The Best New Water Heater for a Large Family

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An inadequate water heater can be a real inconvenience. You may find yourself soaking in a cool tub, telling family members and guests to keep their showers short or running out of hot water while doing dishes or laundry.

While water heaters generally have a lifespan of eight to 12 years, you might find your current unit simply can’t handle the demands of your growing family. The system that worked back when you had an infant may not meet your needs when several family members want a warm shower every morning.

Consider our advice for deciding on the best new system for large families (and avoiding those early-morning shower fights).

A Smart Strategy for Hot Water

Many people think that a big family needs a big water heater. However, simply putting a larger tank in the basement may yield disappointing results. Think about it, all that hot water still has to travel throughout your house, which is highly inefficient.

These days, the best water heating strategy is to divide and conquer. Have a smaller model installed in a central location, and place a tankless heater at any location you’ll need the extra heat.

Pros and Cons of a Tankless Water Heater

Are you considering a tankless model? Let’s take a look at some of the benefits and drawbacks.

The good:

  • You’ll never run out of hot water again.

  • It’s energy efficient.

  • The wall-mounted unit is inconspicuous.

The bad:

  • You may need additional units for multiple tasks that require hot water.

  • It requires annual maintenance.

  • Installation can be complicated and requires involving electrical, gas and plumbing professionals.

Time for an Upgrade?

Sure, your old water heater might last a few years after its warranty, but why settle for yesterday’s technology when today’s units are so efficient? Around 20 percent of your home’s energy costs go toward heating water. Your utility bills could actually be cut in half thanks to new regulations in the industry. From a comfort standpoint, a tankless model can ensure hot showers for the whole family, enough warm water for dishes and laundry and a restful soak in a warm bath after a long day at work.

However, if you want the best of both worlds, consider a combined tank and tankless system to minimize maintenance costs. Tankless heaters alone can lag if you need hot water for showers and dishes at the same time. The tank backup jumpstarts every shower. Tankless system installation may seem complicated, but if you leave that to the professionals, it may be a small price to pay for your family’s comfort.

If you have questions about your water heater or need a hand with any plumbing issues, turn to The Pink Plumber. Thanks to five decades of experience, our experts can tackle any plumbing problem large or small. In addition, we donate a portion of every job to breast cancer research.

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