Unfortunately, replacing water heaters at least once a year is a pricey expense for most residential properties. In areas where there’s a high mineral content inside the water (such as the mid-western states), you may get less time from a new water heater than you would from a model that’s just starting to wear out. That’s one reason that experts advise people to get a water heater inspection before making the final purchase. Here are some other common water heater replacement questions and answers that can help you make an informed decision.

Q. What is a drain valve? A. The drain valve is an essential component for most hot water tank models. It allows the water heater to release excess hot water through the drain valve, preventing it from heating up and boiling the house water before it has a chance to make it into the home.

Q. Is a tankless heater better for my home? A.

Q. How do I make sure that my new water heater replacement system will work with my existing heating device? A. Tankless heaters are generally compatible with many older heating devices; however, it’s a good idea to read your owner’s manual to check first. Make sure your heat exchanger is compatible with your tankless heater, too.

Q. Are there any warning signs that indicate trouble? A. There are a few warning signs that you should be aware of when considering water heater replacements. If the thermostat suddenly stops working, or if you see a temperature reading that has suddenly or radically increased, you should probably consider calling a repairman.

Q. Is my tankless heater really worth the money? A. While it is true that tankless heaters do require less energy than their tank counterparts, and they will last longer, the amount of money you will spend on a tankless heater replacement will depend on several factors. Some of those factors are the size of your household and how much hot water your family typically requires. A larger family with more usage will likely need a larger tank than a smaller household with a smaller amount of use.

Q. Is it better to have the water heater replacement or the installation? A. While both may require some work, the installation is generally easier because it does not require you to cut into your home’s walls or trenches, which may need to be done if you choose to have the water heater replacement.

Q. Will a water heater replacement cost more than a simple installation? A. While it is true that water heaters will often require you to hire a contractor who can perform the installation rather than simply hooking it up yourself, the cost of water heater replacement is actually more affordable than it was before.

Q. Why is tankless water heaters more cost effective than traditional water heaters? A. The efficiency of tankless heaters makes them far more cost effective than the older style tank heaters were, which meant that they needed to be repaired and replaced far more often than newer models.