We’ve all been there; you’re having overnight guests, including your special gourmet dinner meal. It’s seven o’clock, and the doorbell rings. They’re here! Time for you to shine.
The unforeseen and unthinkable happens; you start washing dishes as your guests settle into their accommodations. You expect plenty of hot water for dishwashing and evening bathing by your guests, but the faucet spews only cool water. Panic sets in; what happened?
To your dismay, you find that your gas water heater has died a sudden, inconvenient death. The repairman, whom you are paying overtime, gives you the bad news; your gas water heater won’t hold a pilot light. He can’t fix it; it must be replaced. No, he can’t do it tonight; your guests are stuck with cold showers.
Choosing And Maintaining The Right Gas Water Heater
The above social nightmare is actually a rare occurrence. Gas water heaters are generally durable and easy to service and maintain. Depending on the brand, they can last for up to fifteen years, trouble-free. Using clean-burning natural gas as fuel, gas water heaters rarely lose their pilot light. Even when they do, re-lighting the pilot is often a simple job completed in five minutes. Just follow the instructions located in the customer’s manual. If the pilot won’t re-light, then it’s time to call a service technician; something’s amiss that you can’t fix on your own.
Before you choose a gas water heater, carefully consider your hot water consumption needs. The amount of hot water needed by a couple is far less than that required by a family of five. However, couples who plan to eventually have children should take this into consideration; what serves them well now – a twenty-gallon capacity gas water heater – will change considerably when the children arrive! Parents with several children will reduce their hot water needs when the children eventually leave home. Marketers of gas water heaters generally recommend a capacity of 50-70 gallons; it’s better to have more than you need than less than you need. Heaters with this capacity usually cost between $300 – $700, depending upon the brand and the service contract.
It’s recommended that you purchase a warranty for the life of the gas water heater. Although these appliances are exceptionally durable, there’s always the possibility that yours will “go down.” Without a warranty, it’s probably most financially feasible to buy a new gas water heater. If yours is covered by a service or replacement warranty, you’ll fare much better financially.