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Water heaters are not the simplest appliance in your home, but it certainly is essential. We know you may have questions regarding your water heater’s operation, features, repairs, maintenance, and more. With so many questions, we’ve decided to compile several frequently asked questions and have our master plumbers answer them in one place.

How Much Does a Water Heater Cost?

The cost of a water heater can range anywhere from $300 to more than $2,000, depending on the type. There are two types of water heaters: tank and tankless. Tank water heaters are cheaper, while tankless will cost you more.

What is the Difference Between a Tank and a Tankless Water Heater?

A tank water heater is the most common type out there. It works by drawing water into the tank and keeping it warm until you need it. When the hot water is out, it must refill the tank and heat the water again.

Tankless water heaters heat water as you need it. Heated coils flash warm the water in an instant for nearly endless hot water.

Tankless Water Heaters

How Long Do Water Heaters Last?

On average, tank water heaters last between eight to 12 years. Tankless can last up to 20 years. Maintenance is essential for getting the most out of your water heater.

What Size Water Heater Do I Need?

The key to determining what size water heater you need is the number of people in your household. The more people you have, the larger the water heater you need. It is important to mention this method should only be used for tank water heaters. You can use the rough estimates below to determine which size tank water heater you need:

  • 1-2 people: 23-26 gallons
  • 2-4 people: 36-46 gallons
  • 3-5 people: 46-56 gallons
  • 5+ people: More than 56 gallons

How Long Does it Take for Water Heaters to Heat Water?

A gas water heater takes 30 to 45 minutes to heat water. Electric water heaters take longer to heat water at about 60 to 80 minutes. Tankless water heaters take no time to heat water.

Does a Water Heater Make Noise?

Yes! It’s common for water heaters to make noise. The most common sounds include banging, rumbling, crackling, and hissing. All of these noises are common for gas and electric heaters as they operate. 

Ticking, screeching, or whistling sounds should prompt an inspection as the water heater is likely experiencing a problem.

Can a Water Heater Explode?

Yes, but they are rare. Water heaters can explode when heat and pressure build to an extreme level that cannot be prevented with built-in safety features. Be attentive to any signs your water heater may be experiencing an issue. Signs to look for include:

  • Pressure relief valve is always open
  • Pressure relief valve is leaking
  • Leaking tank
  • Consistent popping noise

Get in touch with a plumber as soon as possible when these issues appear.

How Do I Turn Up Heat on Water Heater?

Water Heater Temperature Control

For electric water heaters, turn off the power to the water heater using the breaker. Then, remove the insulation and panel to reach the dial. Some water heaters require a flat head screwdriver to adjust the heat. Use the appropriate tool to adjust the temperature of the water. Place the insulation back, and restore power to the water heater. You’re done!

For gas water heaters, locate the control knob labeled with the heat settings. Set it to the desired setting. Be careful with the knob, as it doesn’t take a lot of movement to make it hotter. Give the water heater an hour to adjust the heat, and then test it.

Need Help With Your Water Heater?

We hope the FAQs answered above will help you understand your water heater more. We can answer many other questions, so we encourage you to give our team a call at (832) 925-4418. You can also call us for 24-hour water heater repairs or to request a quote. Our team is here to help you with any plumbing needs you have.