Maintaining a water heater can help to extend the longevity of the unit and even reduce the costs to repair it. There are a host of different things you can do to maintain your water heater. Replacement costs can be quite high depending on your needs, so maintaining the unit might be your best option. Here are some tips for water heater maintenance in Virginia. Flush the Tank You should flush the tank completely at least once per year. When you flush the tank you can clean the sediment that has built up on the bottom of the tank. Turn off the electricity to the water heater or gas switch to the pilot light and then shut off the cold water inlet to the heater. Connect a hose to the drain valve and with the pressure relief valve open, allow the tank to drain to remove as much sediment as possible. Open all spigots in the house and turn on the cold water inlet to the tank. Then close each hot water spigot as water flows. Last turn electricity and gas back on. Insulate the Pipes You should insulate the hot and cold water pipes on the water heater. This […]
Hot water is essential to our everyday lives, from doing laundry, to showering, to washing dishes. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, water heaters account for almost 17% of a home’s energy use— consuming more energy that all other household appliances combined. As hot water accounts for a decent amount of home energy use, it’s important to use a water heater that’s energy-efficient. Due to their energy efficiency and other benefits, tankless water heaters are growing in popularity. Read on to discover the advantages of tankless water heaters: Save Money While tankless water heaters have a higher upfront cost than a traditional water heater, their energy efficiency helps you save money in the long run. The U.S. Department of Energy found that compared to conventional storage tank heaters, tankless water heaters can be 24% to 34% more energy efficient for homes that use 41 or less gallons of water a day. For homes that use around 86 gallons a day, they can be 8% to 14% more energy efficient. Also, tankless water heaters have lower operating costs and last longer than conventional systems, translating to additional cost savings. Save Space Another benefit of the tankless water heater is its […]
Performing routine maintenance and repairing your hot water heater when issues arise is the best way to maximize its life span and keep it operating at peak performance. If left untreated, minor issues can become more severe and even cause your hot water heater to fail completely. To ensure your water heater is running efficiently, contact our water heater repair technicians if any of these problems arise: Strange Noises A water heater that’s making unusual noises requires attention from a professional. Strange noises can occur when sediment accumulates at the bottom of the tank and the hard-water scale breaks off. This hinders your water heater’s efficiency, as it must now use more energy to heat the water, causing wear and tear on your tank. A water heater repair professional will resolve the issue by draining the tank and removing the sediment. Cloudy or Rusty Water Is cloudy or rusty water coming out of the faucet? In older tanks, cloudy water can occur when sediment builds up inside the tank. If this is the issue, a water heater professional can clean it out. Rusty water may indicate the inside of the tank is rusting, or the rust may be coming from […]
There are several possible causes that would reduce the temperature of your hot water. Start with your water heater; what type do you have: If you have an electric water heater, it could be a defective lower element or the dip tub could be missing; or if you have a gas water heater, it most likely is the dip tube (see FAQs – Dip Tubes). It is important to remember that in the winter months, the water coming into your pipes will be much colder. The remaining hot water in the tank is diluted (incoming cold water pushes out hot water). A change in shower heads can also impact the outflow temperature of your water. Only 2/3 of the water heater’s capacity is usable hot water – a 50 gallon tank would give approximately 33 gallons. If you have a showerhead that is limited to 2.5 gallons per minute (GPM), you would have 15-20 minutes until the temperature drops, but if you have 5GPM – you would only have 8-10 minutes of hot water. Here are a couple of tests that you can do: Don’t use any hot water for at least 4 hours. In a 5 gallon bucket with […]
Prior to 2003, a majority of gas water heaters were not considered very safe. They had an open combustion chamber which allowed an owner to relight the pilot by simply using a match. The danger of this, though evident, became a major concern as combustibles such as, gasoline; propane; etc. were being stored in close proximity of the gas water heaters creating a serious risk to the homeowner’s safety. Thanks to a new government standard established July 1, 2003, by the American National Standards Institution (ANSI), today’s residential water heaters manufactured are FVIR compliant and have proven to be safe and reliable – provided they are installed, used, and maintained properly. Together with the Consumer Products Safety Commission, the manufacturers developed this new technology – FVIR. The new design of the gas water heaters comes with a sealed combustion chamber with an air inlet allowing air to flow through the flame arrestor plate – made of perforated steel. If flammable vapors enter the combustion chamber, the flame arrestor plate prevents any flames from escaping by controlling the vapors. Additionally, this new design will no longer allow the pilot to be lit with a match but rather the pilot mechanism. Though, […]
What is the typical lifespan of a water heater? Although uncommon, some water heaters can last up to 15 years and sometimes 20 years. A standard water heater will last between eight and twelve years. The majority of tanks today are steel, lined with glass or porcelain. Over time most tanks will oxidize and deteriorate which produces a small peak – in some cases a disastrous leak. For this reason it is important to know where the water shutoff valve is located. Keep in mind that most water heaters decrease in efficiency as a result of sediment build-up, even if it is still working. Note – tankless water heaters can last 2 to 3 times longer than the traditional tanks, provided the owner cares for the unit properly. 5 Ways to Help Prolong Your Water Heater’s Useful Life A few things that can extend your water heater’s life: Install a 2nd Anode Rod: The anode rod is a sacrificial rod made of magnesium or aluminum that undergoes galvanic corrosion over time; thereby sacrificing itself and preventing corrosion of the tank. Install an Expansion Tank: When water is heated from 50º to 120º, it expands by approximately 2% (a 50 gallon […]
Expansion tanks can be installed anywhere on your homes plumbing systems; it is not necessary to be installed close to the water heater. We recommend installing the expansion tank on the cold line, downstream of the shutoff valve. Expansion tanks – though recommended by retail stores to be hung in the vertical position – can be installed at any altitude. Retail expansion tanks come with a Saddle Fitting, a device that clamps around the pipe with female threads that will accept the expansion tank.