Chances are that the furthest thing from your mind when you stepped into your hot shower this morning was your water heater. Sadly, even though it’s one of the most important appliances a San Antonio, TX homeowner can own, a water heater is possibly the one that gets ignored the most. Until you are enjoying your hot shower and you are suddenly hit by a jet of ice-cold water. This is when you will start wondering whether water heater repair in San Antonio, TX will be enough or if you should start looking for a replacement unit. Regardless of your final decision, one thing is true, you are most certainly paying attention to your water heater now.
Water heaters are essential to modern life, no matter where you live. They make our days more comfortable and much easier than they would be without them. But they are not cheap, and when they break down, it may not be easy to choose between San Antonio, TX water heater repair and replacement. Because of this, there are a few things you should keep in mind about water heater repair before you run to the nearest hardware store to find a new water heater for your San Antonio, TX home. Let’s take a look at them now.
There Are Different Types of Water Heaters
Before you start making any decisions about water heater repair or replacement you should first know there are several types of water heaters on the market, all of which are encompassed in two large groups: storage tank water heaters, and tankless water heaters. Both are different and both have different advantages.
For the most part, storage tank water heaters are the most popular and common type of water heaters. They are given their name because they are designed around a large insulated storage tank where anywhere between 30 and 80 gallons of hot water are stored until your plumbing system directs them toward the fixture you are using. In this respect, these types of water heaters can be fueled by natural gas, propane, oil, and even electricity. One of their most important features is that they automatically detect the temperature of the water they contain and when it drops below a preset parameter, the water heater starts warming it up again. This cycle takes place over and over throughout the day, regardless of whether you are using hot water or not.
In spite of their popularity and how easy it is for a good water heater repair expert to fix these types of water heaters, one of the biggest issues against their use is that they are capable of wasting a lot of resources because they are not used at all hours of the day, so they are continuously reheating the water in the storage tank, one of the main reasons why more and more homeowners are opting for tankless water heaters when storage tank water heater repair is no longer a viable option, especially with old water heaters that are more than 10 to 15 years old.
For those who are energy conscious, nowadays, solar water heaters are becoming increasingly popular, especially in areas where solar exposure is consistent. In the case of these units, the power is supplied by the rays of the sun, which allows them to perform well in any type of weather. Solar water heaters, which can last up to 20 years in good working order, are normally installed on your home’s roof, mostly because this is the area of your house that gets the highest level of sunlight throughout the day, but this can complicate water heater repair when it is placed in a hard-to-reach area.
Following this line of thought, there are two types of solar water heaters: active and passive, with active water heaters requiring the use of a pump for an adequate distribution of water, and passive water heaters, which are less expensive than the active system and use gravity to assist in water distribution. Being that solar water heaters are relatively new, it can be a bit difficult to find the right water heater repair expert to help you when they break down.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, you will find tankless water heaters, which are also known as instantaneous heaters. One of the greatest features of these types of water heaters is that they help you save a lot of money on your power bill because they are designed to only heat the water you need, when you need it, while bypassing storage and sending it directly to the fixture that demands it. Because of their design and function, they also take up less space which can make accessibility for water heater repair much easier.
The issue with these types of water heaters is that they have a lower flow rate, which means they can only produce about two to five gallons of hot water per minute, which affects the number of fixtures that can demand hot water at the same time. For example, with a tankless water heater, you might be unable to take a shower and run your washing machine at the same time. One way to resolve this issue is to install a dedicated unit to each of your different appliances and fixtures. This means that you would have one for your laundry room, another for your bathroom, and yet another for your kitchen. This means that water heater repair and replacement could end up costing you more than that of a storage tank water heater.
Aside from these types of water heaters, you will also find electric heat pump heaters that rely on the use of electricity and which use the heat from the surrounding air to warm up the water that is held in the tank. These are a good choice for homes located in places that have warm weather year-round, and when they are, they can be several times more efficient than any other type of water heater.
Unless you have some type of unknown water heater prototype in your home, it is very likely you are already one of these types of water heaters. It is important to know what type you have because when you call for water heater repair, you should mention it so the expert will know what to expect upon arrival at your home in order to bring the correct tools to perform the desired task. In many cases the type of water heater you own will also determine the cost of any services performed on it, so, in the long run, certain types may turn out to be more expensive than others.
Is Water Heater Repair Your Best Option?
It is a proven fact that most homeowners would rather invest in repairing their most expensive appliances rather than replacing them whenever they break down. This is also true for water heaters, even though it is not always the best option. One of the first things to take into account when you are trying to decide whether water heater repair is the best option for you is the age of your unit. Typically, storage tank water heaters have an average life span of 10 to 15 years and more if they are properly maintained. On the other hand, tankless and solar water heaters can last 20 years or more when they are adequately preserved. With this in mind, if you know your current water heater is nearing the end of its useful life, you may be better off investing the money in a new unit rather than having to pay for constant water heater repair services that will only end up with having to replace the unit whether you like it or nor. Additionally, if your water heater is old, it might not work as efficiently as some of the more recent options, which can generate higher utility bills that will warrant a replacement as soon as possible, which in turn can save you more money in the long run. If, on the other hand, your water heater is relatively new or only a few years old, your best option is definitely water heater repair.
Before you start looking into the cost of replacing your water heater, you should consider getting a diagnosis of what is wrong and an estimate on how much water heater repair will cost. Some of the most common water heater repair issues will require an easy fix that won’t set you back too badly, such as a pilot light that goes out constantly, or tripping your circuit breaker more often than it should, in the case of electric water heaters. Other issues are worn out burners or heating elements, and thermostats that aren’t performing up to par. Focusing on the repair of these issues will result in having to pay lower prices than running out to buy a new water heater.
How Maintenance Can Help You Reduce the Need for Repairs
One of the best ways to avoid having to spend money on repairing your water heater is to think about the future as if it were about to happen. With this we are referring to having a solid maintenance program that can help you prevent potential problems before they even happen. Maintenance will also help you extend the expected lifespan of your water heater, helping you save money over the long run.
While some people prefer to perform their own maintenance tasks, it is always a good idea to give a professional plumber a call to do the job for you. With this you can avoid further damage to your water heater for lack of proper knowledge or skill. A professional plumber can also help you determine which type of water heater will work best for your home’s needs, and provide insight on whether it’s a better investment to repair your water heater or to buy a new one.
A good maintenance schedule, that is performed regularly, will ensure your water heater works efficiently and effectively for a long time to come, allowing you to make plans for its replacement when the time comes without it becoming a financial strain on your family.
Maintenance can also help you avoid emergency repairs, which usually end up being much more expensive because of their very nature, which is another reason why you shouldn’t skip this important part of owning a water heater.
Nothing is more annoying than losing your access to hot water in the middle of a holiday weekend, which is why maintenance is such an important part of having a water heater. If you don’t know how old your water heater is, or whether it has undergone any maintenance before, don’t hesitate to contact bluefrog Plumbing + Drain of San Antonio, TX to schedule an inspection before you end up looking at some serious repair expenses.
Finding the Best Water Heater Repair Professional in San Antonio, TX
When you are in need of a professional to provide water heater repair services to your home, there are a few things you should consider before you call the first company you find, including licensing and training. Not everybody is capable of providing high-quality repairs, and it is highly likely that you won’t want to have to call in different plumbers to repair the same thing over and over again. Make sure to ask your San Antonio, TX service provider for their license to verify it is current, and ask about liability insurance so you don’t end up paying for any accidents that happen while the job is being done. At bluefrog Plumbing + Drain of San Antonio, we pride ourselves in being the foremost experts in the repair of water heaters in the area, and we are always happy to provide an expert opinion that will ensure you keep hot water flowing through your home for a long time to come. So, if your water heater is starting to act up, don’t think about it twice and give us a call today!