Tips for Understanding Labels on Hot Water Heaters

August, 2014 by Alma Abell

13658730_xlUntil problems occur, many people don’t realize how important hot water heaters are for everyday life. Your household probably relies on one to wash dishes and clothes, take baths, and cook. Because these appliances are such integral parts of what you do throughout a typical day, it’s important to purchase them thoughtfully, whether you’re buying one for the first time to install in a new house, or need to get one to replace a faulty model that’s currently in your home.

Check the First Hour Rating

Hot water heaters should all include labels that feature information intended to help purchasers make smart decisions. Be sure to look for the First Hour Rating (FMR) on a heater before seriously considering it. That’s a measure of how many gallons of water the heater can produce in an hour.

The number should be bigger than the actual tank capacity because the heater will start making more water as soon as you use some. On average, a shower requires 20 gallons of water, so if you have several people in your family who all need to use hot water in some way, it’s a good idea to think about getting a hot water heater with an FMR of 60-70 gallons. An experienced plumber can help you more clearly determine your needs.

Look for the Energy Factor

As you might expect from the name, the Energy Factor is a measure of energy efficiency for hot water heaters. The higher the number, the more energy-efficient the unit will be. Although greater energy efficiency tends to increase the overall cost of heaters, have a long-term viewpoint and realize it may be worthwhile to spend more upfront if that means saving over time on your utility bills.

Get Advice About Hot Water Options from Your Plumber

You’ve just learned about a couple of useful bits of information that are included on labels for hot water heaters. Although it’s a good idea to get as informed as possible on your own, don’t underestimate the value of meeting with an experienced plumber who can give you more insight about the various options available to you, such as tankless heaters or gas tank high-efficiency models. Eventually, that expert can also help you with installation, so all you need to do is enjoy your new heater.

If you’re researching new hot water heaters, contact the experienced team at Best Plumbing Services. Their technicians can answer your questions and even offer financing options to make the cost easier to bear. The company serves clients in Riverside, CA and surrounding areas. Learn more at

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