Tankless water heater reviews run hot and cold
Columbus-area water heater experts
Andrew Cochran, vice president
Heating Cooling Outlet
Diane Woods, vice president
Jack L. Woods Plumbing Co. Inc.
Shawn Davis, master technician
Buckeye Heating & Cooling
What routine maintenance should I perform on my water heater?
Cochran: You should drain it once every year or two to get the sludge out of the bottom. You should also replace the thermocouple [temperature sensor] every year or two.
Woods: Your owner's manual is the best source of information. Some manufacturers make specific maintenance tasks a condition of warranty replacement.
Davis: You should flush it once a year, twice a year if you have a water softener. You should also inspect the anode rod at least once a year.
What are the most common kinds of water heaters in Columbus?
Cochran: Most of them are gas. We see a few electric. Tankless water heaters are a big thing right now.
Woods: Most people are using gas or electric. Power vented models, which eliminate the need for a chimney, are popular with new homes.
Davis: Natural gas water heaters are about 75 percent of what we see. Power vented heaters are 20 percent, plus a few electric.
What are the pros and cons of tankless water heaters?
Cochran: They're pretty effective. The big drawback is cost. You also want to make sure the company installing it knows what they're talking about.
Woods: They're more efficient and will never run out of hot water. However, initial investment is higher than some people expect.
Davis: In my opinion, it takes up less space, but it requires more maintenance and costs three times as much to install.
How much should I expect to pay for a new water heater?
Cochran: A gas-fired tank water heater runs about $700 to $750 installed, plus permit cost. Tankless water heaters run between $3,000 and $4,500.
Woods: It varies by size and specifics, but a standard tank-style heater should run between $600 and $1,000. A power vent-style heater may be in the $1,300-$1,700 range. A tankless gas water heater could run $2,500 to $3,000.
Davis: It really depends on what you're looking for. Price varies on size, style, whether it's an entry-level heater or a high-efficiency one. It comes down to what the homeowner wants.
Any other pieces of advice you'd like to share?
Cochran: Most water heaters come with a six-year tank and parts warranty and a one-year labor warranty. You're not guaranteed to have a labor warranty, but it's pretty common.
Woods: "Universal" repair parts are a thing of the past. If you're having water heater troubles, be sure to inform the repair company of your model and serial number.
Davis: Make sure your heater can handle the demand. When people remodel bathrooms or kitchens and add new fixtures that draw hot water, they don't always take into account the increased draw on the heater.