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Advanced technology is surprisingly common in modern plumbing, both in our toolkit and in the equipment on which we work. For example, if you need a water heater repair and we suspect a leak in your pipes under the slab may be the problem, we have ultrasonic detection gear. On the other hand, hybrid and tankless water heater repair both involve electronic control modules, and we need to be able to perform water heater repair based on diagnostic codes, sometimes even repairing the control module itself. That’s why, at bluefrog Plumbing + Drain + HVAC of San Antonio, our team keeps up with the latest plumbing techniques and technology so we can serve you better in Schertz, TX and save you money. From video-guided sewer line repairs that can save the cost of whole pipe replacement to using thermal imaging to locate water leaks in walls, our tech skills make us even better plumbers.
Technology Even Helps with Basic Tank Based Water Heater Repair
Important water heater repair issues with basic water heaters revolve around tank condition and heating element operation. Tank condition is a long-term issue that affects the service life of the unit, and there are maintenance items that help keep the tank in good shape longer. Heating element operation affects the hot water temperature and supply, with a complete failure resulting in no hot water, and partial failure of a dual heater unit resulting in strange partial hot water service from the tank, varying according to which part of the tank is still being heated. For electrical heating elements, traditionally plumbers have had to disassemble parts and use a traditional electrical test meter to check components and determine the failure, touching the probes to the power and evaluating the results. That takes time and also exposes the plumber to electricity in the presence of water, which is always a time for caution. Modern non-contact voltage and current meters can help the plumber evaluate the power being supplied to the unit, the thermostat function, and the current being drawn by the heater without as much trouble and definitely avoiding the risk of direct contact with electricity.
Tank longevity is strongly affected by water quality, and instant-reading water quality meters allow plumbers to check your home’s water and determine the risk to the water heater. This may lead to recommendations concerning a water filter or water softener to adjust your water quality, which will help the plumbing and other appliances in your home as well. Your plumber can also determine the best type of anode rod to use in your tank, a metal rod available in several types that sacrifices its material over time to balance the water quality in the heater and keep the tank from corroding, and also protect against the growth of anaerobic bacteria in the tank that can produce foul odors in your hot water supply. Gauges to measure tank pressure and thermal sensors and imaging are available to check water heater operation and determine the need for water heater repair, should the plumber choose to use them. As always, experienced plumbers have a fine-tuned diagnostic process based on years of practice.
Hybrid Water Heater Repair
With standard tank-based water heaters, the homeowner has to gather clues and determine when to call the plumber for water heater repair based on those clues. Hybrid water heaters provide an audible alert and error code on most models, so the homeowner knows when there’s trouble even if it doesn’t result in immediate hot water supply problems. The plumber also has a fairly clear indication of where to start in the repair strategy, which is fortunate since hybrid water heaters have a variety of operating modes. Normally, they draw heat from nearby air which in a typical cellar installation is plentiful. If the unit is located in a garage or other area where the temperature could vary, there may be times when it switches over to electrical heating, similar to a standard water heater. The control module manages the switchover and runs the compressor unit for heat transfer or the electrical unit as needed. It may also operate a fan on an as-needed basis, which can confuse homeowners who wonder if the lack of fan noise at some times indicates a problem such as a fan failure. Fortunately, technology can provide the plumber servicing the unit with most of the answers about what components, sensors, other parts of the system are in need of attention.
Tankless Water Heater Repair
Tankless water heaters also have a control unit, and like the hybrid unit they can use it to get the attention of the homeowner and get repairs underway. For tankless systems, regular maintenance includes vent cleaning, and one of the more common messages from the control unit is simply a reminder that the vent needs cleaning to avoid problems. Tankless water heater systems also include a collection of sensors to determine if water is flowing through the unit at a rate sufficient to warrant activating the heater and to monitor the water temperature. Modern plumbers need to be able to understand the causes and effects of sensor failure and other control system issues in order to replace the correct part or perform other necessary repairs. Fortunately, tankless water heaters typically don’t need many repairs, which along with their energy efficiency makes them a particularly good investment for many households. Tankless water heaters also tend to have a significantly longer service life than basic tank-based water heaters.
Expert Water Heater Service and Replacement in Schertz, TX
The plumbers at bluefrog Plumbing + Drain + HVAC of San Antonio understand the complexities and technologies of modern plumbing equipment and appliances, including the expanding variety of water heaters available for homes in Schertz, TX. Count on us to leverage technology and skilled plumbing to solve your hot water problems and provide expert maintenance. Call us to schedule service or repairs.