Hot Water Heater Buying Tips

Tips for buying a hot water heater - and a little on our personal experience

Hot water heaters. It's not something I'd ever shopped for before and I imagine it's something the rest of you don't do very often either (house flippers excluded ;)). Since it's something I've done recently in my partnership with Rheem, I thought I'd share some tips for buying a hot water heater.

  1. Determine what your power type is. Most likely it's one of these: Electric, Natural Gas, or Propane.

  2. Figure out which type of system makes sense for you. Here's a helpful, interactive page from Rheem that can break down in an easy to understand way: Selecting A Water Heater.

    • Traditional Tank-type

    • Tankless

    • Solar

    • Point-of-use



  3. Have a contractor help you calculate what size system you need. This chart from The Home Depot can help, but it's always best to consult a professional to be certain. For example, our household is a family of 3, so per the chart we need a 46 – 56 gallon capacity tank. And our home's required temperature rise is 120 degrees fahrenheit - 55 degrees fahrenheit ground water temperature = 65 degrees fahrenheit. The gallons capacity and the required temperature rise are what you'll need to see which units will work for your home and it's location.

    • Tank-types are based on capacity.

    • Tankless are based on gallons per minute.



  4. Do the homework. Don't settle for replacing your unit with the same thing you've had. The manufacturers of these units are always coming out with different models with different features and it's more likely a different unit will work best for you. Did you know your water heater makes up nearly 20% of your home's energy usage?Definitely worth investing some time shopping around. (For us, this went way deeper than simply replacing the unit. We moved ours, reran pipes and went from a gas to an electric unit.)

    • New high efficiency water heaters are more efficient at heating water and keeping it hot. This means a lower annual operating cost and more available hot water.

    • New features, including Rheem's EcoNet Smart Home Automation system utilize wifi-enabled technology, to control your water heater and receive maintenance alerts.

    • Advanced, energy-efficient products, such as the new Rhem Professional Prestige Hybrid Heat Pump Water HEater offer over $4,000 in lifetime savings with less than 2 years payback.




I don't think choosing an appliance like this has to be hard. It's intimidating but it's not hard to buy a hot water heater. Contractors and associates at The Home Depot stores are always there to help you but I think it's smart to understand what goes into the decision so you can play a role in the purchase.

3 comments

  1. Great tips Corinna. We had to replace ours a couple years ago and the one thing we didn't do is to take the closet entryway into consideration. We ended up having to remove the wall to move it in....... The wall still hasn't gone back up?

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  2. This is some really good information about hot water heaters. I like that you pointed out that you should think about if you want a tank or tankless heater. It seems like it would be a good thing to be aware of if you want to make sure that it works well with home and lifestyle.

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  3. You make a great point by saying to do your research about the water heater before buying one. Since we don't know much about our current one, it would be nice to learn what we would need in a new one. Plus, you might be able to find one that could be more efficient.

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