Heated water is among the greatest sources of convenience in the modern era. It is helpful for dishwashing, laundry, and bathing. Is there anything better than having a hot shower, especially after a long and tiring day? Heated water seems like it relieves stress. Hence, some homeowners might even remain in their shower for minutes. Waiting an entire day for a heated water shower, opening the tap, and entering the shower only to wait for several minutes until the hot water starts flowing from the showerhead can be disappointing and frustrating. Some homeowners hate bathing in cold water unless it is scorching outside. This makes the value of expert water heater repair services almost incalculable.
So, what gives? There aren’t hot showers for the remaining part of the day. Why is there no hot water? This might be caused by water heater troubles requiring a repair inspection. Any water heater, conventional or tankless, requires maintenance. However, the maintenance routine might vary based on the water heater model and age. The powering mechanism also plays a critical role.
Homeowners must invest in routine water heater inspections and maintenance by a reputable plumbing company. It might save them some money down the line. If a water heater is maintained poorly, its service life drastically reduces and might require a replacement only after a few years. Whenever you talk to any Universal City, TX professional, they regularly emphasize water heater maintenance and inspection. But what does it entail?
Gas and Electric Water Heating Unit Maintenance Checklist
Whenever you call in a water heater repair professional at your home for a water heater inspection and maintenance, they will check for the following:
Test the T&P (Temperature & Pressure) Relief Valves
The water heating unit’s T&P relief valve is usually at the top of the unit or on one side. It is solely responsible for the opening and releasing of water whenever the pressure and temperatures within the tank increase. Remember, overpressure within the water heater tank might make it explode. The professional first cuts off the power supply to the water heater and closes the cold-water supply valve. They then place a bucket below the pressure relief valve. Then, they check the T&P relief valve by lifting the tab to check whether there is any water coming out.
If the water flows out, the water heater repair technician will inform you that the tank is alright. If water doesn’t come out, the professional will replace the valve to ensure that the excessive pressure from the tank can come out. If the technician lifts the tab and some water is released even after releasing it, the professional will have to replace the valve; if the water continues flowing, the professional will drain the tank again and replace the valve with a new one.
Checking the Sacrificial Anode Rod
Water contains some contaminants and minerals, even the purest ones. This holds especially for homeowners who live in areas that receive hard water. Compared to soft water, hard water has more dissolved minerals, especially calcium and magnesium. Though hard water may be safe for you, it severely impacts the water heater.
Any untreated water deposits some sediments at the bottom of the water heater and on top of its heating element. This results in the corrosion of the water heater tank. Fortunately, a water heater tank has a mechanism to protect itself from corrosion; a sacrificial anode rod. This is a rod made from metal with a high corrosion rate compared to the water heater tank material. Hence, instead of the tank corroding, the metal rod corrodes.
But how does a water heater repair professional know it is time to replace an anode rod? The technician cuts off the electricity or gas supply to the water heater. Then, they open a hot water faucet anywhere within your Universal City, TX home to release the tank pressure. The plumber drains the tank by opening its drain valve.
If they notice that the water contains rust flakes, you’ve waited for a long time and might have to replace the water heater. But if the water is clear, the professional then inspect the anode rod. Below are some of the signs that it is time to replace it:
- If the sacrificial anode rod has some core steel wire. The professional should replace the rod if about six inches of the steel wire is exposed.
- If the anode rod has a calcium coating.
- If the anode rod is below half an inch in thickness. This is because the thickness of an anode rod makes a world of difference.
Fortunately, replacing an anode rod is pretty cheap. It is recommended that you have a water heater repair technician replace the anode rod after every 2-3 years, although this also depends on the hardness of the water.
Flushing the Sediment
As mentioned above, the sacrificial anode rod effectively attracts corrosive materials. Unfortunately, it doesn’t attract everything in the water. Whenever the water heater refills, some additional sediments are deposited. Although you might not see the sediments fill at once, you should remember that the water heater tank is refilled several times yearly.
This means that the sediments will keep accumulating on the walls and top of the heating element, affecting the unit’s heating efficiency. Hence, homeowners are advised to hire a water heater repair specialist to flush the tank and remove the accumulated sediments yearly. However, this might also vary based on the hardness of water at your place or the dissolved sediments.
Adjusting Water Temperature
Another maintenance activity that a water heater repair professional in Universal City, TX, might perform is adjusting the water temperatures. Ideally, the safe residential water heater temperatures are 120 degrees Fahrenheit. However, thermostat issues might make the water overheat or underheat. Too much hot water might result in scalding, while cold showers are frustrating.
Insulating the Pipes
The water heater repair technician can also insulate the hot and cold-water pipes to reduce heat loss during winter and condensation during summer. The professional will use a 3/8-inch sticky, thick foam pipe insulation that matches the diameter of the pipes. They also slide the insulation under the pipes.
Water heater maintenance is critical. It ensures that your water heater is operating in top condition and that your home has a constant supply of heated water. Whenever you need a water heater repair service, do not hesitate to contact us at bluefrog Plumbing + Drain + HVAC of San Antonio.