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Each type of water heater has its own “failure modes,” the ways that it typically breaks down and requires water heater repair by our professionals at bluefrog Plumbing + Drain + HVAC of San Antonio, serving Boerne, TX. Most people are familiar with some of the problems that occur with standard tank-based water heaters, especially tank bursting and leaking. Hybrid water heaters have similar tank issues but use a sophisticated heat pump mechanism to capture heat and store it in the tank’s water. Tankless water heaters heat the water as it passes through, with energy saving advantages and no tank capacity limit, but they do require air vent maintenance to avoid significant problems. Our repair team can help you avoid urgent visits with regular maintenance, and take care of emerging repair needs at that time.
Tank Issues and Lifetime
For water heater repairs on tank-based models including hybrid types, one of the main goals is to keep the tank from corroding. That’s the main factor in determining the unit’s service life. Water quality is a factor, with hard water being hard on the tank material as well, and a device called an anode rod located inside the water heater as a partial solution. The anode rod sacrifices its own metal to balance the water condition, which also helps reduce the growth of anaerobic bacteria in the tank, the source of the rotten egg smell you sometimes experience from hot water taps. Sediment can accumulate, solid versions of the minerals in hard water, and when they settle in the bottom of the tank it can have effects on the unit’s heating operation and lifetime so water heater repair technicians should address it. You may hear the sound of bubbles escaping from the sediment inside the tank during heating cycles. With regular water heater repair and maintenance visits, your technician will be able to keep you up to date on the tank’s condition, and after a decade of service, it’s time to watch closely for the right time to replace it.
Heating Elements in Standard Water Heaters
If you’re experiencing strange changes in the way your tank-based water heater operates, it could be because a heating element or thermostat has failed. There are often two, and of course, if none are working, after checking the circuit breaker for electric models it’s time for a water heater repair visit. If you’re getting hot water only after a long draw of cold, or hot water that’s about half the usual volume before it runs out, you may have a problem with a single heater or thermostat. These are easily fixed by our team, as is an adjustment of the temperature to the recommended 120 degrees F for most homes.
Tank Overpressure Protection
Another reason for periodic maintenance for tank-based water heaters is the temperature and pressure relief valve, which usually has a length of pipe attached to guide any overflow to the floor and possibly a nearby drain. When the technicians test this valve and replace it if necessary, they’re preventing the tank from bursting due to overpressure or overtemperature situations, especially as the unit gets older and the tank walls weaken. In the worst case, in addition to major water damage, nearby people can be hurt by the explosion, so it’s a necessary precaution. If the valve occasionally leaks, it could be normal pressure relief or a sign of a malfunction, and our plumber should check it out.
Heat Pump Maintenance and Repair in Hybrid Units
In addition to electric heating elements, which are present in hybrid units as a backup when there’s not enough ambient heat for the heat pump to gather, there is a compressor unit that requires regular maintenance, somewhat similar to the one in an air conditioner and working on basically the same principle. This heat pump pulls heat, usually from the nearby air, and uses it to raise the temperature of the water in the tank. The tank itself requires similar care to a standard tank-based unit. One other component may need attention on a hybrid unit, and in fact, it can communicate the unit’s needs to the homeowner and plumber. It’s an electronic control unit that manages the operation of the components involved. It also manages the fan on many units, so if you don’t hear fan operation at times, that may be normal.
Tankless Water Heater Repair and Maintenance
Tankless water heaters use electric or gas heating elements to raise the temperature of the water passing through. When you open a hot water valve sufficiently, somewhere in the house, the water heater will sense the flow and turn on the heat, providing quick hot water that lasts as long as you want. The tankless unit has a control system to monitor water flow, heating, and other conditions and control operation. Maintenance and repairs are fairly basic in most cases, with vent cleaning a critical element, often indicated by a reminder light. Sediment removal may also be necessary to protect the heating element. Tankless units can last several times longer than tank-based units, and provide much greater energy efficiency than units that are constantly heating the water in their tanks.
Water Heater Maintenance and Repair Guides Their Lifespan
Whatever kind of water heater you have, periodic maintenance and repair visits are essential to avoiding urgent repair needs. They also help the unit last longer.
Your Water Heater Repair and Installation Experts in Boerne, TX
No matter what kind of water heater system you have, you can reduce your water heater repair needs by having regular water heater maintenance performed. For some types of units, such as tankless water heaters, basic maintenance activities are critical to keeping them functioning properly. At bluefrog Plumbing + Drain + HVAC of San Antonio, we help our customers in Boerne, TX keep their water heater repair frequency down for greater peace of mind. Give us a call and we can help you, too.