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features of Conventional Water Heaters


Most homeowners, unless they are building a new home, don’t have much choice in the type of power they will use for their water heater.  However, if you do have an option, traditionally gas-powered appliances are less expensive to operate than electrical powered appliances.  That makes them an excellent choice for San Antonio water heater installation.

Heating Source:

Is the unit powered with gas or electricity?


Longer manufacturer warranties may indicate a more efficient unit.  According to Consumer Reports water heaters with longer warranties generally have larger heating elements and burners allowing water to heat more rapidly.  In addition, better insulation in these units reduces heat loss, thereby reducing operating costs.

In addition to the warranty on the unit itself, a reputable plumber will offer an additional warranty on the installation.  At Denny Plumbing we offer an additional 1-year labor warranty on water heater installation in the greater San Antonio area.


What type of warranty is offered with the unit?

What type of warranty is offered with the installation of the unit?

The drain valve is a good indication of the quality of materials used for building the water heater.  If the drain valve is made of plastic, it may break off as the unit ages and pressure is unintentionally placed on it during routine water heater flushing.  However, if the drain valve is brass, it is probably an indication of quality materials used throughout the unit.

Unit Materials:

What is the quality of the materials used in designing the tank?

Most water heater units have anode rods also known as sacrificial rods.  The size and composition of this rod will determine how long it will last and how often it will need to be replaced.  In addition, some tanks are designed with an apparatus that stirs the water, keeping sediment from settling to the bottom of the tank.  This helps to prevent the buildup of mineral deposits that can reduce the efficiency of the heating elements.  In addition, the inside of the water heater tank may be designed to withstand mineral buildup.  For example, some units have a glass-lined tank that resists scale buildup.  All these features can extend the life of your water heater.  However, if these features are unduly expensive, they may not pay for themselves in the end and, therefore, not justify the additional cost of the unit. 

Anti-scale devices:

Does the unit have special features designed to reduce the scale build-up and protect the inside the unit?

Some new units offer digital displays that allow the consumer to easily adjust the temperature settings for the water. Other units may provide a vacation setting to reduce unnecessary operating costs.  Additionally, timers on the water heater allow for setting the unit to heat water only during the hours when hot water will be used.  Most households do not use hot water in the middle of the night and can reduce usage costs by not heating the water continuously during those 5-8 hours of the night.  However, once again, before deciding on a unit with all the bells and whistles, consider the price of those features.  You can adjust the settings on even a standard unit simply by using a screwdriver and removing the control panel covers to access the thermostat.  Furthermore, an external timer can be used to control the usage hours to reduce unnecessary water heating during the night.

Unit Display:

How easy is it to see and adjust the settings of the water heater? 

Buyer’s Questionnaire for San Antonio Water Heater Installation

Finally, let’s take a look at some of the questions that you need to consider when buying your new water heater.

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1.  What type of unit best fits your financial goals?  

     Would the lower upfront cost of a conventional tank unit make the

                      most sense for you?

     Or would the higher upfront cost, but the lower operating cost of either

                      the tankless or solar water heater fit your goals better?

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2.  What type of energy do you have available to power your unit?  

     Electricity or Gas?  If both are available, which do you prefer to use?

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3.  How much hot water do you need at one time?  Will you be using hot water for multiple showers as well as the dishwasher and washing machine all at the same time?  Or would the normal usage in your home only require a small amount of hot water at one time?  If you decide on a  tank unit for your San Antonio water heater installation, you'll need to buy one with a capacity large enough to handle your peak usage volume.

            To figure out your peak usage, you can use the chart below that shows hot water usage for common activities.

You can also use this live water usage worksheet to help determine your water usage.

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4.  How often do you use hot water?  Perhaps you don’t need all the hot water at once, but you need to have a unit that reheats water quickly for sequential hot water usage.  In this case you need to consider getting a water heater with a high First Hour Rating (FHR).  This rating tells you how much hot water your unit will produce within the first hour of heating water.  The higher the FHR the quicker the unit will replenish the hot water.


5.  Should you attempt to replace the water heater yourself or plan to enlist the expertise of an experience plumber?

If you're simply replacing an existing unit with a similar water heater, it may seem like a simple DIY project.  However, there are several things you should consider before tackling this job yourself.

            If you have a natural gas-powered unit, please DO NOT attempt to replace the unit yourself.  Gas can be dangerous if it is not properly contained.  A trained professional plumber from Denny Plumbing will be able to properly test the unit for any leaks and ensure that your water heater is correctly and safely installed.

            While an electric unit does not run the same risks as the gas unit, there are still some concerns to consider.  A water heater that is not correctly installed may cause water damage to your home.  In fact, according to Insurance Journal 53% of all non-weather-related insurance claims are related to plumbing issues.  And the Insurance Information Institute found the average cost of these water damage claims to be over $10,000.  The cost of professional installation pays for itself many times over with peace of mind.

            Another consideration is your time.  Once you remove your old water heater, you won't have any hot water until you finish the installation of the new unit.  If time is a precious commodity for you, you should seek out the help of a San Antonio plumber who has the expertise to complete the installation quickly and efficiently.

            A final consideration in deciding whether to tackle the water heater installation in San Antonio, TX yourself is the problem of disposing of the old unit.  When you call on Denny Plumbing to help with your San Antonio water heater installation, we will haul away your old water heater.  You can rest assured that the work will be done completely and quickly in a professional manner.  You will be able to relax and enjoy your new hot water.

If you would like help determining the best water heater for your needs or would like the professionals at Denny Plumbing to help with your water heater installation in San Antonio TX or the Hill Country Area, give us a call today.  We look forward to helping you find the right product for your needs.
Denny Plumbing Service Areas and Services

Denny Plumbing has two offices.  The main office is located at 33875A I-10 West, Boerne, TX 78006.  We are 15 miles north of The Shops at La Cantera and The Rim shopping areas.  The San Antonio office is located at 7340 Blanco Rd, Ste. 117, San Antonio, 78216.   Denny Plumbing serves Greater San Antonio and the Texas Hill Country.  Our service areas include Alamo Ranch, Balcones Heights, Bergheim, Bexar CountyBoerneBracken, Bulverde, Castle Hills, Camp Bullis, Canyon Lake, Caracol Creek, Center Point, Cibolo, Comfort, De Zavala, The Dominion, Encino Park, Fair Oaks RanchGarden Ridge, Guibeau-Tezel, Helotes, Hill Country Village, Hollywood Park, Kendall County, La Cantera, Leon Springs, Leon Valley, Live Oak, New Braunsfels, Northern Hills, Oak Hills, Olmos Park, Pipe Creek, San Antonio, Schertz, Selma, Shavano Park, Smithson Valley, Sonoma Ranch, Sonterra, Spring Branch, Stone Oak, Summerglen, Terrell Hills, Timberwood Park, University Park, Windcresand more.  

Denny Plumbing is a licensed professional plumbing company offering a full range of plumbing services. Our friendly, knowledgeable plumbers can help you with any plumbing project large or small.  Including:

Learn more about Denny Plumbing here.