We only install the highest quality water heaters
Balanced Plumbing knows water heaters, and there are a few that we have used and highly recommend. Our years of installation experience in working with these products have taught us that these are the most reliable and dependable options when a replacement is needed.
A.O. Smith, GPHE-50 Vertex™ Power-Vent 50-Gallon Gas Water Heater From A.O. Smith
A.O. Smith is our favorite brand for water heaters because their products are very dependable and innovative. The GPHE-50 Power Vent features a 50-gallon tank and a 76,000 BTU gas burner (we also recommend the 100-gallon). This high efficiency, tank-style water heater delivers a thermal efficiency of 90% and a recovery rate of 92 gallons per hour. We prefer to use the GPHE-50/100 Power Vent because it carries a 6-year limited warranty and meets Low NOx emission requirements.
A.O. Smith, GCV-50 ProMax® 50-Gallon Gas Water Heater From A.O. Smith
The ProMax® 300/301 Series gas water heater features a 50-gallon tank and a 40,000 BTU gas burner. This economical, tank-style water heater delivers a first-hour rating of 88 gallons and a recovery rate of 41 gallons per hour. We prefer to use the ProMax® series because it carries a 6-year limited warranty and meets Low NOx emission requirements. With a 0.58 Energy Factor, this water heater is not ENERGY STAR® qualified.
A.O. Smith, ATI-540H-N Tankless Water Heater From A.O. Smith
The ATI-540H-N tankless water heater uses up to 199,000 BTUs of natural gas to deliver a max flow rate of 6.6 GPM. We highly recommend the ATI-540H-N because it utilizes condensing technology to achieve an Energy Factor of 0.95, and is ENERGY STAR® qualified. This model meets Ultra-Low NOx emission requirements and comes with a 15-year limited warranty.
“When it comes to high-efficiency tankless water heaters, no one comes close to matching the expertise and innovation of A.O. Smith. With higher efficiency ratings and groundbreaking designs, our tankless water heaters feature non-condensing and condensing technology and are part of a new era in water heating.” ~ A.O. Smith
Water Heater Maintenance
- Have you flushed your water heater lately? This boring but important chore should be done at least twice a year to remove the sediment that accumulates on the bottom of the tank. Sediment buildup shortens the life of your water heater and adds to your energy bill by reducing its efficiency. Connect a standard garden hose to the water heater drain outlet near the base. Place the other end of the hose near a floor drain or in a large bucket. Draining 2 or 3 gallons of water is usually enough to flush out sediments, but always let the water flow until you no longer see particles in the bucket. Caution: the water will be hot.
- Water heaters are commonly installed at a pre-set temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit. However, the U.S. Department of Energy recommends a setting of 120 degrees for most households, estimating that this can reduce energy costs for water heating by over $400 per year. Plus, you’ll reduce the risk of scalding—water heaters that are set too high send thousands (mostly children) to hospitals each year with burns from water from a faucet. If you have a gas water heater, the temperature can easily be adjusted with the thermostat located on the tank. For an electric water heater, shut off power to the unit by flipping the breaker at the service panel, pull back any insulation to expose the thermostat, use a screwdriver to change the thermostat temperature in 10-degree increments, close the panel, turn the power on, and check the water temperature after one hour.
- The temperature & pressure relief valve is a critical safety feature of your water heater. It senses dangerous pressure buildup or excessively high temperature inside the water heater tank and automatically opens to relieve the pressure. A buildup of mineral salt, rust, and corrosion can cause a T&P valve to freeze up and become non-operational. Without an operational T&P valve, a water heater is at risk of exploding. That's why water heater manufacturers recommend testing the T&P valve once per year. The T&P valve may be located at the top of the heater tank or in the side wall and has a discharge tube that extends down toward the base of the tank. Place a bucket at the end of the discharge tube connected to the T&P valve; lift up the lever of the valve to open the valve manually; this will release hot water through the discharge tube and into the bucket; let the water flow for a few seconds, then let go of the lever and allow it to snap back into place, shutting off the water. If the T&P valve does not open and release water, or if it leaks at all after the test, the valve is bad and must be replaced.
- Many people are unaware of just how much the water heater's anode rod does in order to protect the lining of your heater's tank. The sacrificial anode rod is called that for a reason: it is sacrificing itself to save the lining of the tank. At some point, all of the magnesium or aluminum of the rod will have rusted away, and it will no longer have electrons to give up to save the tank’s electrons from the rusting process. When the anode rod has rusted away, the water heater’s tank may begin to rust, which will cause the water heater to fail—and you’ll end up paying hundreds for a brand new water heater. Replace the rod if more than 6 inches of the core steel wire is exposed, the rod is less than 1/2 inch thick, or the rod is coated with calcium.