Did You Know Your Water Heater Just Got Bigger?

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Yes it is true, on April 16, 2015, the new Department of Energy guidelines have gone into effect which means when your current water heater quits or starts to leak, your new replacement water heater will be at least two inches larger in diameter (see below).

Size Comparison Example:

Type                                  Current Diameter       New NECA Diameter

40 Gallon Gas                                 18                           20

50 Gallon Gas                                 20                           22

40 Gallon Electric                          18                            20

50 Gallon Electric                          20                            22

And if electricity is your only source of energy for the water heater and you have a larger need for hat water (larger tub, larger family, etc.) you may be faced with a very expensive water heater situation. For example, any electric water heaters over 55 gallons in size will now be required to have a heat pump. These new electric heat pump water heaters require specific air space to work properly and this may require you to relocate the water heater or redesign the water heating system, even put in additional air venting. If that is the case, the cost to install one of these water heaters could easily cost three thousand dollars or more.

“So what does this 2 inch wider water heater mean to me”?  This may not seem like a huge increase, but for those homes where the water heater is located in an inside closet with very little extra room, this may cause some problems. In this situation, you may either get a smaller sized water heater i.e. go from a 50 gallon down to a 40 gallon water heater, or you can have the water heater moved to a different location, or create a larger space for the water heater at the current location. Both of these latter options could result in additional construction being done to the home.

Water heaters usually last 8-10 years, so if your water heater is older than 8 years, or if you are starting to see evidence of water leaking from the water heater, it might be getting ready to go out. We are encouraging people who currently have electric water heaters – or who have gas water heaters that are located in very tight locations – that are over 8 years old to consider replacing their water heater now before the existing supply of “older style” water heater disappear from the inventory. You may also want to consider a tank less system, but stay away from the electric ones!

So call Winthorpe Design & Build today and we will make sure you stay in “hot water” !

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