2015 Water Heater Regulations

Home & Business Owners
New water heater regulations start April 2015

It hasn’t made many headlines, but every home and business owner will eventually be affected by the new water heater regulations that take affect April 16, 2015.  That’s when a federal government mandate requires manufacturers of gas, electric or oil fired water heaters to increase their efficiency and not produce any more “non-efficient” water heaters.

At A-1 Sewer and Drain Plumbing and Heating, we have been following this news closely, we are up-to-date on all the changes involved, and we are ready to help folks in any way we can.

Here are some of the ways homeowners and businesses will be affected by the new regulations and some tips on how to handle the situation:

  • If your water heater is in a small space, you may have to install a water heater with a smaller storage capacity because the new water heaters are a few inches taller and rounder than the one you have now. This will affect water heaters in places such as closets, alcoves, apartments, condos, and spaces where access is gained by using a narrow doorway.
  • There is some good news if you are caught in the above situation. Distributors and general contractors are permitted to continue selling water heaters manufactured prior to April 16, 2015 for an indefinite period of time.  That means, if you want the same size water heater, you’ll need to get one soon before the stock runs out in Hampton Roads and nationwide.  With a new, same-type water heater you’ll be set for the next 8 years (and who knows what the regulations will be by then).
  • If the water heater you’re replacing is located in a garage or large area, the increased size to all new water heaters may not be a problem.
  • One option that eliminates any size problems is converting to a tankless water heater which does the following:
    • Produces an endless supply of hot water on demand, only when it’s needed.
    • DOES NOT store water in a tank where it is constantly heated while running up your utility bill.
    • Costs more than a standard water heater, but pays for itself in saved utility costs and length of life.
    • Comes with a 15-year warranty, versus a 6-year warranty on standard water heaters.
  • For more information on this issue you’ll find plenty to read by Googling “new water heater regulations”.

If your water heater is getting old and you want to discuss your options as April 2015 approaches, please contact us at (757) 467-0000 or click here to email us.


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Since 1987, A-1 Sewer & Drain Plumbing & Heating has consistently served the commercial and home plumbing needs of satisfied customers in Hampton Roads.  With nearly 30 years of work to our credit, our plumbing company is extremely proud of its A+ Rating with the Better Business Bureau.  Our Class A Contractor plumbing company and its plumbers in Virginia Beach and throughout Hampton Roads have more than 260 years of combined plumbing and drain experience, which means we’ve seen it all – the good, the bad and the ugly – and will solve your plumbing problem with integrity and professionalism.

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