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Consumer Reports Gas Water Heaters

Don't jump too quickly to replace your old gas water heater. Consumer reports gas water heaters should be replaced if the tank is corroded, or the warranty has expired. However, if you only need to replace a leaky drain, pressure-relief valve, or a burned-out heating element it may be more cost effective to fix your water heater.

Not too long ago replacing a broken water heater meant paying a few hundred dollars for a relatively inefficient storage tank model, probably much like the one it was replacing. However, new smarter gas water heaters are changing that. According to consumer reports gas water heaters is the way to go. Gas is the fuel of choice. Based on a national average of fuel costs, a gas water heater will cost you about half as much to run as an electric water heater. A gas water heater will cost a little more up front, but will pay for itself in a little less than a year.

Consumer reports gas water heaters have features to consider. The heating source that does the most efficient job is a gas heating source. Warranties can run from three to twelve years. You will probably have to pay a bit more for a longer warranty, but consumer reports found that the water heaters with the longer warranties tend to have larger elements or burners that can speed up water heating. This will increase the hat water available. Also, the tanks with the longer warranties usually had thicker insulation for less heat loss. Some brands; notably, Kenmore, State industries, and Rheem; advertise features they claim will reduce mineral scale buildup at the bottom of the tank by swirling the water. These are generally on the electric models. On your tank water heater there will be a valve at the base where you can attach a garden hose to drain. Look for a brass drain valve. Some models have plastic valves but these are not as durable as the brass. Look for glass lined tanks. Glass lined tanks are designed to reduce corrosion. While the water heater is be manufactured a coating is applied to the inside of the steel tank. When heat as it is applied it creates a protective porcelain glass-like layer.

And finally, safety is always a first priority. Residential tank-type gas heaters typically include flammable-vapor ignition resistance. This is to prevent flashback fires when vapors from a flammable liquid, like gasoline, contact the burner or pilot light. Make sure your gas water heater has this.

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