Water heaters are an essential part of every single home. After choosing a water heater, the next step is to install it. If it is your first time buying a water heater, this installation process may be confusing. You are bound to have many questions about the cost or choosing the right plumber. After reading this article, you will have a much clearer picture.
On the other hand, maybe your water heater at home is not working too well. Could it be time to replace it or should you repair it? We’ll tell you all about the common issues with water heaters.
We hope this article will help you understand more about your water heater.
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Water heater installation
A new water heater installation can be a complex process depending on the type of water heater and your current setup. Generally, instant water heaters are easier to install than storage water heaters.
An instant water heater requires both a water point and electrical point for it to work. If those two are in place, the job becomes much quicker. Otherwise, the handyman may need to connect new pipes and create a new electrical point.
A new storage water heater takes more time and works to install. Usually, the water heater will be connected to 2 or more bathrooms. That means water pipes will have to be connected from one bathroom to the other. Also, the storage water heater will require some form of a bracket to hold it up. The entire process will take a few hours to complete.
Where to install your water heater
For an instant water heater, it is quite straightforward. It will be installed in the bathroom at the water and electricity point. Because of its compact size, it can fit almost anywhere even if your bathroom is small.
A storage water heater is bulky and heavy. Most of the time, it would be installed close to the ceiling with the option of a false ceiling to cover it from sight. Alternatively, it can also be held up by a secured bracket. You also need to decide which bathroom you would want to put the water heater in. The popular choice would be to install it in the bathroom closest to the kitchen and leave the master bedroom’s toilet untouched.
You can discuss with the installer the best place to fit it before deciding on the final space. They will provide you with their recommendations based on their years on experience.
Cost of installation
The price range of the fresh installation of a water heater depends on various factors.
Type of water heater
In general, the installation of an instant water heater is going to be cheaper because the job is much less complicated and takes less time. The average cost of installation is going to be between $80 to $150 for one single install. If you need to install more than one water heater, the cost will usually be at least 1.5 times.
Piping and wiring
If your installation requires the laying of new pipes and wires, that is going to take more time and materials. That will usually add around $50 to $100 to the total amount depending on how difficult the project is. This is typically the storage water heaters because they require long piping from one bathroom to the other.
Water heater location
If your installation location is straightforward, this should not add much to your total cost. However, if you require bracketing or false ceilings for your storage water heater, it will definitely cost more.
For more accurate pricing, you can take a photo of your current bathroom setup and send it to your plumber. That will allow him or her to provide you with a quotation.
Should you install your own water heater?
Unless you have prior experience with water heaters, we would highly recommend you not to. Installing a water heater properly and efficiently takes years of experience. A highly-trained plumber or handyman will complete the job fast and safely. If you are installing the water heater using a trial and error method, it may be unsafe.
A water heater comes into contact with both electricity and water; a wrong move could endanger your life. Also, proper installation will ensure that your water heater can last long without any problems. Good installation need not be expensive, that is why we have compiled a list of installers for you to refer to.
Water heater replacement
Compared to a new water heater installation, a like-for-like replacement is faster and cheaper. That means your home is already set up for an instant or storage water heater. The process is taking out the old and installing the new heater.
Common water heater problems
How do you know is time to replace your trusty old water heater with a new one? Here are some guidelines on when it is best to do a replacement.
The age of your water heater
If your water heater has turned yellow from age like this, it might be time for a change. Water heaters are generally very reliable and have a long lifespan even though they are used very regularly. However, they do have an “expiry date” when it just doesn’t work as good as it used to before. For high-quality heaters, that could be the 8 to 10-year mark. For more budget water heaters, maybe 6 to 8 years. At this point, you may notice some inconsistency in its performance. Perhaps its time for a new one! Here’s our article on the best water heaters in Singapore (after hours and hours of tedious research).
Inconsistent water temperature
Is the water temperature hot sometimes, but cold suddenly or vice versa? Then there might be an issue with the thermostat inside the water heater. There could also be something foreign hindering it from working well. This could be a permanent problem or one which can be solved through draining the water heater. In this case, we would recommend checking with a plumber on whether to repair or replace your heater.
Are there weird cranking sounds emerging from your water heater? Besides being scary and disturbing, those noises serve as red flags that there might be a problem. There could be a buildup of sediments through years of use. This buildup will also affect the energy efficiency of your water heater. It would take more time and more energy to heat the same amount of water.
Is water coming out from places it isn’t supposed to? If so, you could be dealing with a water leakage problem. There are a few possibilities for this issue. Through wear and tear, your water tank could have expanded and contracted until a crack has formed. If this is the case, you will need to replace your water heater immediately.
Otherwise, your water heater’s piping could have loosened over the years. That would be a quick fix as it only needs to be fitted back correctly. Again, contact a plumber or handyman to get the right assessment.
If you notice that the water coming out is weirdly coloured, that could be a sign of rustiness inside the water heater. While water heaters generally do not corrode when it comes into contact with water, it does deteriorate over a long period of time. Obviously, bathing in rusty-coloured water is not ideal. In such an instance, you should consider changing your water heater.
A replacement job should cost around $80. The time taken should be less than an hour. Usually, the handyman will give you an estimated range of 4 to 6 hours when he would come over. If you opt for weekend hours, you may need to pay a premium.
Should you replace your own water heater?
Since you said that replacing a water heater is easier, can I do it myself? If it’s your first time doing it, we would recommend not to. Again, fixing a water heater without the proper experience can be dangerous. You could get hurt while replacing it or your family could get injured while using it daily. It is better not to skimp on hiring a proficient handyman to handle the job.
Water heater repair
After you observe that there is a problem with your water heater. The next step is diagnosing what is wrong with it. Doing an accurate analysis requires skills and experience. That requires a handyman who has years of experience working with water heaters. Within minutes, he or she will be able to tell you what’s faulty and provide you with an accurate quotation for repairs.
The prices for water heater repair varies depending on the severity of the problem and also the materials needed if parts need replacing. Usually, the handyman will charge a $30 to $50 transport and service fee for diagnosing your water heater. If you decide not to repair, this is the only cost you need to pay.
If you choose to repair, this transport fee will be absorbed, and you will need to only pay for the repair costs. On an average, repair costs can range from $100 to $200. For an accurate quotation, the plumber needs to check what is wrong.
Should you repair or replace your water heater?
So if there are problems with your water heater, should you replace it or repair it so that it lasts a few more years. There are two primary considerations for this, price and the current age of your water heater.
If the price of repair is too high, buying a new water heater would be the more economical choice. A new water heater would be able to last many more years than a repaired one. For example, if a new water heater costs $250 and repair costs are around $150. We would suggest that you go for a new water heater. The extra $100 would buy you a new warranty period that will give you peace of mind.
The second factor is how old your current water heater is. If it is more than 5 years old, repairing it would only delay its demise even if repair costs are below $100. We would recommend that you invest the $100 to a brand new water heater that would definitely perform better. If your water heater is 3 years old and below, repairing it would be a good choice if costs are less than half of a new water heater. For water heaters that are 3 to 5 years old, the consideration would shift more to how much the repair costs and whether you feel it is worth it.
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