Pros and Cons of Dual-Element Water Heaters

Water heater technology has greatly improved in recent years. While tankless water heaters get a lot of attention, they’re not the only “new kid on the block.” If you’re looking for a more efficient way to produce hot water for your home but don’t want the high upfront costs of a tankless system, then a dual element tank water heater may be the right sweet spot. Dual-element tank water heaters feature a top and bottom heating element that heat water in a more targeted, efficient manner. 

How a dual element water heater works

Electric tank water heaters have been around for a long time, but dual-element models take a slightly different approach. With a standard electric water heater, one heating element is used to warm up water inside the tank (in a natural gas system, this is accomplished with a burner). 

With a dual-element water heater, there are two heat elements – one on the top and one toward the bottom of the tank. Each element has its own thermostat, and only one element runs at a time. The top element turns on first to start the warming process. Once the water in the top half of the tank reaches the set temperature, the top element turns off, and the bottom element turns on to heat the rest of the water.

Benefits of a dual element water heater

Having two heating elements that run independently, dual-element water heaters are typically more energy-efficient than their single-element counterparts. Using less electricity can help lower your monthly energy bills and be better for the environment. Dual-element water heaters can also warm water quicker and more consistently. 

Disadvantages and drawbacks

No plumbing appliance is perfect, and there are some disadvantages to keep in mind with dual-element water heaters. First, single-element electric water heaters are easier to maintain. The parts for dual-element water heaters are not interchangeable, meaning there are different replacement parts for the top and bottom elements. 

Water heater advice and installation 

At Rick’s Plumbing, we don’t play favorites when it comes to heat heater technology. For us, it’s more important to find the right style and model for our customers’ needs. To find out if a dual-element water heater is the best choice for your home, give us a call today at (203) 874-6629.