Everything You Need To Know About Water Heaters

Everything You Need To Know About Water Heaters

Whether you are looking to replace your hot water tank or you are looking to upgrade, here is everything you need to know about water heaters in one handy guide. There are many steps to getting your water heater replaced in your house and when you call around Langley for a local Fraser Valley contractor to do water heater replacement you may want to make sure that you have a base level understanding of what is going to happen so you can be partially prepared and for the experts to come in and take care of the problem. We’ll go over the main steps as well as the materials they may use to get the job done.

The Materials And Supplies

First, we’ll go over the parts and pieces you’ll need for water heater replacement, which will start with the obvious and go from there. Then, we’ll go over the major unit and what’s inside of it, the water heater itself. You’ll have to make decisions when it’s time to replace the unit in your home, whether you’re going to go the traditional tank route or use a tankless or alternate heating system. Tank water heaters are generally less expensive but they will take up space which can come at a premium in some homes and setups. From there you will also have to decide if you are going to go with electric or gas. Both have their advantages and disadvantages but most people will replace what they had previously.

If you go with a tank for your water heater replacement, the more traditional option, you might be interested to know what’s going on inside. There are just over a dozen major parts to a tank water heater. These include the external pieces like flue pipe, which vents out exhaust gases, the cold water shutoff valve which allows you to stop water flow from your supplier if you need to service your unit, and the draft diverter which in a gas unit helps keep your pilot light from being blown out. There will also be a relief valve and overflow pipe in case something goes wrong with the unit you’re putting in as well as a hot water outlet.

How Much Can They Cost?

Usually, when you call for water heater replacement you have to go inside the unit to figure out what’s actually wrong and that can be expensive. Some items inside the unit however include the anode rod which helps stop corrosion. The dip tube, which sends cold water to the bottom of the tank to ensure that your water heater is being properly circulated and heated, insulation around the tank to help it keep its temperature. If you are using a gas heater you’re also going to have a gas supply valve and a burner to heat up the tank and if you have an electric unit a series of elements will be used.

What about a tankless water heater though? Well, there are fewer total parts in a tankless heater but they are all interconnected. You have a burner and gas valve feeding a heat exchanger in a gas version but you’ll swap some of that for an electric heating rod into the heat exchange. You’ll have all of that locked up in a box that runs water lines through it and an exhaust vent above to get the extra heat sent out of the house. The tankless units save a lot of space and have a lot fewer parts but may not be as efficient at heating water up as traditional tank units depending on your use.

What Else Do We Need To Know?

Some of the other materials that may be used during a water heater replacement job will include a discharge pipe so that you can set up a drainage system for your new water heater and bring it up to a modern code. There will also be multiple fittings needed to ensure everything is closed together and sealed. You may need to purchase a pressure relief valve separate from a water heater depending on the model you purchase. There will also be venting pipe connectors to get exhaust out of your house.

Finally, there is a chance you will want to know what tools are used during water heater replacement projects. These include some things you may see quite often in your Langley BC house like safety glasses, screwdrivers, wrenches, a tape measure, and electrical tape. But there will be more specialized items in this bunch as well that will be brought to the table including specialized waterproof plumbers tape, a soldering torch and solder along with it. Maybe a specialized pipe wrench that will make the job easier, a tube cutter, a wire stripper, and a voltage tester will all likely be used in the job of getting the unit replaced.

How Long Does An Install Take?

Well, the good news is you now know what all you should expect to see when your water heater replacement appointment time comes but exactly how long will it take? Depending on the contractor, the location of your water heater, and factors to hooking up the water heater into the spot where your current unit is. If your unit is the exact same size and construction style, which is not impossible but builds change all the time, it could take a good team just a few hours to drain, swap, and hook up a new unit. If there are complications due to you getting a different size of heater or complications hooking it up you could be looking at a full day to get a new unit installed.

When you’re ready to get a water heater replacement in your home, give the experts at Murrayville Plumbing & Heating Ltd. a call. They service the area and offer all kinds of plumbing services above and beyond simple drain cleaning and single-day water heater replacement. Give their experts a call or give them a visit online to see current offers, set up an appointment, view their list of services, and more. The Murrayville Plumbing family will gladly help you get the results you want from any plumbing issue you have.

Does Tankless Take Longer To Install?

If you are going with a tankless water heater you can expect this service to take 5-7 hours. We have to use 2″ 636 PVC to vent the intake/outtake from the new tankless water heater. Our technicians install Navien & Rinnai tankless water heaters all the time. These units are great and come with a 15 year warranty on the heat exchanger and 5 years on the parts. The best thing is you get on demand water when you need it and you can qualify for a $1000.00 Fortis BC Rebate.

What is a Hybrid Heat Pump Water Heater?

A hybrid water heater, also known as a heat pump water heater, combines everything we love about a standard water heater with the benefit of an energy-efficient heat pump. If you live in a warm climate and your home’s appliances are all electric (not gas), a hybrid water heater might be right for you.

How Does a Heat Pump Water Heater Work?

A hybrid water heater, or heat pump water heater, uses heat from outside air drawn into the appliance’s evaporator coil. The evaporator coil contains refrigerant, allowing it to absorb heat from the air. Finally, a heat exchanger heats water within the tank to the desired temperature before it passes from the heater tank into your home’s showers, faucets, and large appliances.

It’s helpful to think about this process as being like that of your refrigerator, but in reverse. Instead of expelling hot air to cool the contents of a refrigerator or freezer, a heat pump water heater pulls hot air in to heat the water. Like a tankless water heater, a heat pump water heater does not run all the time, making it more efficient than a standard water heater. However, during periods of increased use, the tank will fill, keeping households with many people from running out of water at key times.

Is a Hybrid Water Heater Right for Me?

A hybrid water heater is a fantastic option for some households. Because they have tanks, heat pump water heaters require more space than tankless water heaters, and are therefore not right for small spaces.

Hybrid hot water heaters also require a warm or at least mild climate to operate most efficiently. Because they work by drawing heat from outside air, they will not function well in cold climates.

Finally, hybrid water heaters are electric. A home that’s plumbed for a gas water heater or other gas appliances is not the best candidate for heat pump water heater installation because of the work that would be necessary to retrofit the fittings.   Also, a dedicated high voltage circuit and breaker would need to be added.

Upgrade To A Tankless Water Heater

Tankless water heaters take up much less space than storage water heaters as they heat the water directly. When you turn on the hot water, the cold water travels through a pipe and into the tankless water heater unit where it is heated by a gas burner or an electric element. This allows you a constant supply of hot water.

On average, tankless water heaters can provide 2 to 5 gallons of hot water per minute. Gas-fired tankless water heaters, according to energy.gov, can produce higher flow rates than electric models.

For those with large families who go through a lot of hot water, installing more than one tankless water heater is common. This will ensure there is always enough hot water available for showers, laundry and the dishwasher.

Tankless Water Heater Advantages

Tankless water heaters (also called “on demand” units or an instant hot water heater) use 30 to 50 percent less energy than units with tanks, saving a typical family about $100 or more per year, depending on water usage.

  • These units heat water only when you turn on the faucet.
  • They usually operate on natural gas or propane.
  • The main advantage is that they eliminate the extra cost of keeping 40 to 50 gallons of water hot in a storage tank, so you waste less energy.
  • They also offer a continuous supply of hot water, which is ideal for filling a big hot tub or a whirlpool.
  • They’re more compact than a standard water heater and mount on a wall.

Tankless Water Heater Disadvantages

  • The primary disadvantage of on demand or instant hot water heaters is the upfront cost.
  • The smaller units that you often see won’t produce enough hot water to serve most households. They’ll only serve one faucet at a time—a problem if you want to shower while the dishwasher is running. There are larger units that can handle the demand of a whole family, but they are expensive.
  • But because tankless units have high-powered burners, they also have special venting requirements (a dedicated, sealed vent system, which requires professional installation). Natural gas burners often need a larger diameter gas pipe, which adds to the initial installation cost.


When it comes to everything you need to know about water heaters there really is no right or wrong answer with your choice. You may not be able to afford the upgrade to a tankless water heater at the moment so replacing or repairing your current tank could be the only option. The hybrid option could be the right choice if you do not have any gas in your home and rely on electric water heating. No matter what the reasons are or what solution you need, Murrayville Plumbing & Heating Ltd. is here to help with repair and install of your hot water tank. Call 778.888.6451 or book online here on our website.

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