A hot water heater is an expensive investment. That’s why it pays to hire a professional for any maintenance issues that may arise.
It’s important to remember that many manufacturers require regular inspections from a licensed plumber in order to uphold their warranty policy. Some common problems include: rust, sediment, and low water pressure. Visit https://www.hotwaternowco.com/ to learn more.
Having enough hot water for your household to shower and wash dishes is vital, but that doesn’t mean you want to be stuck with a faulty unit. Fortunately, many issues with water heaters aren’t as costly or catastrophic as you might think.
If you’re getting a steady supply of lukewarm water or your tank is running out fast, there could be an issue with the heating elements inside the tank. These are usually coils that are positioned at the bottom and top of your tank. The elements get their heat from electrical currents that run through them, which then heat the water in the tank. Over time, the heating elements can burn out or short out.
Replacing the elements is an easy job for a professional plumber, and it’s relatively inexpensive. However, you’ll want to have your home’s breaker panel inspected before starting this project to make sure that it hasn’t been tripped.
Another simple fix is to drain the tank and flush out the sediment to restore the efficiency of your unit. If you’re still having trouble, it might be time to replace your hot water heater.
Having a professional inspect your gas or electric water heater once every year will ensure that it lasts as long as possible and helps to keep your utility bills low. Most manufacturers require a professional inspection from a certified technician to uphold your warranty benefits, and you may even be able to save money by having the technician relight your pilot light, especially on gas models.
The upper and lower thermostats in your heater help keep the water a certain temperature. If your thermostat fails, you may notice that hot showers don’t last as long, or that you aren’t getting enough hot water at all. It’s important to replace your thermostat in this case to prevent scalding.
It’s also possible that your thermostat is simply faulty, and doesn’t register the right temperature. If you’re experiencing this issue, a new thermostat should give you better accuracy and save you money on your energy bill.
If your thermostat isn’t the problem, it could be that it’s time to drain and flush your tank. This is an easy job for a plumber, and it’ll help ensure your heater is running properly.
If you’re deciding to install a new thermostat, make sure to follow the instructions carefully. Most manufacturers have detailed directions for wiring your new thermostat, and it’s wise to review them before starting the project. You should also take pictures of your existing wiring, so you can match them up when it comes time to reconnect them. If you’re not comfortable working with electricity, consider calling in a professional to do the work. They will be able to make sure your new thermostat is compatible with your system, and that it’s wired correctly to avoid safety issues. They’ll also be able to provide you with tips on improving your energy efficiency. They can also recommend smart thermostat technology that offers connectivity over distance, and gives you the ability to set specific schedules to reduce your electric bills. This is a huge benefit for homeowners, and can pay for itself in a short amount of time.
Anode Rod Replacement
A sacrificial anode rod is a steel wire surrounded by aluminum, magnesium, or zinc. It is screwed into the top of a water heater to protect the tank from rust and corrosion. It works by attracting impurities to itself and saving the tank from deterioration. Eventually, the anode rod will deplete and need to be replaced. If you don’t replace the anode rod, your tank will corrode, possibly causing a leak and flooding your home.
Signs of a depleted anode rod include foul-smelling water (think rotten egg smell) and a hot water faucet that makes loud or multiple popping noises during heating. The anode rod should be replaced every three to five years or more often if your household uses hard water or has a water softener, which accelerates anode rod deterioration.
Replacing an anode rod is a simple project, but it does require a few tools and some mechanical ability. Start by shutting off the water supply valve and gas control knob to the heater. Next, close the hot water faucet to relieve pressure and drain a few gallons of water from the tank. Draining the water allows you to check the condition of the rod for rust and corrosion.
To remove the anode rod, unscrew it from the plug using a socket wrench. If the rod head is rusted to the plug, you may want to borrow or rent a 24-inch socket wrench for better leverage. A friend can brace the tank if necessary. Before installing the new anode rod, apply a thin layer of pipe tape to the threaded end of the rod. Wrap the tape clockwise if holding the rod upright and looking at it or counter-clockwise if you’re standing behind it and looking at it.
Dip Tube Replacement
The dip tube of your water heater does not get a lot of attention, but it is critical to the function of your gas or electric hot water tank. This unsung hero transports cold incoming water directly to the burner located at the bottom of your tank. Without it you would have very little if any hot water available to use in your home.
Over time, your water heater’s dip tube can break down and start to deteriorate. This typically results in small pieces of the plastic leaking out and floating around your water heater tank. When the dip tube floats loose, it creates a direct path for cold water to enter the tank and overtake your hot water supply. This can result in very short and cold showers.
If you are finding pieces of your water heater’s dip tube in your faucet aerators, shower nozzles or washing machine supply tubes, it is probably time to replace the old one. It is easy enough to do yourself with a few common tools, such as a flat screwdriver and a new dip tube. Start by shutting off power at the circuit breaker and draining the tank to remove the old tube.
Next, disconnect the cold water supply line from the water heater and remove the nipple at the top of the tank. Remove the corroded dip tube and cut a length of the new pipe nipple and dip tube – preferably made from a durable material such as cross-linked polyethylene PEX – and insert it into the opening at the cold water inlet. Ensure that it is the proper length so it reaches to the water level at the bottom of your tank. Reconnect the water supply line, restore power and turn on your hot water to check that everything is working properly.
Pressure Valve Replacement
A pressure relief valve (PRV) is an important safety feature of your water heater that can protect it from damage if the hot water system experiences too much pressure. Generally, fixtures in your home are rated for up to 80 psi. If the pressure is higher than this, your PRV can wear out and can cause damage to other parts of the system. If you hear repetitive knocking or humming noises when you turn on different fixtures in your home, this is often a sign that the PRV is worn out.
A puddle of water near the discharge tube on your hot water heater is another telltale sign that it is time to replace your temperature and pressure relief valve. This is a simple, inexpensive repair and you can do it yourself. The first thing to do is shut off the electricity and gas (if you have a gas water heater) and then open the discharge pipe to release the excess pressure. Make sure you have a bucket or pan to catch the water, and be careful not to scald yourself as it will be very hot!
Occasionally, the valve can become sticky and not be able to open or close. This can cause it to leak continuously or even rupture under too much stress. You can sometimes fix this by opening and closing the valve lever a few times until it snaps quickly back into its original position. If this doesn’t work, it is best to call a plumber.