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types of residential water heaters

What Kinds of Water Heaters Are There?

There are three distinct types of water heaters, each with its own unique set of advantages and disadvantages.

1. Storage Water Heater

The most common water heater type is a storage, or tank water heater. These store a set amount of heated water in a holding tank. The tank water heater can be powered by electricity or gas, and the supply of hot water is limited by the tank size. One major drawback is having to balance household activities to make sure there is adequate hot water supply for each, so that no one is stuck with a cold shower before the supply can replenish.

2. Tankless Water Heater

Tankless, or on-demand water heaters are growing in popularity, largely due to their ability to produce an endless supply of hot water, despite the amount of usage. These can be either gas or electric, similarly to tank water heaters. Tankless water heaters are also the most eco-friendly, since they only heat water when it is needed.

3. Solar Water Heater

Renewable solar energy is currently the only “free” option for water heaters. They are not appropriate for every home and situation, but if the conditions are right, they are a fantastic investment. Conditions including the roof direction, area or residence, and size of the family must be met to qualify your home for solar power.


Water heaters are one of the hardest working appliances in any home.

Most of us take our water heater for granted, along with the luxury of having piping hot water dispensed from any tap in your home, on demand. Many homeowners don’t even think about their water heater until it causes problems.

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What Should The Water Temperature Be?

No matter which style of water heater you choose for you home, the safest and most recommended temperature is 120 degrees. In order to pass an inspection, the temperature must be set at 120 degrees, exactly- this is a code requirement. We always recommend this setting, which is sufficient to kill any bacteria or germs that may reside in the water supply, but it is cool enough to avoid scalding, which is much safer for children, pets, and you too! If you absolutely must have a steaming hot shower, please remember that setting the temperature at 125 or 130 degrees is still much safer than the maximum setting on your water heater.

Plumbing Services in Sacramento and Surrounding Areas

For over 50 years Clarke & Rush has delivered high quality plumbing services to our customers. From simple leak repairs to plumbing emergencies, our professional team can take care of your home. We are known for the consistent quality of our work that has built trust and confidence in Clarke & Rush.

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