4 Features You May Want When You're Getting A New Hot Water Heater

17 November 2014
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If you're having a new water heater installed, take time to think about any extras that you may need. Several options are available to help make your water heater more efficient and make your home safer.

Here are four additions you and your plumbing and heating technician may want to add:

1. Leak sensors

If your water tank eventually leaks, you may not be immediately aware of it. Depending on its location, it could cause damage before you notice that anything's wrong.

Some sensors emit a loud alarm when a leak is detected. Others will even send out a phone call or text message to a number you designate in case you're not home when the leak starts. More expensive devices shut off the water supply entirely.

Some insurance companies offer discounts on your homeowner's insurance if you have a sensor installed. Check with your company to see what, if any, sensors will qualify for a discount.

2. Stand

Depending on where it's located, your hot water heater may need to be on a stand that's at least 18 inches off the ground. In a garage, that's to help make sure it doesn't ignite or explode from flammable vapors, such as those from gasoline, underneath the unit.

Water heaters that are FVIR (Flame Vapor Ignition Resistant) compliant, however, may not need to be elevated in this way. They have features that are designed to protect against these problems.

Some local codes that cover the installation of water heaters may have specific requirements about the need for stands, so make sure your water heater is complaint with these also.

3. Drain pan

A drain pan is an inexpensive way to catch a small leak under your water heater. If it's in an attic or in an extended space such as a raised garage platform, you'll definitely need a pan. It will help protect against moisture damage if water leaks into the wood or drywall of the platform.

Since it's very inexpensive, though, many people who install hot water heaters think it should be used no matter where the unit is located.

4. Blanket

All new water heaters are insulated to some degree on the inside where you can't see it. But unless your new hot water heater is rated at least R-24 for insulation, you may want to add a blanket so there's less heat loss. This will make it more energy efficient and will help reduce your water heating costs.

If your water heater is electric, putting a ridged piece of insulation underneath the tank can also help prevent heat loss. This can result in even more savings.

Adding an insulating blanket to an electric water heater isn't very difficult. But if you have a gas water heater, it's best to let a professional take care of this, according to the North Carolina Cooperative Extension.

Talk with your plumber about what, if any, extras you may want and need with your new hot water heater. It's the easiest, most ideal time to think about your options and discuss them with a professional. To learn more, contact a company like Eddie B Plumbing with any questions or concerns you might have.