What to Look For In a New Hot Water Heater

Posted on: 30 August 2017


It's never a good idea to wait until your home's water heater outright breaks before you consider getting a new one; while a water heater isn't necessarily difficult to purchase and have installed, waiting until the home has no hot water means not being able to take the time to shop and compare your options for a new heater. In turn, you may not be able to upgrade to something that might work better for you and your family, or that will be more affordable to use every day.

If your hot water heater is beginning to fail, or it's simply getting old and worn and will need a replacement soon, note a few details to look for in a new model. Then you know the replacement you choose will be the best option for you and your family.

Recovery efficiency

When you choose a new hot water heater, you may only be worried about the size of the tank and how many gallons or litres it holds, assuming this will tell you how much hot water you'll always have available. However, the recovery efficiency rating is also important; this tells you how quickly the water is reheated as the tank refills. If the efficiency rating is very low, the water that begins to refill the tank after you turn on a hot water tap won't be heated very easily, and you may not have as much hot water as you expect. For a large family, look at the recovery efficiency rating as well as the tank size when undergoing new hot water installation.

Cycling loss or efficiency

This refers to how much heat is lost as the water circulates through the system. As with the recovery efficiency, you want a very good cycling loss or cycling efficiency rating so that the water doesn't cool down too much before it reaches the shower or sink. This is especially important for larger homes where the water will circulate a longer distance from the tank and through plumbing pipes.

Radiant heat loss

Radiant heat loss refers to how much heat is lost as the water sits in the tank; the better the tank insulation, the less radiant heat loss. In turn, the heater will need to cycle on less often in order to maintain a standard water temperature inside the tank. This is especially important if you live in a cooler climate or the tank will be stored in a cooler area of the home, such as the basement, where it may need better insulation in order to keep standing water warm in the tank.