Having a new hot water heater installed is certainly exciting. You get to choose the new model, upgrading your tank size and efficiency as needed. But what you might not realize is that you can also choose a new location for your new hot water heater. That's right — you don't necessarily need to have the new water heater installed right where the old one was if that does not suit you. Here are some key things to consider as you decide whether you want to move the water heater and where you want to move it.
1. How long is the distance between the water heater and the nearest hot water tap?
The further water has to travel through the pipes after being heated, the more it will cool down before reaching the tap. For example, the water heater may heat the water to 120 degrees Fahrenheit, but by the time it travels through 30 feet of pipe, it may only be 110 degrees Fahrenheit. This forces you to turn the water heater up if you want warmer water, which is a waste of energy. If your hot water heater is a good distance from the most-used water tap, then see if your plumber can move it closer.
2. Are the materials around your chosen location fire-resistant and waterproof?
The chance of your hot water heater malfunctioning and starting a fire are slim, but this does happen occasionally. Leaks are more common, especially as the hot water heater gets older and begins corroding. As such, you need to make sure the materials around your hot water heater location are fire-resistant and waterproof. Don't, for example, install the water heater on a hardwood floor or next to the shelving unit that holds your valuable painting canvases.
3. How close is the location to the gas or electrical supply?
If you have an electric hot water heater, this is not such a big concern; it's pretty easy and inexpensive to run some wires to the new spot. You should still check that your plumber can do this, though. If you have a gas water heater, you don't want to move it too far from the nearest gas line as running new gas lines get expensive and time-consuming.
Keep the advice above in mind as you consider moving your hot water heater. For more specific advice, talk to a professional who provides water heater installation services.