Learn about plumbing from someone who has been in the field for 15 years

Water Heaters: Let's talk gas

Posted on August 26 2013 by Tom Snyder

Hey there everyone!

I’ve noticed an upswing in talk about water heaters lately, so I thought I might share my experiences about my current water heater with you.

I currently have a Bradford White model gas water heater powering my home. I’ve had this water heater since I first moved into my home, about 13 years ago. When I first moved in, it gave me no problems, and up until now, I still have no problems. Water comes out hot and stays hot for an extended period of time. I have a 60 gallon tank, which is more than enough for myself, my wife, and our seven year old daughter. For bigger families, a tankless system might work a little better, but for us a tank system works.

Our home has always had the potential to have a gas water heater. All the plumbing and wiring are set for this sort of heater, and we’ve never thought of switching it out for a different kind.

Although we do feel a dent in our wallets due to the fact that our heater reheats water so much, we partially blame it on ourselves, since we’re not home very much. But after a long day of work, my wife comes home and the first thing she does is head straight for the bathroom for a nice, hot relaxing shower. At that moment, when she finally reappears with a silly, dreamy smile on her face, I know it’s worth it because if my wife is happy, I’m happy.

Our gas water heater is in a remote part of our basement. Originally, it was surrounded by junk the old tenants had left behind, but we quickly got around to cleaning and clearing that space. If you’re not familiar with it, gas heaters pose a large risk of fire or explosion if too many items crowd the area where the heater sits. It’s not a highly dangerous threat once the heater has space to breathe, but if you’re installing a new gas water heater, you’ll want to make sure to keep it in a place where kids won’t be playing or things won’t crowd it.

In the end, we are very happy with our water heater. My wife often does laundry while I’m in the shower and I never feel even the slightest change in temperature. For a small family like ours, we have enough stored water that we can all be using hot water and we wouldn’t even know about it.

Maintenance is easy. You never really need to check on the heater unless your water doesn’t feel hot enough, and at that rate it may be because the pilot is out. I would recommend going there at least once a month though and scrubbing the plumbing with a solution of soapy water. Gas doesn’t always have a potent smell, especially if it’s in a remote area. Making sure you don’t have a gas leak will take about 5 minutes of your time and can save you and your families lives.

As long as we stay in this home, we will never see a heater that isn’t gas-powered. I'll wrap this up by saying that if you're wanting a new gas water heater, you'll definitely want to look at www.plumbersstock.com before buying.

Tom

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