Are Plastic Water Heaters Worthwhile?

Posted by in Home Improvement Tips, on May 5, 2018

Ask This Old House plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey weighs the pros and cons of a plastic tank water heater. Click here to SUBSCRIBE to the official This Old House YouTube channel: Cost: $1200 Skill Level: Expert Steps:
1. Determining whether or not a plastic tank water heater will work for you depends on a variety of factors:
2. Time: Since plastic tank water heaters are significantly more expensive than traditional steel tank ones, you will need to live in the house for a longer period of time to see any cost savings.
3. Energy Savings: If you’re looking to improve the energy efficiency of the water heater, the plastic water heater is pretty comparable to steel tanks in terms of efficiency, so there won’t be a significant improvement.
4. Fuel Type: This type of tank is only powered by electricity, not gas.
5. Maintenance: The tank itself has a lifetime warranty, so it won’t need to be replaced. However, the metallic parts of the tank are not under warranty and will still require replacement every 5-6 years or so.
6. Consider these factors when deciding if this type of water heater will work for you. Resources:
Determining what type of water heater will work best for you depends on a variety of factors, including how long you plan to live in the house, if you use gas or electricity, and how much energy efficiency you hope to gain from the tank. Carefully consider these factors before deciding what water heater should be installed. The plastic water heater featured in the segment is the Marathon electric water heater, manufactured by Rheem ( and can be found at home centers. While the tank itself has a lifetime warranty, the parts on the tank will still need to be replaced periodically, so check in with your local plumber to make sure he or she is comfortable servicing this type of tank. Ask This Old House TV
Homeowners have a virtual truckload of questions for us on smaller projects, and we're ready to answer. Ask This Old House solves the steady stream of home improvement problems faced by our viewers—and we make house calls! Ask This Old House features some familiar faces from This Old House, including Kevin O'Connor, general contractor Tom Silva, plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey, and landscape contractor Roger Cook.
This Old House releases new segments every Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Keywords: This Old House, How-to, home improvement, DIY, richard trethewey, kevin o'connor, ask this old house, water heater, plumbing, shopping Watch the full episode: Follow This Old House and Ask This Old House: Facebook:

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