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April showers bring May flowers and changes to the landscape of water heaters! If you own an aging water heater (8-10 years old) you may want to read this post.  Changes to the code will increase costs, size, and possibly limit availability of your current model! You’ve heard the term “change is good.” But how do you feel about the elimination of the 65 and 80 gallon electric water heater that’s on the horizon today?

If you haven’t heard– the countdown is on. A new rule set out by the National Appliance Energy Conservation Act (NAECA) takes effect on April 16, 2015, requiring higher Energy Factors (EF) for residential water heaters. The biggest change happens to be to the all-time favorite water heater of many homeowners in Northern Virginia, the electric water heaters over 50 gallons.

Why the change to higher efficiency now on water heaters? According to Energy.gov, the DOE has worked with manufacturers of appliances dating back to 1990 to improve efficiency. The Department of Energy (DOE) determined that a revision to the energy conservation standards for water heaters would result in a significant conservation of energy. This higher Energy Factor (EF) rating will be on virtually all residential gas, electric, oil and tankless gas water heaters.

This new change to the manufacturing standards of water heaters is altering the landscape of water heaters installed by plumbers and plumbing contractors here in Northern Virginia. The new requirements are changing how the water heaters are manufactured, distributed and installed. And the question remains– will the manufacturers be able to build a large capacity electric water heater (over 50 gallons)? According to my source and my research on Bradford White water heaters, the only currently available electric water heater that has a capacity larger than 55 gallons and meets the new EF requirements, is a heat pump water heater.

So you’ve heard the phrase, “Going, going, gone!” That’s what’s going to happen to the current supplies of 65 and 80 gallon electric water heaters. So, if you haven’t been paying attention to this change in the manufacturing water heater code, now is the time. These 65 and 80 gallon electric waters heaters are not going to be available for very long. If you have an older electric water heater that could use replacing, now is the time to call a qualified plumber in Northern Virginia!

Have a question about how this change in water heaters will affect your household? Call the plumbing professionals at M.E. Flow with office locations in Winchester, Alexandria, and Leesburg. M.E. Flow covers the entire Northern Virginia area and has a plumber in your neighborhood ready to help you with these changes to the water heater code. Call us today at 703-777-2311 or fill out the form on this page to request an estimate!

Check out our other post, “New rules on water heaters could be a problem for tight spaces.”

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