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Electric Water Heaters – What You Should Know

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Hot, running water is a necessity in our modern-day world. In homes and other types of residential buildings, tank-type water heaters are the most common way of meeting that need. If your traditional gas water heater is coming close to its use-by date, or you’re just wanting a change, it may be the perfect time for you to consider upgrading to an electric water heater. 

 

How They Work

Electric water heaters work in much the same way as their natural gas counterparts. Cold water enters the bottom of the large insulated storage tank where it is heated. Instead of a gas flame, the heat comes from electric elements suspended inside the tank. The now-hot water is then held and kept warm until it is needed. When the hot water is needed, it is pumped out of the top of the tank and to its intended destination through the hot water supply pipes. When this happens, the cold water is funnelled into the bottom of the tank to be heated and start the process all over again. 

 

Advantages Over Gas Heaters

When compared to gas water heaters, electric units have several benefits. 

  • Low Installation Cost. Gas units require additional piping and a new ventilation system. Electric water heaters don’t need either of these to function, so upfront costs tend to be more affordable and installation is much more simple.  
  • No Risk of Gas Leaks. Appliances that run on natural gas will always come with the risk of leaks. While a properly maintained unit has a much lower chance of this occurring, it is still a possibility that homeowners should be aware of. 
  • Easy to Integrate. Unless you live off-grid, chances are that your home already has a readily and reliably available source for electricity. Because of this, your home is already equipped to run an electric water heater. 

 

Considerations

With all of the benefits in mind, it’s important to acknowledge the possible challenges that come with an electric water heater.

  • You may need to upgrade your home’s electrical panel to handle the newly added load on the system.
  • Electric water heaters tend to take more time to heat up the water in the tank than traditional gas ones. If you have a large household, it could mean longer wait times in between showers and baths. 
  • Power outages will leave you without hot water. If you live in an area with frequent power outages, this can be a cause for concern. 

Electric water heaters aren’t for everyone, but they can be very useful appliances in the right household. If you’re interested in an electric water heater, call the experts at 4 Star Electric to find out if your electrical panel needs upgrading. We look forward to hearing from you!