Guide and tips

5 questions that can help you assess the reliability of your water heater

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Interview with an expert

It can be tricky to find out how reliable your water heater is and how to extend its lifespan. To help us learn more about this issue, we talked with water heater expert André Massé, Senior Products Manager at Giant.

First, tell us more about Giant.

Giant is a family-owned business and the only manufacturer specializing in water heaters in Canada. We have two cutting-edge plants located in Quebec. Every electric water heater is made here with key raw materials that mostly come from Canada. Unlike other manufacturers whose plants are located elsewhere in North America or in Asia, Giant is proud to support our local economy and reduce its carbon footprint in Quebec by avoiding the need to transport our products over long distances.

1. What are the factors that affect the efficiency and lifespan of the product?
First, I’d say that the quality of the device and its components is the number one factor that will determine how long a water heater lasts. It’s also important to define your needs in terms of water consumption so you can pick the model that suits your lifestyle. How long a water heater lasts also depends on the quality of the water. Another factor that will affect how long the water heater lasts is without a doubt the quality of its installation. It must be installed in strict compliance with regulations. You also have to consider the other devices in your home that consume water. Today, there are more refrigerators that dispense water and ice, dishwashers, washing machines, and ceramic cartridge faucets than there were a few years ago. All these devices may damage a home’s water network by creating excess pressure if the proper shock absorbers haven’t been installed. In fact, water hammer arrestors are now mandatory in new buildings because without these, excess pressure may damage the water network and every appliance connected to it.

2. Are there signs to watch for that might suggest the product is defective?
A water heater nearing the end of its life will start to sweat and leak. A few drops of water in the drain pan under a water heater may also be a sign that the appliance is defective. We recommend periodic checks to make sure the water heater is still operating correctly. Even though it’s hard to predict when a component will break down, warranties provided by the manufacturer are usually a good sign of how long they will last.

3. In your opinion, what are the main advantages of purchasing a higher quality product in a condominium?
If you call upon a professional to install a superior quality product in line with codes and standards, you’ll be able to benefit from peace of mind for years to come. I strongly recommend also installing a drain pan under the water heater which is connected to the floor drain. Another good option in my opinion is a leak detection system which can help co-owners prevent water damage.

4. You are the exclusive manufacturer of HydroSolution water heaters. How do your products differ from other models available on the market?
HydroSolution’s water heaters stand out because of their superior protection inside the tank and their high-quality components. Giant has a production line dedicated to these water heaters to make sure we comply with our partner’s high standards of quality. This model has a double coating of cobalt blue glass applied with a two-step process at high temperatures. The double-fired lining requires more time but ensures increased protection and maximizes the product’s lifespan. Other components also increase the water heater’s service life such as an oversized magnesium anode which provides superior protection against water corrosion, a drain valve made from brass instead of plastic, as well as the water entry located in the bottom to increase the quantity of hot water available. Depending on the quality of the home’s water and the installation, a HydroSolution water heater can last up to 15 years.

5. In brief, what are the three main points to consider before purchasing or renting a water heater?
Assess your water consumptions needs, make sure you are getting a high-quality product and sufficient warranties, and get your water heater installed by a qualified professional who has the insurance required.