Hot Water Heater Buying Guide

Home » Installations » Water Heater Installation » Water Heater Buying Guide

Sooner or later your will need to replace your water heater and when that time comes you will have a major purchase on your hands. You have to make sure that your new water heater is the right size to meet your family’s needs. You want it to be energy efficient to save you money and you want to make sure that the plumbing contractor does the job right. Here’s some additional information you should know.

When Should You Replace Your Water Heater?

Old water heaters can operate at very low efficiency for years, costing you money every month. According to ENERGY STAR, if your water heater is at least 10 years old, it’s time to think about replacing it. A new high-efficiency water heater can reduce the energy you use by up to half. Since water heating is your home’s second largest energy expense, the money you save on energy can help pay for the cost of a new unit. A few signs to look for include:

  • Your water heater is 10 or more years old
  • Failure to consistently produce hot water
  • Your family has grown, increasing water demands
  • Leaking around your unit
  • Rust-colored water
  • Rumbling or banging inside your unit

Consider This

If you’re replacing your water heater, here’s a few things to consider:

  • Type: Does your home require a gas water heater or an electric water heater? If you are interested in a more energy-efficient option, a heat pump water heater or a gas tankless water heater may be the right solution.
  • Size: The capacity of your water heater tank (the number of gallons of water held) is usually determined by the size of your family and the space available for your water heater. Always anticipate your family’s future.
  • Tank Space Dimensions: Determine the height of your current water heater as well as the diameter. Know the dimensions where your water heater is located. Also, it is important to know the wattage of your current water heater.
  • Recovery Rate: The number of gallons of water that can be heated in an hour is another important factor. Determine how much water your household demands. One rule of thumb is that electric water heaters with a high tank capacity usually have low recovery rates since there is more water available. Conversely, gas water heaters with a high recovery rate may not need a large tank capacity, because the unit can heat the water faster.
  • Accessories: Water heating system accessories can add comfort and create a healthier indoor environment. Options include a circulator pump and timer, a drip pan, and an expansion tank.
  • Warranty: The availability of a manufacturer or dealer warranty can be a valuable option that can provide parts and labor coverage in the case of equipment malfunctions. Before replacing a water heater, check if your existing water heater is still under warranty.
  • Contractor: Selecting the right plumbing contractor is crucial. Check the contractor’s credentials and ask about the licensing and training of their technicians. Get multiple quotes and ask about any additional fees, parts or equipment needed. Make sure the contractor you choose will secure the required permits and comply with all local building codes and utility regulations. Ask about the warranty on their work. Ensure that they can repair the equipment they install and provide emergency service if something goes wrong.

How Big Should Your Water Heater Tank Be?

Household Size Demand* Gas Electric
5 or more Regular 50 or 75 Gallon 80 Gallon
High 75 Gallon 120 Gallon
3 to 4 Regular 40 Gallon 50 or 65 Gallon
High 50 or 75 Gallon 80 Gallon
2 or less Regular 30 Gallon 40 Gallon
High 40 Gallon 50 Gallon

* Regular hot water demand includes a home with a washer and dishwasher. High hot water demand includes a home with teenagers, whirlpool tubs, spas, and oversized baths.

The Constellation Home Advantage

Constellation Home licensed professionals can ensure that you receive the perfect water heater replacement to meet your family’s needs. We’ll make sure the installation follows all requirements and regulations. And we’ll provide you with a variety of options for your home and your budget.

  • No-Hassle Customer Service. Our Energy & Comfort Consultants will ask you questions about your family’s water needs and the model and size of your current water heater. Then we’ll give you an upfront quote over the phone in minutes.
  • Flat-rate Pricing. With Constellation Home, the price you’re quoted is the price you’ll pay. And our quotes are all-inclusive, with no added fees for additional equipment.
  • Licensing and Compliance. Every installer is a licensed plumber and receives additional safety training. We check all equipment, including a home’s venting, to ensure adherence to building codes. We’ll also secure all required permits and schedule any required inspections.
  • Same-day Availability. We can often install your new water heater the same day you call. We also offer Saturday and Sunday appointments.
  • Warranty. We give you a 1-year warranty on all parts and labor, in addition to the manufacturer’s warranty. We also offer extended warranty options.
  • Our Pledge to You. At Constellation Home, we pledge to leave every home we enter a better place. Our technicians use drop cloths and hand trucks on every job to protect your home during delivery, installation and the removal of your old water heater. At the conclusion of the installation, we will explain your new water heater’s operation and answer any questions you may have.

How Much Energy Could You Be Saving?

A high-efficiency system saves you energy and money.


Request an Estimate.

We’ll help you find the right water heater for your home and budget.


Join our Email Club


This page is currently under construction.

Everyone needs to make home improvements from time to time and we are no exception. We are currently upgrading our online service scheduling experience, but you can still schedule service by contacting our Customer Care Center. Call 888.243.HOME to schedule service today.