Why Get Professional Water Heater Maintenance?

Avoid Getting Stuck Without Hot Water This Fall!

Hot water is such a ubiquitous part of everyday life in most American homes that it's easy to take it for granted. After all, it's used for everything from handwashing and bathing to doing laundry and washing dishes. So when the water heater goes on the fritz, everyone in the house feels the pain – especially as colder weather approaches.

Aside from old age, the leading cause of water heater failure is a lack of proper maintenance. And with the water heater tucked away in a garage, basement, or utility closet, it's easy to overlook or put off maintenance until it's too late. To ensure homeowners don't get stranded without hot water just as the chilly weather rolls in, this article will explain why routine water heater maintenance is so important, what it entails, and how to tell when the hot water heater is on the verge of a breakdown!

Benefits of Regular Water Heater Maintenance

save money Every homeowner should be aware of several water heater maintenance benefits. Firstly, it helps prevent unexpected breakdowns and other issues by addressing minor problems as early as possible. Along these lines, maintenance also helps prolong the unit's life by mitigating the effects of normal wear and tear.

A well-maintained water heater will also perform better and with greater energy efficiency, which can lead to lower energy bills. By improving the unit's efficiency and reducing or prolonging the need for water heater repair or replacement, routine maintenance can save homeowners loads of money in the long run!

What Is Included In Water Heater Maintenance?

water heaterDuring a water heater tune-up, a professional plumber will perform various tasks, which vary depending on the type of water heater. 

When servicing a conventional water heater, the plumber will flush the hot water tank to remove sediment buildup, inspect the anode rod (a device that attracts corrosive substances to protect the tank shell) and replace it if necessary, and test the T&P (temperature & pressure) relief valve. They will also check electrical connections, safety devices, and burners, replacing, tightening, or cleaning anything that needs it.

Tankless water heater maintenance involves most of the same tasks, although there's no water tank to flush and no anode rod to replace. However, tankless water heaters must be flushed periodically since mineral scales can accumulate inside the unit, interfering with the heat exchanger's ability to heat the water.

Mineral scale and sediment buildup can crack heat exchangers, clog pipes, and damage storage tanks, so flushing a water heater is one of the most important parts of maintenance. Generally, it's best to do this once yearly for conventional units and every 1-2 years for tankless units.

Signs that the Water Heater Needs To Be Serviced

Suppose it's been more than one year since the water heater was last serviced. In that case, homeowners should consider scheduling water heater maintenance to ensure the unit is in good shape and operating smoothly. But there are a few other signs it might be time for water heater repair or maintenance:

  • The hot water runs out faster than usual
  • The water doesn't get as hot as usual, doesn't get hot at all, or comes out too hot
  • The water temperature fluctuates frequently
  • Low hot water pressure (particularly if the cold water seems to have normal pressure)
  • The hot water is discolored or smelly
  • Water is leaking from the water heater itself
  • The water heater is making strange sounds (popping, rumbling, hissing, whining, etc.)

If homeowners notice any of these signs, there's likely a problem with their water heater. A simple maintenance visit may resolve the issue, but in some cases, water heater repair may be necessary. But if the unit is very old (10+ years) or the storage tank is leaking, a water heater replacement may be more cost-effective. To properly diagnose and resolve the issue, homeowners should consult a qualified and reputable plumber!

About A&A Plumbing

Since opening its doors in 2007, A&A Plumbing has become one of the most trusted and highly-rated plumbing companies in San Antonio. As an award-winning, family-owned local business, they are proud to offer up-front pricing, personalized solutions, and emergency plumbing service. They also offer a money-saving maintenance plan and guarantee 100% satisfaction on every job – so homeowners know they can count on A&A for water heater maintenance in San Antonio, TX!

When Does a Home Need a Water Softener?

Understanding Hard Water 

Water is called the universal solvent. What does that mean, exactly? It means that water can dissolve most things it comes into contact with. When water has dissolved a substance, that substance is carried around in the water until it is chemically removed or the water is distilled. This has huge implications for drinking water piped into homes daily. 

In nature, water is distilled as it evaporates into the atmosphere to form clouds. As the vapor condenses and forms rain, it picks up substances it comes into contact with. Once rain hits the ground, it picks up minerals and runs off to a river or lake that may serve as a municipal water supply. 

In many areas, the mineral profile of the soil allows water to pick up copious amounts of calcium and magnesium. These minerals are dissolved in water to a great extent that they can interfere with some aspects of modern plumbing. Here is a quick discussion about dealing with hard water by installing water softeners

How Do Water Softeners Work? 

water softenerThe solvent qualities of water are one of the things that can make it so useful. When water is saturated with dissolved minerals, it can have a hard time dissolving things like treatment chemicals or anything intended to be washed off a surface. Removing hardness minerals from water allows water to behave better in useful ways. 

To accomplish this, water softeners pull minerals out of residential water. Water softeners are installed at the service entrance where water lines enter the home. All of the water in the home is flushed across a bed of resin that captures ions. Periodically, the resin bed is flushed with a heavy brine to remove ions and refresh the resin bed. This process is automatic and goes on without any intervention from the owner. 

Signs Hard Water Is Present 

hard waterMost people may be uninterested in water softeners because they believe water is water. Most often, these people don't recognize the signs of hard water or understand how helpful softened water can be. Some of the signs that a water softener can be beneficial for a home are: 

  • Itchy, dry skin and hair
  • Poor-tasting water
  • Soap residue left on hair, skin, and dishes
  • Water spots on dishes and spotted glasses 
  • Dull, faded clothing with residual dirt and odors 
  • Crusty, white buildup on plumbing fixtures and appliances 

How Can Whole-Home Water Softeners Help? 

Water softeners can improve the water quality in a home, promoting health and prolonging the life of plumbing and appliances. When soft water is used to bathe, soap and grime are more easily dissolved and washed away. This results in healthier skin and hair. Additionally, soft water tastes better, promoting hydration. 

Water softeners are one of the best ways to protect plumbing. First, they remove the minerals that can form a scale on piping that can interfere with water pressure and corrode appliances faster, like the water heater. This reduces plumbing repair costs and prevents expensive water heaters' premature failure. 

About A&A Plumbing

A&A Plumbing can help every home achieve more healthy and helpful water. Water softener and water treatment options help owners protect their water supply. Call today for comprehensive plumbing service in San Antonio, TX. 

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Why Having A Water Filter Can Make the Summer Better and Less Expensive

The Benefits of a Whole House Water Filtration System

It is perhaps culturally understood that water put through a water filtration system is better. It may, however, leave people asking, “In what way?” If filtered water is better, how and why is this so? That is the question that this article will try to answer. Since most people don’t know exactly where their water comes from, it can be difficult to know what it may contain. When people are backpacking in the wilderness, they must carry water filtration equipment with them to keep from getting sick from the microbes that may be present in the water. Even though the water that comes into individual homes in residential areas is treated, there are still things that people may not want to ingest. Below, the paragraphs will discuss why filtered water is the best choice for any household.

Benefit #1: Improves Taste of Drinking Water and the Beverages Made from It

waterAnyone who has had to drink sulfurous well water knows the rotten egg smell that never quite leaves the water. It has very little taste, and such water is not harmful, but it is a bit unappealing. In the same way, even if a home doesn’t have well water, invisible elements can affect the water’s taste. Purer water makes for better-tasting water and better-tasting coffee, tea, lemonade, etc., because if there are contaminants in the water, they are in the drinks that use water as well. A few examples of the types of water filtration systems used in homes are listed below.

  • Activated Charcoal: This is often the first step in water filtration to remove things from the water that affect the taste of it. This is the most common filter in those that attach to a sink.
  • Reverse Osmosis Water Filter: This filter forces the water through a thin membrane that removes particulate matter, larger molecules, and even some microbes. This leaves the water purer and better tasting.
  • UV Filter: Though this is not a “filter,” passing the water through a beam of UV light does sanitize it by destroying any remaining germs.

All three of these filters are often combined with a whole-house filtration system. 

Benefit #2: The Water is Purer and Safer

Not only do filters make water taste better, they also make it safer. Everyone knows that water is healthy and humans need to drink a lot of it. But if the water has contaminants, it can do more harm than good. Some of the contaminants that filters remove are:

  • Chlorine
  • Fluoride
  • Hard water salts
  • Heavy metals
  • Iron rust
  • Microbes

This ensures that the water household members pitting in their bodies are actually good for them.

Benefit #3: It Pays for Itself

saveBuying and drinking bottled water can get expensive, and it can be very bad for the environment with all the plastic trash it produces. Having a whole house water filter can nip this problem in the bud. If a household uses reusable bottles and fills them with their filtered water, they can drink safe, healthy, and paid-for water. It is money-saving as well as helpful to the planet.

About A&A Plumbing

A&A Plumbing offers multiple-award-winning service to the Greater San Antonio, TX Area. Call them today for comprehensive water filter service from friendly technicians.

Unleash Your Eco-Warrior Spirit with a Tankless Water Heater

Say Goodbye to Bulky Tanks and Hello to Efficiency

Tankless water heaters are becoming more popular as an eco-friendly and energy-efficient alternative to traditional storage tank water heaters. These devices heat water on demand, eliminating the need for a large tank to heat and store it constantly. Tankless water heaters can save homeowners money on utility bills, reduce their carbon footprint, and save space. In this blog, look at the numerous environmental advantages of tankless water heaters and why they’re a good choice for a greener home.

How to Know When It’s Time to Say Goodbye to That Old Water Heater


As essential household appliances, water heaters require regular maintenance and replacement to ensure they function correctly. If a homeowner is unsure whether their water heater needs to be replaced, look for rust or corrosion on the tank, metallic-tasting or smelling water, unusual noises, leaks, and a lack of hot water. The age of the water heater is also an essential factor to consider, as units older than ten years may be nearing the end of their useful life. By recognizing these warning signs early on, homeowners can avoid more serious issues and ensure their water heater operates efficiently and safely.

Discovering the Magic of Tankless Water Heaters

Tankless water heaters are becoming more popular for homeowners looking for a more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly alternative to traditional storage tank water heaters. Unlike conventional units, tankless water heaters heat water on demand, continuously heating and storing water in a large tank. When a hot water tap is turned on, cold water flows through a pipe into the unit, where a gas or electric heating element warms it. The hot water then flows from the unit to the required faucet or appliance. 

Because there is no storage tank, there is no standby heat loss, and hot water is available immediately, making it more convenient for users. Furthermore, tankless water heaters only heat water when required, so they can be more energy-efficient, lowering water and energy bills. Homeowners can decide which type of water heater is best for their needs if they understand how tankless water heaters work.

Efficient and Eco-Friendly: Exploring the Advantages of Tankless Water Heaters


Compared to traditional storage tank water heaters, tankless water heaters have several advantages. Because they only heat water when needed, these units can be more energy-efficient than storage tank water heaters. This feature has the potential to save money on both water and energy bills. Tankless water heaters are also smaller, making them ideal for homes with limited space. They have a lifespan of up to 20 years, often longer than that of storage tank water heaters.

Furthermore, tankless water heaters are a more environmentally friendly option because they generate less waste and use less energy. Tankless water heaters also provide a continuous supply of hot water, which is especially beneficial for larger households or homes with high hot water demands. Homeowners can enjoy these benefits and the many advantages of this innovative technology by upgrading to a tankless water heater.

About A&A Plumbing

A&A Plumbing is committed to providing superior solutions to its customers in the surrounding areas. When working with them, one can expect nothing less than exceptional service from beginning to end. Since 2007, their expert team has been solving problems, and they understand customers’ needs throughout the area. Call A&A Plumbing for all San Antonio, TX tankless water heater services.

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Avoid Getting Stuck Without Hot Water This Winter!

3 Signs the Water Heater Is Close To Failure

As winter approaches and the weather in south-central Texas turns from pleasantly brisk to chillingly cold, the importance of a working water heater is not lost on San Antonio homeowners. Sure, cold showers may be a popular and refreshing health hack, but most people probably don't want that to be their only option - especially in the colder months. Unfortunately, that's when most water heater breakdowns tend to occur. 

But the good news is that water heaters seldom fail without warning - the trick is to spot the signs before it's too late and the home is left without hot water. So this article will share a few of the most common signs that a hot water heater is going out!


Problems with Water Temperature

Water temperature issues are among the most obvious signs of water heater trouble. Such issues include temperature fluctuations, running out of hot water, or lacking hot water. Sometimes, the problem may be a faulty thermostat or broken heating element. The cost of replacing these parts varies, but if the unit is very old, it may be more cost-effective to replace the entire unit.

Another possibility is that the water heater is undersized or outdated and can't keep up with the household's hot water demands. This is surprisingly common in growing families or older homes with aging water heaters. If this is the case, the solution may be to upgrade to a larger hot water tank unit or install a tankless water heater that rapidly heats water on demand.


The Unit Is Leakingleaks

Another common sign of a failing water heater is evidence of leaks on or around the unit. A water heater leak often results from smaller issues, such as a loose connection, damaged/corroded pipe, or faulty valve (the temperature & pressure relief valve is a common culprit). Fortunately, these are relatively quick and easy fixes for a professional plumber.

But if the water heater's storage tank is leaking, that's a different story. This can occur if the tank has become cracked or corroded due to inadequate maintenance - failing to regularly flush sediment buildup or replace the anode rod (a corrosion prevention device inside the tank) are the two most common causes of such leaks. A leaking hot water tank generally cannot be repaired, so homeowners will likely have to replace the entire unit.

Old Age/Wear and Tear

In addition to the specific issues described above, it may also be time for a water heater replacement if the unit is very old or in constant need of repairs. Traditional water heaters have a life expectancy of about 10-15 years or 15-20 for tankless water heaters (depending on how well they've been maintained).

If the water heater is over 10 years old (or 15 for tankless) but gets annual professional service visits and is still functioning normally, there's probably nothing to worry about. But if it's getting into that age range and frequently requires repairs, it will probably make more financial sense to replace it rather than shelling out for repairs and parts every year - not to mention that such a unit is more likely to break down completely.

If homeowners notice any of these signs, they would do well to contact their plumber to diagnose the issue rather than trying to repair it themselves. Professional water heater technicians can pinpoint the exact cause and make expert recommendations on whether to repair or replace the unit. They can also work with the homeowners to determine what type and size of water heater to choose based on the household's specific needs - if it comes to that!

About A&A Plumbing

Since opening its doors in 2007, A&A Plumbing has quickly become one of San Antonio's most trusted and highly-rated plumbers. As a family-owned business focused on personal attention, unbeatable workmanship, and stellar customer service, they have been honored with ServiceTitan's "Titan of the Year" finalist award and a 5-star rating on Home Advisor. They offer competitive up-front pricing, financing, and a money-saving membership program, so don't hesitate to call A&A today for water heater repair in San Antonio, TX!