Maximize Heater Life-Span With Regular Hot Water Heater Maintenance

As summer soon draws to a close, the nippy weather is about to set in. When the weather gets cold, it will be unbearable to use tap water for showers and chores around the home. Before winter officially starts, every household needs to perform a routine hot water heater maintenance. Regular maintenance is vital to ensure that you don’t encounter any problems when you need hot water the most.

If a water heater breaks down entirely and you need a replacement, a conventional water heater can cost $889 or more. On the other hand, if you have an instant water heater, replacement and installation can cost you $3,000 on the average. While there are some issues with water heaters that are still repairable, it is essential to keep an eye on the following tell-tale signs that could mean you have to consider a replacement.

• The water heater is ten years old or older.
• Water is not clear or at times rusty.
• Loud noises are coming from the heater.
• Leaks around the heating equipment.
• Not enough hot water.
• Water is not getting hot anymore.
• Water has a strange smell or taste.

These issues are universal regardless of the type of water heater you have. However, there are specific concerns with conventional water heaters that tankless heaters won’t encounter. Likewise, there are also unique challenges and concerns with maintaining an instant hot water heater.

Troubleshooting common problems with a conventional water heater

A traditional water heater consists of a storage tank where hot water remains on standby until requested. A majority of homes today still rely on traditional water tanks because it is a lot cheaper to install and. Conventional water heaters with large storage tanks are also preferred in large households with high hot water consumption. Most of the problems listed here can be fixed with simple troubleshooting; however, if you are not quite sure about what is causing the problem, it is better to contact an expert in hot water heater maintenance.

• Not enough supply of hot water. If the storage tank is not producing enough hot water, what you can do is to turn up the thermostat a little bit. However, be careful not to set the temperature too high or you might end up getting scalded on your next shower.

• No hot water at all. When there is no water at all upon turning your tap or shower, it is likely a caused by a blown-out pilot light. If your water heater is gas-powered, another cause can be a faulty thermocouple or faulty pilot control valve. On the other hand, if you have an electric water heater, the likely reason can be a defective heating element. While it is relatively quick to replace a faulty thermocouple or heating element, don’t take the chance to do it yourself unless you have the proper expertise. Contact a local hot water heater maintenance professional to do it for you.

• Smelly water is coming out of the tap. Bacteria build-up will cause hot water to have a rotten egg smell. This is a problem you can quickly fix yourself. What you need to do is flush the tank with water and hydrogen peroxide solution. Let the solution sit for at least two hours before finally rinsing with cold, clean water. If the problem persists, you may need to call a plumber.

• Loud banging or cracking noise coming from the tank. Several issues cause water tanks to produce noise. One of the likely reasons is sediment build-up at the bottom of the tank. When the sediment gets burned by the heating element, it will cause loud noise. Another reason for the loud noise is the heating element burning out. Removing sediment build-up is part of regular hot water heater maintenance, and you can do it by draining the water tank. Better yet, you can contact a technician to remove water from the tank or replace the burned out heating element.

• Tank leak. When you start noticing leakage on your water tank, then it might be time to consider a replacement. However, do a quick once over and check if the leak is something that is still repairable. Some of the causes may include too much water pressure, a broken drain valve, condensation build-up, rust, and corrosion. If you notice any of these problems, contact a plumbing and heating expert right away to see if you can still avoid a complete replacement.

These common issues with a conventional water heater are easily fixed and addressed by a professional. Don’t entrust your home’s water heating system on DIY repairs especially if you have little knowledge or experience.

Troubleshooting common problems with an instant hot water system

Tankless water heaters are a relatively new innovation. It does away with the bulky water storage tanks and heats water on demand. While it is considered a convenient and efficient solution, a tankless water heater can still suffer from issues that may lead to significant inconvenience if left unchecked.

• Mineral build-up. Hard water can cause mineral build-up within the heater unit. Calcium or magnesium sediments inside the heater can cause more significant damage later on. Experts in water heater maintenance advise yearly flushing to remove hard water residue from the water heater.

• System overload. A system overload happens when multiple usage points are demanding hot water in your household. When the system overloads, your heater will struggle with supplying hot water at a consistent pressure and temperature. When there is system overload, reduce the demand as much as possible or reset the heater. If demand is still high, you might want to consider installing additional water heater units at different points of use.

• You get a “no ignition message”. A no ignition message on your heater means it is unable to light. If your water heater is gas-powered, the problem is related to gas supply. If there is no problem with your gas supply and you get this message on your heater, ask a hot water heater maintenance technician to assess the problem.

• You get a “flame failure” message. This message relates to the heat supply. If you have a gas-powered heater, gas pressure may not be enough. With electricity powered heaters, a “flame failure” may be due to an electrical issue. There are several factors causing gas pressure to fluctuate. It can be because the gas line is too small, there is a combustion issue or regulator failure.

Instant hot water heaters are relatively low-maintenance and have a long life-span. Nevertheless, it does not mean that you won’t encounter problems along the way. If you are unsure of the cause for the issue you are experiencing with your water heater; you should call a professional technical from Fischer to check your home unit.

Importance of water heater maintenance by hiring a professional technician

Water heater units are expected to last at least 10 to 12 years and even longer if you have a tankless water heater. One of the common misconceptions is that if you have a relatively new heater, there is no need for regular maintenance. On the contrary, a regular water heater maintenance is the only way by which you can reach the expected life-span of a water heater. Here are the reasons why it is beneficial to hire a technical for regular heater maintenance.

• Increase the efficiency of your heater. Simple issues like sediment or mineral build-up can make your water heater less efficient. Periodic flushing is either every six months or once a year. If you want hassle-free hot water heater maintenance, call a licensed technician near you.

• Reduce the likelihood of breakdowns. In the beginning of this article, we have discussed how much water heater replacements cost on the average. It would be less costly if you invest in yearly hot water heater maintenance than suffer the inconvenience of having your water heater replaced. Regular check-ups allow technicians to catch emerging issues with your water heating system such as corrosions, leaks, and other common concerns an untrained eye will miss. Only experts have the knowledge to assess each working part and see if there is anything that needs cleaning, replacement, or repair.

• No inconvenient surprises. Every home wants a reliable water heater, especially during the cold months. Nobody wants to be surprised with a cold shower or excessive leaking from their water heater tanks. You can prevent these from occurring by scheduling regular hot water heater maintenance from an expert plumber.

Keeping your water heater in good working condition is only a matter of picking up the phone and scheduling a check-up at least once a year. You’ll see that in the long run, the cost of regular maintenance pays off because your water heater will increase its life-span. Moreover, you benefit from the peace of mind knowing that you have sufficient hot water at the turn of the tap.
If you are looking for a reliable technician to check your heater or help you with repairs or if you are in the market to for a replacement water heater, call Fischer today through and schedule an appointment with their expert technicians.

Image Copyright: Andriy Popov / 123RF Stock Photo