Types of Water Heaters

Types of Water Heaters for Homes Installed by Area PlumbersTo be without hot water even for a few hours can be tortuous. We forget how lucky we are to have the convenience of hot water until we don’t have it. If you need water heater repair or replacement, call Wise Choice Plumbing & Rooter. Leave repair and replacement services to the professionals, but you can go shopping for a new water heater yourself. When it comes time to purchase a new water heater, you have plenty of options ranging from conventional and tankless water heaters to hybrid and solar models.

Selecting a water heating system isn’t just about how much hot water it produces. You also want to consider energy savings. Here is a basic water heater buying guide to help you understand the following five types of water heaters.

Conventional Storage Tank

This is the most popular type of water heater in Southern California homes. Storage tank heaters are insulated and water is heater then stored. Water heating takes place continuously. Therefore, you’re paying for water heating even when you’re not using the hot water. Storage tank heaters are powered by gas (oil, natural, or propane) and electricity. They tend to last approximately 12 years and are an affordable option for budget-conscious consumers. However, due to standby heat loss, you may end up spending more money in the long run on your utility bills. Gas heaters can minimize this cost but cost considerably more to install. Another consideration is maintenance. This type of heater needs to be flushed once or twice a year to get rid of damaging sediment.

Tankless (On-Demand)

Tankless water heaters eradicate standby heat loss. This heater uses intense flashes of heat to heat water fast and as needed. The initial cost of tankless water heaters is more expensive than conventional heaters, but their energy efficiency reigns supreme. Large families benefit greatly from tankless water heaters because of the demand for hot water. You don’t have to wait for the water to heat up again as you do with conventional water heaters. Tankless heaters do tend to be cheaper to install for homes that already have a gas line that can be connected. These heaters do best with gas power. Also, installing a new gas line or upgrading an electrical system to meet the electricity demands can be quite costly.

Heat Pump (Hybrid)

This type of water heater uses heat from the ground or air to generate heat. It transfers the surface or ground air to the water. Homeowners looking to significantly reduce their energy usage appreciate heat pump water heaters because they use as much as 60% less energy than convention water heaters. One caveat: heat pumps don’t work well in cold places and the pump requires a 7-foot floor to ceiling clearance.


Roof-mounted solar panels work well in Southern California for the most parts because of the year-round sunshine. They use a closed-loop system that moves water to the tank and heats it. Solar panels offer amazing savings but do struggle on cold, cloudy days. For this reason, homes benefit from a backup system. Another consideration is the cost. Materials are getting less expensive, but it can still take as much as 10 – 30 years to recoup your expenses.


Need a gas-heated water heater with a capacity greater than 55 gallons? Consider a condensing water heater. This heater has a storage tank like the conventional water heater but captures hot exhaust gases. By reusing the exhaust that would have otherwise gone out the flue, homeowners save energy and money. Condensing water heaters are very efficient.

When purchasing a new water, there are many factors to consider. Connect with Wise Choice Plumbing & Rooter today to speak with an expert who can answer your questions today.