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Replacing Your Hot Water Heater

Updated on April 17, 2012

New and in a New Place

What Do You Do When you See Water Around the Hot Water Heater?

1. Look At the Date, Brand and Size of Your Hot Water Heater

You want to see when you got your hot water heater to see if it is time for it to be worn out.

Ours had some rust around the bottom, no drip pan and it started to drip water on the front and out the bottom.

You look at the size to see what you are going to replace it with. If the hot water heater seemed to give you enough hot water then just get the same size.

If you run out of hot water when you want it, think about getting a size larger, if the space allows a bigger tank. If you didn't already have a catch pan and it is not required zoning, consider getting a catch pan under the hotwater heater tank, so you don't have a mess if you have a leak.

2. You may want to consider an instant hot system or Tankless Hot Water System
I don't have one and never have had one, but this is an electrical type of system that will make your water instantly hot and you don't use a hot water heater tank at all. It is fuss free in that you don't have to worry about the hot water heater going and having a big mess in your basement or where ever your hot water heater is.

3. Decide who you are going to call.

We normally use the utility company's household appliance company. If you have a regular plumber you call it is good to use one you have a relationship with and know they do good work. If you don't know who to call, then look on the internet for what you need by puttiing in the type of service and area you are in-zip code. After you get some names, look them up for references. There are a number of referral sites and reference sites where you can get reviews. There also is the Better Business Bureau to check to see if there are any complaints and there is A Consumer site to check to see if there are any recalls on appliances you are considering. If you need same day service you may have to get whatever hotwaterheater is available in your size..

Be sure you do not have a warranty on the hotwater heater. Sometimes there is a 1 year, 5 year or 10 year warranty. This time we got a 10 year warranty.

In my old house I always had a homeowners warranty that would warrant all the appliances in the house. This covered any built in appliance in the kitchen, and the washer dryer, hot water heater and also the A/c and furnace system. In a large single family house these are well worth the money as you can usually get a 35 or 50. deductible and a service call is usually more than that. In a 10 year period on a house that was 25 years old when I bought it-every year, something would go and it would be more than the warranty and most years I would have 2 things that would more than pay for the warranty price. I had a/c replaced, microwaves, stoves and hot water heaters replaced. And the nice thing was that you just call an 800 number and they would give you a service company. HMS and AHS are two of the companies that I had used and found them very good. You would have to check deductibles and fine print but they have websites that explain the warranties..

4. Make sure that your hot water heater is in the best possible place and has a drip pan.

Sometimes someone was not thinking when they put the hot water heater in and did not put it in the most convenient space saving place. Now is the time if you want to change the place where it is . Ours was actually in a place where it was blocking the laundry room doorway if we wanted to get a new washer and dryer ever. Since those were not the newest appliances, we opted to move the hot water tank over a little to give room to get in and out of the doorway and added more space. If you don't have a whole house warranty plan on appliances be sure you check the warranty options on your new hot water heater to be sure you get the most out of it.

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