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Buying a New Water Heater: A Buying & Installation Checklist

Getting a new water heater is a great investment, especially if you’ve been sitting on an old model for a while. Since you’ll get a product with more modern features, you should experience fewer issues and interruptions with your water use. This makes it a more financially advisable decision, especially for homeowners living in much older homes.

While getting a new water heater is technically a better investment than requesting frequent repairs, it can still be a risky choice. Contrary to popular belief, your water heater can still cause problems if it’s installed improperly. For this reason, you must avoid potential complications that have more to do with your plumber than your heating unit.

Understanding Your Purchase

The best way to prevent performance issues with your water heater unit is to get the right product. Otherwise, many complications can occur even before you install them in your bathrooms. For this reason, you need to gauge the compatibility of your purchase to your heating needs.

Here are three variables you need to consider before bringing a water heater home:

1. Heater Type

Water heaters in the market come in different types, ranging from conventional models to solar variants. This is why you need to look at each variant’s pros and cons. For example, tankless water heaters provide efficient heating and lower your energy costs. On the other hand, indirect water heaters can work well with hydronic or radiant floor heating systems in your bathroom.

Consider how these different variants can contribute to the overall efficiency of your bathroom. Doing so will limit your choices and point you toward the right unit.

2. Size

Depending on your home’s water usage frequency, you may need to get a water heater that has a higher capacity. Besides considering the space limitations on your bathroom, this also helps you maintain consistent hot water when members of your household take consecutive baths.

3. Efficiency Rate

Dealing with repair costs regularly is one way to drain your savings, even after paying for your water heater. Additionally, the cost-efficiency of your water heater needs to stay within your budget range for monthly energy bills. For this reason, you need to assess if your chosen model is a good purchase as a long-term investment.

Keep in mind that it’s always to your benefit to perform product research before buying any appliance, especially if it’s connected to your utilities. Doing extra legwork will prevent any issues you may have with its performance. However, getting a suitable model won’t be useful if you don’t oversee the installation process correctly.

Looking for Water Heater Installation Mistakes

Most homeowners get a new water heater to solve a recurring issue with their current model. Besides mechanical complications, the age of their water heater is a huge factor in getting a new unit. Although a newer unit shouldn’t have technical problems within its system, your plumber’s handling and installation can lead to performance issues down the line.

If you’re installing a new water heater, here are five installation mistakes you need to watch out for.

1. Compromised Relief Valves

Water heaters need to have a relief valve as a safety feature for regulating pressure and temperatures. Without it, there’s a risk of your chance to implode with an unregulated amount of hot water. This can ruin your brand-new water heater and cause scalding burns upon impact.

Once your plumber has to install a relief valve, remember to ask about its functions and give it a test run. Doing so will notify you if the relief valve works properly for later.

2. Dry Firing

Although it’s necessary to test your water heater’s components, you need to ensure that it has water inside before testing. Otherwise, the unit can run and compromise its heating elements and cause cracks in the tank. Keep in mind that dry firing can also occur even if the tank is half-filled. For this reason, it’s necessary to get your water heater’s tank full before requesting your plumber to give it a test run.

3. Incompatible Metals

Improper installation can also be due to material incompatibility. Pipelines are built from separate parts that have varying sizes and material types. Besides causing loose installation through inaccurate pipe sizes, the wrong materials connected can cause damaging chemical reactions.

For example, it’s dangerous to connect copper pipes with steel nipples. Doing so will accelerate corrosion rates and lead to severe water leakages. This applies to your general pipelines and also to your water heater unit. If your plumber does not identify this issue with your plumbing’s material, you may need to get a replacement for your water heater sooner than later.

4. Improper Placement

Besides the materials of your water heater, you shouldn’t think of it as a standalone fixture in your bathroom. This is because its installation can go awry under the wrong conditions. For example, affixing them in the wrong location can lead to performance issues.

When a plumber has to perform pipe soldering, they should keep the pipes away from the water tank. It’s advisable to use extensions to prevent these two components from touching. Additionally, it’s best to keep plastic and other flammable materials from your water heater. This will be an issue for narrow bathrooms, especially if you have shampoo bottles and similar containers nearby your water heating unit.

5. Fuel Connections

Like most appliances connected to your utilities, water heaters can either be fueled by gas or electricity. However, there are now alternatives like solar energy and propane fuel. Since there’s no clear winner on which fuel is the best, you need to check your local energy providers if one energy source is cheaper than the other.

Besides checking this price issue, you also need to communicate your water heater’s fuel type with your plumber. Doing so will prevent any improper connections of your water heater to the wrong utilities in your home.


If you don’t have it installed properly, deciding to buy a new water heater will go to waste. Additionally, some installation mistakes can break your new unit altogether. This is why it’s vital to hire a reliable plumber for these delicate procedures. Thankfully, our team has an excellent track record of handling plumbing repairs, water heater installations, and more!

If you need a reliable plumber in San Fernando to install your water heater properly, we’re the right company to call. Contact us at 855-522-2638 and our veteran plumbers will attend to your home’s water heater installation needs!

Jeremy Parker

Published by
Jeremy Parker

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