anywhere in the home provided you can reach it easily. They are either in the bathroom, kitchen, under the stairs, closet or pantry. Do not forget to consider the power source. Tankless heaters save energy though they cost more initially. If you are installing a tank-styled heater, would you want it gas-powered or electric powered?

Repairing or Replacing an Old One

There are several reasons why this may become necessary. You may be experiencing challenges like leakages, lack of or inadequate supply of hot water, discolored and smelly water or noise from the device. An average heater lasts for about 10-12 years. If it is not close to or this age yet, you might simply need a repair. If it is up to or past this age, it is advisable to replace it.

Contact professionals

Homeowners who wish to install, repair or replace theirs need to contact professional plumbing contractors to help with it instead of trying to fix it themselves. Contractors like those found on https://www.waterheatersonly.ca/ have both the skill and years of experience required to do a great job. They can help you through the whole process of determining what type and size is right for you, where it should be located and other considerations that must be put in place. They can also advise on whether you should replace or repair your heater so as to either save you money or avoid stress. 

If the tank is not properly installed, it can result in scalding especially if kids are around the house. The water could also get contaminated, there could be leakages and there’s always the danger of a fire breakout due to wrong connections.


Get professional plumbers who have several years of experience both in water heater installation and repair to give you a free, non-obligatory estimate or quote for your needs. Most plumbing contractors will evaluate your plumbing needs physically and give you an estimate based on that. When hiring a plumbing contractor, be sure they are licensed and insured.

Don’t be afraid to ask them about this as it will save you a lot of trouble and stress if anything goes wrong. Also, confirm the total cost upfront. This means you will not have to deal with surprise hidden costs or charges.


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