Regardless what type of water heater you decide to ultimately have Vancouver Plumbing place in your home, all hot water systems are basically the same:
- Cold water is introduced to the system via feed pipe from your main water supply
- When hot water is demanded (shower, washing machine, dishwasher, etc.), the water heater is activated to heat the cold water from Step 1.
- Hot water is delivered to the point of demand via feed pipe from the water heater
Depending on your needs, budget and desired efficiency, you may choose any one of a number of different water heaters on the market today. A totally viable option is to use a combination of heaters to meet your needs in the most efficient manner possible.
Standard Hot Water Heater
Historically, water heaters consisted of a holding tank of up to 60-gallons with heating elements (either gas or electric); larger water heaters may have a set of elements, 1-top and 1-bottom. Keeping in mind that the storage capacity is not the defining matter with a standard water heater; rather determine the BTU output and 1st hour recovery rates to decide which water heater best suits your needs. A higher BTU output with less storage may well be the answer to your prayers with regards to nearly instant hot water! Additionally, be certain that your standard water heater’s storage tank has a minimum R-16 insulation rating. Most tanks possess an R-14 by default of the materials used, but the higher the rating, the less the heater will have to work to maintain the temperature set-point.
Solar Water Heaters
Similar to the standard water heater, in that a storage tank is used to house the hot water until demanded, the solar water heater uses a solar collection panel to heat the water rather than a fossil fueled element. Again, be sure to determine the unit’s BTU and 1st hour heat rate to ascertain which model is best for your application.
Tankless Water Heaters
Utilizing minimal energy, the tankless water heater has no storage tank. As such, the unit only heats water as it is demanded. The tankless units are often used in conjunction with standard and solar tank water heaters to service areas a great distance from the water heater. The energy savings just in water not wasted as the pipe run to a designated area far from the heater is emptied of cold water, is worthy of praise! Additionally, you will be able to set the temperature of your hot water at a lower point, as you will not need to worry about running out.
High Mark Plumbing carries and installs most major brands of water heaters. Their expert technicians can help you assess your needs and determine which water heater is best for you.