Disadvantages of keeping an old water heater

| by Jens Bolleyer
Disadvantages of keeping an old water heater

Most people in the U.S. don’t pay attention to their old-fashioned water heaters even though they can have expensive costs. For the most part it is easier to just ignore the water heater and not worry until it breaks down and needs constant repairs. However, these water heaters can end up costing homeowners a lot of money. A traditional storage-type water heater is actually a lot more complex than you might think.


Even if there are no problems, tanks need to be maintained to avoid more costly repairs or replacements down the line. Allstate insurance recommended that homeowners perform regular maintenance at least once a year to prevent future costs. Not performing this regular maintenance could lead to mineral build up and the eventual failure of the whole unit. One issue that tank users experience is the buildup of sediments. Water Heater Rescue explained that calcium carbonate is normally found in all treated, room-temperature water, but when you store water in a tank and heat it with a constant flame, this mineral compound will filter out and clump into solid material at the bottom of your heater. While calcium carbonate isn't inherently harmful to humans, this buildup doesn't transfer heat as well, and when there's a layer of it at the bottom of your old storage heater, that means the heating source has to work doubly hard to get the water to the right temperature.


If a tank water heater does experience problems, it can be costly to fix them. Average rates for repairs on mid-sized heaters are around $160. And there's not much guarantee that the repairs will last, especially if the tank isn't maintained properly. Sediments are an example of an issue that can require repairs. Aside from the health concerns related to sediment in old heaters, there are also some pretty serious structural problems that sediment buildups can cause. The water heater has to work harder and apply more energy than might be safe to transfer it through the buildup to the water, the metal chassis is now under a lot more stress than it was designed for.


An old-fashioned water heater loses energy when not in use, which means it has to expend more energy in order to keep your hot water faucet at the temperature you like. Whether you get an entire house solution or a point of use electric water heater, you could save a lot money by avoiding wasted energy.


Actually replacing a tank water heater can be a pain. Replacing one big tank with another is costly. On average a new tank costs around $1,000 with prices going all the way up to $3,000. The hassle of moving all these bulky tanks around is another headache to consider. When a water heater needs replacing, the smart thing to do is forget about huge tanks and instead go for an electric tankless water heater. Tankless water heaters are easier to maintain, more efficient, and don’t need to be drained. Tankless water heaters help save time and money.

Topics: Appliances, Heating & Cooling, Water Heaters

Companies: EcoSmart Green Energy Products

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