Types of Water Heaters:

Which One is Best for Your Portsmouth Home?

Making the right choice can seem overwhelming if you're thinking of replacing your water heater. With so many options available, from traditional tanks to solar units and tankless models, it's essential to consider your family's needs before making a decision. That's why our trusted plumbing experts have put together a comprehensive guide to help you make an informed choice.

Traditional Storage Tank Water Heaters

Tank-style water heaters are a common choice for efficiently heating and storing water. These units come with insulated tanks that keep the water hot until it is needed. They can be powered by gas, electricity, or oil, depending on your preference and availability.


  • Tank-style water heaters boast a lower cost compared to other types of water heaters. This upfront affordability makes them an attractive option for homeowners looking to replace their water heater without breaking the bank.

  • One of the key benefits is the longer warranty periods that come with it. This provides homeowners with added protection and peace of mind.

  • When it comes to the maintenance of tank-style water heaters, keeping things simple is the name of the game. Unlike other appliances that may require complex procedures, maintaining a tank-style water heater is typically straightforward.


  • Traditional water heaters are notorious for their low energy efficiency, which translates into higher operating expenses for homeowners. These conventional systems tend to consume more energy to heat and maintain the desired temperature of the water, leading to increased utility bills over time.

  • The tank size of a water heater determines the amount of hot water that can be stored and supplied to your home. However, this limited capacity can sometimes lead to a shortage of hot water, especially during peak usage periods.

  • The risk of water damage is something that should not be taken lightly. A malfunctioning water heater has the potential to cause substantial damage to your property if it develops a leak or fails unexpectedly. This can result in the need for costly repairs and restoration work.

Tankless Water Heaters

Tankless water heaters are a modern and efficient alternative to traditional tank-style models. Unlike their counterparts, tankless units heat water on demand rather than continuously storing and heating water. This unique approach not only saves energy but also frees up valuable space in your home.


  • With the compact design of tankless water heaters, installation has become straightforward and hassle-free.

  • Tankless wates are energy efficient. They provide consistently low monthly bills due to their energy-saving capabilities.

  • Tankless water heaters offer a continuous hot water supply: You won't run out of hot water as long as there is demand.

  • One option that stands out for its extended lifespan is the tankless water heater. Unlike traditional tank water heaters, tankless models have a longer life expectancy, making them a smart and economical investment for those in need of water heater replacement.


  • Tankless water heaters have a higher initial cost compared to traditional water heaters.

  • Venting can often present a unique set of challenges for tankless water heaters.

  • There is a limited capacity for high-demand applications.

Heat Pump Water Heaters

Innovative heat pump water heater systems are renowned for their high efficiency and cost-effectiveness in heating water. By utilizing a small compressor, they extract heat from the surrounding air, making them an energy-efficient option for providing hot water in your home.


  • Heat pump water heaters are known for their high energy efficiency, which is achieved by harnessing the heat from the surrounding air to warm up the water. Unlike traditional water heaters that generate heat directly, heat pump water heaters use advanced technology to transfer heat. This clever process results in less energy wastage and more savings for you.

  • These innovative water heaters work by extracting heat energy from the surrounding air and using it to heat your water. This technology not only reduces the reliance on traditional energy sources but also decreases the harmful emissions associated with burning fossil fuels.

  • During a power outage, the heat pump water heater seamlessly switches to a backup heating element, ensuring a continuous supply of hot water. This backup element allows the water heater to maintain its efficiency and effectiveness, even without electricity.


  • The advanced technology and energy-efficiency of heat pump water heaters come with a higher initial cost. This initial investment may deter some homeowners from considering this option for their water heater replacement needs.

  • it's important to note that these models may have specific ventilation and space requirements that must be met.

  • One limitation of heat pump water heaters is their limited capacity. Compared to other types of water heaters, heat pump models may have a lower availability of hot water per usage.

Heat Pump Hybrid Water Heaters

A top choice for homeowners seeking both efficiency and cost savings is the heat pump hybrid water heater. These innovative systems combine the best features of conventional storage tank water heaters and heat pump technology to provide exceptional performance. Although heat pump hybrid water heaters may require a higher initial investment, their superior functionality and effectiveness make them a worthwhile choice.


  • Their increased energy efficiency leads to reduced utility bills.

  • They use renewable energy.

  • Hot water is available during power outages.

  • Longer lifespan compared to traditional storage tank heaters.


  • Higher initial cost compared to conventional storage water heaters.

  • Potential ventilation and space requirements that may pose installation challenges.

  • Limited capacity, resulting in a finite amount of hot water available for each use.

  • Risk of water damage if the tank fails or leaks.

Solar Powered Water Heaters

Portsmouth homeowners looking to save on monthly utility bills and prioritize renewable energy have an excellent option in solar-powered water heaters. These innovative systems come in two main types: active and passive systems, each offering unique benefits to suit different needs. By harnessing the power of the sun, solar-powered water heaters offer a straightforward and cost-effective method to save money on energy costs. In addition to the financial benefits, opting for a solar-powered water heater also allows homeowners to embrace a more sustainable and environmentally-friendly approach to heating water.

Active Systems:

Active solar-powered water heaters use pumps to transfer hot fluid from the collectors to a storage tank for future use. What sets active solar-powered water heaters apart is their efficiency and ability to generate significant amounts of hot water. By utilizing active systems, you can optimize the collection of solar energy and enjoy ample hot water supply for your household needs.

Passive Systems:

Passive solar power systems rely on natural convection to transport heated fluid from the collectors to a storage tank. What them apart is their low installation and maintenance costs. This makes them an attractive choice for those looking to optimize their budget. While they may not provide as much hot water as active systems, the

savings in energy costs over time can make up for this difference.


  • High efficiency, resulting in cost savings on energy bills.

  • Solar Water heaters use renewable energy from the sun.

  • These units have a longer lifespan compared to traditional water heaters.


  • Solar water heaters have a higher initial cost compared to traditional storage tank heaters.

  • The additional space and equipment requirements for solar water heaters may complicate installation.

  • There is a risk of water damage if solar panels become faulty or damaged.

Point-of-Use Water Heaters

One option that is becoming increasingly popular is the point-of-use water heater. A point-of-use water heater offers convenience and efficiency in a compact package. It provides hot water on demand, eliminating the need for a storage tank. This is particularly beneficial for those who have limited space or want to avoid the costs and inefficiencies associated with traditional storage tanks.


  • One of the advantages of a point-of-use water heater is that it eliminates the need for long pipe runs. With a traditional water heater, hot water has to travel from the storage tank to the point of use, often resulting in heat loss along the way. By providing hot water directly at the point of use, point-of-use water heaters minimize heat loss and ensure that you have hot water whenever you need it.

  • Point-of-use water heaters also offer versatility. They can be installed in various locations throughout your home, such as under sinks or near appliances that require hot water. This allows you to customize your hot water system based on your specific needs.

  • Longer lifespan compared to storage tank heaters.


  • Point-of-use water heaters have a higher initial cost and potentially need extra ventilation and installation space.

  • A lower hot water capacity leads to limited availability per use.

  • There's a high risk of water damage due to tank failure or leaks in tankless heaters.

Water Heaters With Hydronic Boilers

These innovative heating systems utilize water instead of air to circulate heat, providing both hot water for domestic use and space heating, providing both space heating and hot water for domestic use. By pairing them with tank water heaters, you can optimize hot water supply while ensuring affordability..


  • The high efficiency of water heaters with hydronic boilers leads to lower monthly utility bills.

  • Provides both space heating and domestic hot water.

  • Easy installation in tight spaces because of compact design.

  • These units have a longer life expectancy compared to traditional tank water heaters.


  • Higher initial cost compared to traditional storage models.

  • Their limited capacity results in less hot water per use.

  • There's a possibility of noise generation during operation.

  • Potential ineligibility for certain utility rebates or incentives.

Smart Water Heaters

When it comes to water heating systems, staying on top of the latest technology can make a significant difference in both efficiency and cost savings. Smart water heaters are the cutting-edge solution for anyone seeking an upgrade. By incorporating Wi-Fi enabled thermostats, these advanced systems allow you to effortlessly manage hot water consumption and expenses from anywhere.


  • By using a Wi-Fi enabled thermostat, homeowners can conveniently adjust the thermostat settings of their water heater no matter where they are. Whether you're at work, running errands, or lounging on your couch, you can easily regulate the temperature and operation of your water heater with just a few taps on your smartphone's screen.

  • Vacation mode is a handy setting that allows homeowners to optimize their water heater's energy consumption while they are away. Whether you're headed out for a week-long vacation or a weekend getaway, activating vacation mode can make a noticeable difference in your energy savings.

  • The compact size of smart water heaters means they can be easily installed and maintained, even in tight spaces.

  • They have a longer life expectancy compared to traditional storage tank heaters.


  • Smart water heaters cost more compared to traditional storage water heaters.

  • Some utility rebates or incentives may not apply.

  • Software updates may be required for compatibility with newer devices.

  • There are some potential security risks if the Wi-Fi connection is not secure.

Condensing Water Heaters

These cutting-edge models bring together the best features of tankless and conventional storage tank water heaters, providing an unparalleled combination of efficiency and performance. The secret behind the exceptional performance of condensing water heaters lies in their advanced technology. These models are designed to extract heat from the exhaust gases, which are typically wasted in traditional water heaters. By capturing and utilizing this heat, condensing water heaters are able to achieve superior energy efficiency.


  • By maximizing the utilization of available heat, condensing water heaters can significantly reduce your energy bills, making them a cost-effective choice in the long run.

  • Another advantage of condensing water heaters is their ability to deliver hot water on demand. Unlike conventional storage tank water heaters that need to continuously keep a large volume of water hot, condensing water heaters heat water as it is needed. This means that you will never run out of hot water, even during periods of high demand.

  • Condensing water heaters are known for their compact size, making them a great option for homes with limited space. Whether you have a small apartment or a large house, these models can easily fit into tight spaces without sacrificing performance.


  • They have a higher initial cost.

  • There are additional space and ventilation requirements.

  • There is limited hot water capacity.

  • There is a risk of water damage in case of tank failure or leakage.

How to choose the right
water heater for your home

When it comes to water heater replacement, choosing the right size is essential for optimal function and cost-effectiveness. A water heater that is too small can leave you with insufficient hot water, while an oversized one can be wasteful and take up unnecessary space. As a respected plumber who specializes in water heater repair and replacement, we understand the importance of selecting the ideal water heater size for your family's needs. We take into account your lifestyle and daily hot water usage to ensure that you have the perfect fit. By carefully evaluating your hot water needs, we can recommend the appropriate size that will provide you with both affordability and comfort. Our goal is to ensure that you have an ample supply of hot water that meets your requirements without any unnecessary expenses.

When should you
replace your water heater?

hen it comes to maintaining a properly functioning plumbing system in your home, having a water heater that works efficiently is essential. Your water heater is responsible for supplying hot water for daily tasks like showering, washing dishes, and doing laundry. Typically, water heaters have a lifespan of about 10-15 years. If you have had your water heater for this long or even longer, it may be time to start thinking about getting a replacement. Investing in a new water heater not only guarantees a reliable supply of hot water but also helps you avoid any potential problems and expensive repairs that can come with an older unit.

If you notice any of the following signs, it might be a good idea to start thinking about replacing your water heater:

  • Inadequate Hot Water: Are you frequently running out of hot water during showers or when doing laundry? This could be a sign that your water heater is struggling to keep up with your demand. Replacing it with a newer, more efficient model will ensure you have a consistent supply of hot water.

  • Age of the Water Heater: Most water heaters have a lifespan of about 10-15 years. If your unit is approaching or exceeding this timeframe, it's worth considering a replacement. Older water heaters are more prone to breakdowns, leaks, and reduced efficiency.

  • Rusty Water: If you notice rusty or discolored water coming from your faucets, it could be a sign that your water heater is corroding on the inside. Rusty water can not only be unpleasant to use but also indicate that your water heater is nearing the end of its lifespan.

  • Leaks or Pooling Water: Any signs of leaks or water pooling around your water heater are a clear indication that something is wrong. If the unit is leaking, it's often more cost-effective to replace it rather than trying to fix the issue.

  • Strange Noises: As water heaters age, sediment can build up at the bottom of the tank, causing it to rumble or make popping noises during operation. Not only can this be disruptive, but it can also indicate that the unit is nearing the end of its useful life.

Water heaters are essential for providing hot water in our homes, but like any other appliance, they have a limited lifespan. If you find that your water heater is not performing as efficiently as it used to, or if it's constantly breaking down, it may be time for a replacement. Yes, the cost of a new water heater and its installation can be significant. However, the long-term benefits far outweigh the initial expense. One of the major advantages of replacing your water heater is improved energy efficiency. Older models tend to be less energy-efficient, leading to higher utility bills. By upgrading to a newer, more efficient water heater, you can save money on your monthly energy costs.

Maintenance tips for

water heater efficiency

Regular maintenance plays a crucial role in extending the lifespan of your water heater and avoiding costly repairs. Over time, sediment can build up in the tank, causing your water heater to work harder and be less efficient. Flushing your water heater annually can help remove this sediment, improving its performance and potentially saving you money on energy bills. In addition to flushing the tank, it's important to check the pressure relief valve regularly. This valve is designed to release excess pressure in the tank, preventing the risk of explosion. Testing the valve at least once a year ensures it is working properly and providing the necessary safety measures. Inspecting the anode rod is another essential step in water heater maintenance. This sacrificial rod is designed to attract corrosion and protect the inner lining of the tank. Over time, the anode rod can become depleted and require replacement. Checking its condition annually and replacing it when necessary will help prolong the life of your water heater. In some cases, it may be beneficial to consider water heater replacement rather than ongoing repairs and maintenance. If your water heater is nearing the end of its lifespan or is experiencing frequent issues, investing in a new water heater can be a cost-effective solution. Newer models are often more energy-efficient, helping you save on utility bills in the long run.

Benefits of hiring a licensed plumber
to replace your water heater

When it comes to the topic of water heater replacement, many homeowners often debate whether to tackle the project themselves or hire a professional plumber. While the DIY route may seem appealing, there are compelling reasons why you should seriously consider hiring a professional for this task:

  • Opting for professional water heater replacement ensures that the job is done correctly and efficiently. Plumbers possess the necessary knowledge and expertise to handle such tasks, as they are well-versed in the intricacies of water heater systems.

    By entrusting the job to a professional, you can have peace of mind knowing that your new water heater will be installed correctly and function optimally.

  • Hiring a professional plumber can save you time and effort. Water heater replacement can be a time-consuming project, especially if you're not familiar with the process. Plumbers, on the other hand, have the necessary tools, experience, and skill set to complete the job quickly and efficiently. Rather than spending hours or even days attempting to replace the water heater yourself, you can leave it in the capable hands of a professional while you focus on other important tasks.

  • Choosing professional water heater replacement can potentially save you money in the long run. While it may seem like a cost-effective option to DIY, any mistakes or errors during the installation process can lead to costly repairs or even damage to your home. Professionals not only ensure proper installation but also provide warranties or guarantees for their work, offering you an added layer of protection and financial security.

  • Professional plumbers are up to date with the latest industry standards and regulations. They can provide valuable advice on choosing the right type and size of water heater for your specific needs. This ensures that you get a water heater that is energy-efficient and meets your household's hot water demands, ultimately saving you money on utility bills in the long term.

Hiring a licensed plumber for water heater replacement offers several benefits. From saving time and money to preventing potential issues, these professionals ensure a smooth and efficient installation process. So, before attempting a DIY water heater replacement, consider the advantages of hiring a licensed plumber to get the job done right.

Contact Us

One of the most significant investments you can make in your home is a water heater replacement.


PHONE:+(757) 379-8344

Newman's Plumbing Service and Repair

Portsmouth, VA 23701