Hot water tank changes mean problems for homeowners

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MENTOR, Ohio – If you’re looking to replace your old water heater, you may want to buy a new one now. The price for them will soon rise.

"The new energy code is mandating that all hot water tanks raise their level of energy efficiency and what that's going to do is create a couple of different problems for the homeowner and the contractor,” said Patrick Kotek, vice president of H. Jack’s Heating and Plumbing.

“The biggest thing is that the tank itself is going to become two inches taller and two inches wider."

The new changes will go into effect on April 16. Kotek said he’s already started informing his customers and employees.

He said there are still a lot of details that are unclear.

"We do know the size is going to change, and the price is going to increase on our end and, unfortunately, on the homeowner’s side,” he said. He said they’ll need two workers to install water heaters. Plus, they may have to move it to another part of the house if it doesn’t fit in the old location.

If you're dealing with a smaller space and don't want to buy one of those larger units, you can always buy a tankless water heater.

"The tankless water heater is much more efficient and it only operates when you turn on hot water to the shower, to the sink or to the dish washer. So if you think about all the time you're not home or not running water, that unit is turned off. It's not using any gas or electric, and when it does run, it's endless hot water,” Kotek said.

Since the new regulations don’t start for a few more weeks, he said people should think about replacing their water heaters now, rather than later. It’ll be a lot cheaper.

"The only ones we'll be able to purchase after April 16th are the news ones,” he said.

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