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Home » When to Replace a Gas Hot Water Heater?

When to Replace a Gas Hot Water Heater?


Tank-type water heaters store hot water so that it’s always available when needed. By far the most common type of water heater, tank-type water heaters can rely on electricity, natural gas, propane or fuel oil as a heat source. A thermostat in the storage tank controls water heating to maintain a constant water temperature in the 120-degree to 140-degree range. Insulation surrounding the tank reduces standby heat loss. Typical tank size for households is 50-80 gallons.

Hot water heaters are unique in that they last for 10 or more years. Tank-type water heaters can last up to 15 years with proper care. Most other appliances, like dishwashers and clothes washers last around 8 to 10 years. When hot water heaters fail, it is usually the result of corrosion or rusting inside the tank. (See a full list of our water heater services here!)

Why Replace a Gas Hot Water Heater?

Other than haveing to call for emergency plumbing service, there are several ways to evaluate when your system needs to be replaced. When replacing your old gas hot water tank, there are several things to consider.

  • First, the tank is at least 10 years old. Gas hot water tanks last about 15 years.
  • Second, you need more hot water. If your family has outgrown the capacity of the old unit, it’s time to replace it with a new gas water heater that has a larger capacity.
  • Third, your old tank-type gas hot water heater heats and reheats water.

Every time hot water is heated and then cooled off, metal parts inside the tank corrode and weaken the structure of the tank. Replacing a gas hot water heater with an energy efficient model also reduces your home’s carbon footprint.

How To Replace a Gas Hot Water Heater?

The best way to replace a gas hot water heater is to replace the old water heater with a new one that has similar capacity.

For example, if someone in your home showers for an hour per day, you need at least 3 gallons of hot water per minute (3 gpm) to replace the hot water used. If you replace your old gas unit with another tank-type design, you will usually end up with a similar amount of hot water.

If you’d like the advantages of a tankless design (more instantaneous hot water and less standby heat loss), we can replace your old gas heater with a new, high-efficiency tankless unit. Replacement typically  includes simply disconnecting the old unit and connecting the new one. (Note: if you replace an old gas water heater with a new type, the piping and fittings must be upgraded to ensure that the unit operates efficiently.)

New tankless options?

Conventional wisdom says that if you want more hot water, replace your existing gas storage unit with another gas storage unit. But what if you could have all of the advantages of a tankless water heater with less standby heat loss? A hybrid design has been developed that combines the efficiency of a tankless unit with the capacity of a conventional storage system.

If you’re really serious about saving energy and water and want the same amount of hot water as before, you can replace your storage tank with a tankless unit. This type of system is different from the hybrid we just mentioned – you won’t have as much hot water capacity, but it will heat up as fast as ever at your command.

If you need more hot water capacity, the hybrid option is best. If you want to replace storage tank-type units with a higher-efficiency unit, we can replace your old gas hot water heater with a new energy efficient model. In either case, Jack Hall Plumbing & Heating can replace your old gas hot water tank with a new unit.

So when corrosion, sediment and wear eventually take their toll, we’ll help you select a new gas water heater that suits your budget and hot water needs. Jack Hall Plumbing & Heating will replace your old gas hot water tank, install a new hybrid hot water heater and upgrade your piping for this new system.

Jack Hall installs, repairs and services all types of residential and commercial hot water systems.

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