Water heater buying decisions usually need to be made in a hurry. Water heaters often break down at the most inopportune time and there is little time to comparison shop. That's why we have prepared this Buyer's Guide. It will help you understand what questions to ask and some of the features to look for when making your water heater selection.
Ask yourself these questions...
What fuel source is available to operate the water heater, Gas or Electricity?
- Natural gas and Propane gas are the two types of gases typically used to operate water heaters. The different properties of the gases require water heaters to be designed and constructed specifically for use with only one of these two gas types. Make sure your water heater selection can operate safely on the type of gas you have available.
- Electric water heaters are typically designed for use on either a 120 Volt or a 240 Volt, AC (Alternating Current), power supply. The type of electrical circuit you have available to operate the water heater must be determined in order to select the proper model.
Will the gas water heater be located inside a mobile home?
- Special criteria and certifications are required for gas water heaters that are to be installed inside a mobile home. Water heaters for this type of application must be designed specifically for mobile home use. Sears Canada does not currently offer gas water heaters for installation in a mobile home.
Where will the water heater be installed in the home?
- Consideration must be given to any possible space limitations or special installation requirements. Choose a water heater that will physically fit into the available space.
Other factors to consider:
- Gas water heaters cannot be installed in a bedroom or bathroom.
- Gas water heaters should be installed indoors as close as practical to a properly designed and sized gas vent or chimney to which the water heater is going to be connected.
- Electric water heaters must be connected to an electrical circuit with wire and circuit breakers sized properly to carry the load.
- The water heater location should be as centralized with the water piping system as possible.
- The installation location must provide adequate clearance for servicing and proper operation of the water heater.
How will the gas water heater be vented?
Atmospheric and Power Vent gas water heaters are available to meet most venting requirements of today's homes. Atmospherically vented gas water heaters are the most common and can be used in various applications. This type water heater must be vented to a termination point above the roofline by using either a vertical standard B vent or masonry chimney. Power-Vent water heaters use an electrically operated blower assembly to mechanically exhaust the combustion gases to the outside. The vent pipe of a power-vent water heater can terminate horizontally through an exterior wall. Power-vent water heaters can be installed in locations where a vertical vent or chimney is not available and as far away as 40 feet from an exterior wall. The added flexibility of power-vent water heaters allows them to be installed side-by side with new high-efficiency, chimneyless furnaces or boilers.
What capacity tank is right for my application?
Tank capacity should not be the only consideration when choosing a water heater. A water heater's hot water delivery capability is a combination of storage capacity and its recovery rate or how much hot water it can produce in a one hour time period. The following Guide recommends the minimum combination of tank capacity and heat input necessary to satisfy typical household needs based on the number of people in the family*.
- If there are teenagers in the family, it is a good practice to move to the next larger tank capacity.Additionally, a whirlpool bath or oversized bathtub generally requires a water heater with a capacity equal to 2/3 of the capacity of the tub.
- Recommendations in the above chart should be used as a guide only. Hot water demands vary from family to family.
Consider these important features of Kenmore® Water Heaters:
DualWattTM Convertible Electric Elements
* The DualWattTM convertible lower elements, found on all Sears Power Miser 12 and most Power Miser 9 electric water heaters, operate at either 3800 watts or 5500 watts per hour input. This allows the water heaters to be safely installed on either 12 gauge wire with 20 amp circuit breakers or on 10 gauge wire with 30 amp breakers. When operated in the 5500 watt mode on 10 gauge wire, it increases the water heater's recovery capability from 65.5 litres per hour up to 94.8 litres per hour.
Self-Cleaning, Roto-SwirlTM Cold Water Inlet Tube
* The Sears, Roto-SwirlTM, cold water inlet tube found on all Power Miser 9 and Power Miser 12 water heaters, features multiple water jets that automatically create a self-cleaning turbulence in the bottom of the water heater tank every time a hot water faucet is opened. Mineral deposits will normally precipitate out of a water supply when it is heated. If these deposits are allowed to settle on the tank bottom or internal component parts of the water heater, it creates an insulating barrier between the heat source and the water. The Self-Cleaning, Roto-SwirlTM, cold water inlet tube keeps these deposits in suspension so they are flushed out of the water heater with the hot water, helping to maintain the heater's efficiency.
- All Sears Power Miser 6, Power Miser 9 and Power Miser 12 water heaters are constructed using extra thick, energy-efficient foam insulation to help prevent radiant heat loss through the tank walls and to help reduce energy costs.
T&P Safety Relief Valve
- To help ensure safe operation, the Temperature and Pressure (T&P) Safety Relief Valve is factory-installed on all Kenmore® series water heaters.
- Kenmore® gas and electric water heaters are available with warranty coverage against tank leaks or part failure for periods of 6, 9 or 12 years. Additionally, each Kenmore® water heater comes with a 1-year labour warranty. This means that if the tank leaks or a part fails within one year from the date of purchase, Sears will replace the water heater or part, with no charge for labour.
Installation and Service
- All water heaters should be installed or serviced so as to comply with applicable local, provincial or national codes. In most areas of Canada, the professionals at Sears or their Authorized Contractors are available to assist you with your installation or repair service needs.