Whenever your tub or shower water is cold, it’s time to check the water heater. Your hot water heater may be the newest fixture in the home, but that won’t stop it from malfunctioning. Some new water heaters may need only a simple repair. On the other hand, if it’s over a decade old, a water heater replacement may be in the cards. Either way, call Steve Mull Plumbing to diagnose your hot water problem, install a water heater replacement or fix the exiting one.
Identify Your Water Heater
Let’s identify water heaters. The tank water heater sits on the floor in a drip pan and stores water heated by a heat source inside the tank. Tank water heaters are bulky, stand in the basement or utility room and provide hot water throughout the home.
On the other hand, tank-less water heaters are mounted near proper ventilation and water pipes. It hangs from studs or wall board with screws and looks like an electrical box. It provides hot water to the entire house by a heat transfer system inside the box. It does not store heated water. Identifying your type of water heater will help you better communicate with your plumber.
Factors in Determining Whether to Repair or Replace
There are times when a replacement makes more sense than a repair, and visa-versa. Here are signs you may want to take note of. They include:
Your tank water heater enjoys a life of at least eight years. If after that time, the pilot light won’t stay on, the tank leaks or the water isn’t hot enough, the tank water heater may have to be replaced. If the dip tube breaks, the tank won’t heat water.
If it’s operating well after eight years, there’s still a reason to install a new one. It uses more energy when it’s full of sediment or it’s leaking, symptoms that develop with age. If the conventional water heater is old, replace it with an energy-saving tank-less heater and realize significant savings.
The Nature of the Problem
Every problem has a solution, and water heaters are no exception. When you understand how complicated the systems are, it’s surprising how simple repairs can resolve an otherwise hopeless situation.
Common problems with the conventional water tank heater include pressure valve failure, leaks, pilot light failure and exhaust leaks. Exhaust leaks may result in carbon-monoxide poisoning, so turn off the gas at the tank if you believe there’s a problem.
Despite their energy saver designation, tank-less water heater suffers from a myriad of problems too. The water filter may plug up. The gas line could be too small to accommodate both the gas source and the tank-less unit. Gas pressure is important in generating the kind of internal heat that a tank-less system must generate. The gas pressure problem may actually be a budget problem. Have you paid the gas bill? On the other hand, the filter can be cleaned by turning off the cold and hot water valves and unscrewing the water filter. Clean it with a brush and some dish detergent.