Water Heater Replacement 101: A Dallas Homeowners Guide

Water Heater Replacement 101
When you enjoy a hot shower after a hard day at work, your water heater is put to the test. In many ways, it's the unsung hero of your home.

You probably don't realize how important your water heater is until it breaks.

Other times you may find a flood in your utility room or notice a decrease in water pressure which certainly raises a red flag.

If you’re wondering how long it takes to install a water heater, the cost, and when your hot water will finally be restored, then you're not alone.

An estimated 8% of homeowners across the U.S. replace their water heaters annually.

But what do you do if you need a water heater replacement in Dallas, TX?

Luckily there are Dallas plumbers you can rely on, no matter what your water heater needs are. Whether you need a brand-new water heater, a minor repair, or routine maintenance, make sure you use a plumber that's licensed and insured.

Keep reading to learn everything there is to know about water heater replacement and be prepared for your upcoming service.

Signs You Need a Water Heater Replacement

Imagine this: you've just gotten in the shower, and your water pressure is low. In addition, it's taking an inordinate amount of time for your water to heat up. The hot shower you've been longing for turns into an icy race to rinse off.

The culprit? A water heater is on its way out.

Other things that can happen are unexpected leaks from your water heater. You may visit your utility room only to find a small flood around your water heater, signaling trouble.

Other signs of a water heater in need of replacement are poor water quality, a temperature that frequently fluctuates, and the overall age of your appliance.

On average, a maintained water heater should last you anywhere from 8 to 12 years. After that, you should be looking into a new water heater system.

Regardless of when you need a water heater replacement, it's important to know the facts, starting with the length of time it takes to replace your old unit.

What to Expect When Having Your Water Heater Replaced

Always hire a licensed professional for your water heater replacement. Since your water heater is in many ways, the hub of your home, a professionally installed water heater is a must.

If you need to do laundry, wash dishes, or give little ones a bath, don't fret. Within a few hours of installation, you'll be up and running and will have hot water in no time. Your daily routine will suffer only a minor inconvenience.

Before you schedule an installation (unless it's an emergency), expect to have a licensed and insured plumber come to your home for a consultation and to schedule an installation date.

The Consultation

At your consultation, a licensed plumber will discuss everything you need to know, from the size of your water heater to its power source as either gas or electric.

You'll also discuss the different types of water heaters, such as a tank or tankless model, depending on your specific needs.

Traditional water heaters store water in a tank and heat it up continuously throughout the day. Tankless water heaters, on the other hand, only heat water up on-demand, lowering your energy bills and saving you money while providing endless hot water to you and your family.

Your plumber will also discuss with you various brands and models to choose from. They may partner with a specific manufacturer, allowing you to receive a discounted price if choosing that specific type of water heater.

However, you should feel comfortable choosing whatever brand you want, yet taking advice from a licensed, trained professional is always a safe bet.

Once you and your plumber decide on the type of tank you need, you'll be able to schedule your installation.

Know What to Ask

A water heater is a major investment, especially if you switch from a traditional tank water heater to the energy-efficient, tankless option.

Don't be afraid to ask questions, such as whether or not your new water heater comes with a warranty. While the odds of you encountering an issue with your new water heater in the near future are unlikely, it's always best to have a safety net in the event that the system malfunctions.

Typically, a water heater will have a five-year warranty. It's best to know exactly what this covers, and what maintenance needs to be done to your water heater so as not to void the warranty.

The Day of Installation

Prior to installation, make sure to contact your local municipal building or township to inquire about obtaining permits. That may include plumbing, mechanical, and electrical permits, depending on the scope of work.

On the day of installation, your installer will call you on the way to your home. Once they arrive, they will need to drain your current water heater prior to removing it.

Once it's drained and disconnected, it will be removed, and your new water heater will be installed and connected.

If you choose a tankless water heater, the process may take a little longer. Electrical work, water lines, and air vents will all need to be addressed.

Once your new water heater is installed, your plumber will clean the area and show you how the components of your new water heater operate. After that, you'll contact the township to schedule your in-home inspection.

How Long Does It Take to Replace a Water Heater?

There are a few factors to take into consideration before having your new water heater installed, such as how long it takes to install. If you need your water for your kid's bathtime, then you may want to schedule your installation for earlier in the day.

Discuss scheduling with your installer in order to find a day and time that works best for you. Once you agree on a day, it's important to know how long your water heater replacement will take so that you can plan your day accordingly.

To start, the type of water heater you're replacing plays a huge role in how long it'll take to disconnect, remove and replace.

On average, it can take three hours to install a water heater. During this time, your water will be shut off.

After your new system is installed, it can take an additional 30 to 80 minutes for hot water to generate — so make sure to account for that time.

There's no need to worry about disposing of your old water heater. Your plumber will safely and efficiently dispose of it for you.

Time Needed to Replace a Traditional Tank Water Heater

Your plumber will walk you through the steps needed to replace your hot water heater.

To start, the removal of your existing water heater can take an hour. During this process, your old tank will be drained.

Any power and water lines that connect to the tank will need to be disconnected during this step.

Once your water heater has been removed, the new tank will need to be put in place. That should be the quickest part of the installation, as long as no unforeseen issues arise.

The last part of the job entails connecting the water heater to power and water lines. In addition, your plumber needs to run some tests to ensure the new unit is functioning properly and make changes as needed.

Replacing a Tankless Water Heater

It takes about the same amount of time as installing a traditional tank water heater but with a few differences.

For starters, tankless water heaters don't take up floor space. Instead, your plumber will mount it on your wall. This process can take an hour or more, depending on whether or not your water heater is gas-fired.

In the event that it is gas-fired, your plumber may need additional time to connect it to its power source.

By the end of the installation, your plumber should have spent about three hours installing your new tankless water heater. After that, you'll be ready to enjoy endless hot water.

Cost to Replace a Water Heater

The cost to replace your water heater depends on several factors. First, are you replacing a tank or tankless water heater? How many gallons of water does your water heater hold?

Traditional Tank Water Heaters

If you're replacing a tank water heater, you can expect to pay around $1,300 on average. That usually includes the price for permits with your township.

Also included in the price are the tank itself, materials, labor, and the old tank being removed and hauled away.

If you have a 40-gallon tank, you will pay less in parts than if you replace an 80-gallon tank. A 40-gallon water heater starts at $320, while an 80-gallon water heater costs roughly $1000 and more, just for the tank itself.

While tankless water heaters are more of an upfront investment, you'll save money in the long run with lower energy bills.

Tankless Water Heaters

A tankless water heater may cost you two to three times as much as a traditional water heater, but you'll recoup that cash with lower monthly bills.

Other benefits of a tankless water heater include a much longer lifespan when compared to their traditional tank counterparts. If properly maintained, a tankless water heater can last double that of a traditional water heater.

If you have limited space in your home, then a tankless water heater may be the best fit for you. They take up significantly less space, eliminating cramped utility rooms.

If you've ever been in the shower only to discover a lack of hot water, then consider investing in a tankless hot water heater. Hot water will be readily available, something that is especially useful for large families that use multiple showers simultaneously.

Hard Water in Dallas, Texas

Hard water in the Dallas, TX area can wreak havoc on your water heater.

Scale build-up — from minerals such as calcium and magnesium — can accrue inside your water heater, brewing up trouble. Unfortunately, once the scale has accumulated inside your water heater, the chances of removing it are slim to none.

In order to preserve the life of your water heater, it's best to have a professional drain and service your appliance in order to clean it out before too much scale builds up.

A trained plumber will drain your water heater twice a year. While this may sound easy enough, it's actually a complex task best left to the professionals.

Water Heater Repair You Can Rely On

Now you know what to expect when replacing a water heater. Whether you're upgrading your traditional tank water heater to a new and improved energy-efficient tankless option or simply replacing a leaking unit, you'll be prepared for your appointment.

In addition to water heater replacement due to old or leaking tanks, homeowners in the Dallas area are prone to hard water. Scale build-up can reduce a water heater's lifespan, so it's best to consult professionals twice a year in order to have your tank drained.

Don't suffer from cold water or inconsistent temperatures. Avoiding the warning signs of a water heater on the fritz may leave you vulnerable to an emergency water heater replacement scenario.

Contact us today, and a member of our dedicated staff will be happy to schedule a service appointment with you.

One of our skilled plumbers will visit your home and explain to you your water heater options. We'll get you up and running in no time, so you can get back to enjoying hot water day in and day out.