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
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?
During 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!