Back To School Plumbing Basics: A Guide To Water Heaters

Everything A Homeowner Needs to Know About Their Water Heater

Something that often gets taken for granted until it’s gone is hot water. Water heaters are usually tucked away in the back of a utility closet, garage, or laundry room, so they are easy to ignore. However, just like every other appliance in the house, a water heater occasionally needs attention to work at its most efficient.

This is not something a homeowner should be expected to do alone; plumbing professionals are here to help. This article should help homeowners with a basic understanding of water heaters, the maintenance they need, and when it’s time to call in the pros.

Different Water Heaters

types of water heatersNot all water heaters are the same. Traditional storage tank water heaters can have different-sized tanks, holding anywhere from 20 to 80 gallons of water. Water heaters can have different fuels maintaining the water temperature, and the designs and how it heats the water may be completely different. Here are a few of the most common types of water heaters:

  • Electric Water Heater: The electric water heater is perhaps the most common. It has a storage tank heated by an element using electricity to create heat. The storage tanks may be different sizes depending on the household needs.
  • Gas Water Heater: A gas water heater uses a natural gas or propane flame from a burner to heat the storage tank. The storage tanks can also be of different sizes.
  • Heat Pump Water Heater: These incredibly efficient systems use the heat available in the air to heat the water in the storage tank. There is no heat source in these systems, and they are often part of a heating and cooling system for the entire house.
  • Tankless Water Heater: Also called an instant water heater and on-demand water heater. These systems heat water very quickly and do not have to maintain the water temperature in a large storage tank, making them very efficient. Though it is called tankless, there is usually a tank holding 1 to 5 gallons of water.

The Basics of Water Heater Maintenance

professional maintenanceThere are ways to keep a water heater running at its best and most efficient. Calling a professional for water heater maintenance is best because they have the knowledge and training to perform the tasks safely. This can prevent an emergency plumbing call later. Some of the tasks done by plumbers for water heater maintenance are:

  • Drain and Flush Water Heater
  • Inspect Anode Rod and Replace if Needed
  • Inspect and Tighten Pipe Connections
  • Inspect PRV (Pressure Release Valve)
  • Check For Leaks and Corrosion

Warning Signs That Indicate a Need for Water Heater Repair

Several signs can notify homeowners that their water heater needs professional attention. Perhaps an individual has kept up with their water heater maintenance, but the unit has started making banging or popping noises. Maybe the unit is more than fifteen years old, or rusty and smelly water comes from the tap when initially turned on. Perhaps the water just doesn’t seem as hot for as long.

All these things can be signs of a need for water heater replacement or repair. A homeowner should immediately call a professional to check out their water heater if they see any of these signs. The quicker a homeowner has a professional inspect the water heater after they notice signs, the less time is available for the problem to worsen.

About West Plumbing LLC

West Plumbing LLC has been a trusted plumbing company serving the residents of Chandler, AZ, and the surrounding areas since 2014. They provide flat rate pricing, always on-time service, and financing. Call them today for water heater services in Chandler, AZ.