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Electric Water Heater Facts

Plumbing
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There are a number of advantages to having an electric water heater rather than a gas water heater. An electric water heater takes up less space and though an electric water heater takes a little longer than a gas heater to warm the water, it is safer because unlike gas heaters, there is no risk of explosion.

Electric Storage Water Heater

Domestic storage water heaters usually have a tank size of between 20-120 gallons. The most commonly installed sizes are 20 and 80 gallons. When you are choosing what size tank you need for your electric water heater you should base your decision on your familyís needs because you donít want your shower to run cold before you are finished. You also donít want a tank that is too big or youíll be paying unnecessarily to keep the water in the tank heated. If you live in house with only one bathroom, then a 20 gallon tank should be sufficient. If you have one and a half bathrooms, then you should consider a 30-40 gallon tank. For a larger house with 3-4 bathrooms you should consider a 75-120 gallon heater, or possibly two heaters.

Tankless Electric Water Heater

A tankless electric water heater can supply hot water on demand. When you turn on the water, its flow connects a switch that turns on an electric coil. This heats the water as it flows over the coil. This type of electric water heater is more economical than a conventional storage heater because there is no standby loss of heat energy.

You can have hot water on demand throughout your house by installing a large, centrally located tankless heater or install smaller point-of-use units to supply hot water on demand to individual locations such as the bathroom or kitchen sink. Electric tankless water heaters are usually able to heat two-three gallons of water per minute up to a temperature of 60F. Though this type of heater may cost a little more initially than a conventional water heater, it can lower your annual energy bill by 10-14 percent. If you install a tankless electric water heater before 2011, you may be eligible for energy tax credits.

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