There are two popular natural gas systems that you can use to heat water - a traditional hot water tank or a tankless system.
Whether you are planning to buy or rent, first determine whether your current water heater is a rental. If it is, you should contact your rental company to see if cancellation charges will apply. Please remember that Enbridge does not rent or service natural gas water heaters.
Buying a natural gas water heater
If you want to purchase a natural gas hot water tank, follow these tips:
- Ask your dealer for the water heater tank's "first hour rating," which tells you how much hot water the heater will supply during your "peak demand" (in the morning, for example, when most family members use the shower)
- Find a tank size that fits your hot-water needs
- Know the two types of venting systems for water heaters:
- Conventional venting uses a vertical passage to take flue gases from your water heater to outside your home, usually through a chimney or existing vent
- Horizontal venting goes directly from the water heater through your wall (this usually gives you more tank-placement options)
- Get tips on finding a registered heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) contractor to install your natural gas water heater
Renting a gas water heater tank
If you want to rent a natural gas water heater and already have a rental tank, please contact your current service provider. You may currently be under contract and subject to cancellation fees.
If you own or rent an electric, oil or propane water heater and would like to switch to a natural gas model, we encourage you to contact a licensed energy services provider.
If your water heater tank leaks
- Repair or replace a leaking water heater tank right away
- Leaks get worse over time and can cause serious damage
- If you rent your tank, phone your service provider
- If you own your tank, contact the store where you bought it
If you're dealing with a leak right now, follow these steps:
- Find the water supply valve and gas valve on your water heater. You will need to shut off both valves to limit water damage and stop gas flow to the burner.
- The water supply valve is on the cold water pipe near the top of your tank. (In some cases it may be several feet away. You may also have to shut off the water supply to the whole house. The shut-off valve is usually in the same place as your water meter.)
- The water valve handle resembles a tap or faucet. You may need to turn it several times to shut off the cold water supply to the tank.
- The gas valve is usually on the gas pipe (black or copper) that extends vertically to the bottom of the water heater. Use a small wrench to give this valve a quarter turn.
- If you have a power vent water heater with a fan at the top, be sure to unplug the fan's power cord.
Basic safety precautions
Be sure to read the manufacturer's instructions for operating and maintenance procedures. And, to reduce the risk of scalding and save energy, adjust your water heater temperature to 54°C (130°F).