Hot water is one of those items that gets taken for granted. You don’t realize how good it is until it is gone, then you panic. You probably didn’t plan on repairing or replacing your water heater.
Did you know that the normal life expectancy for a water heater that is regularly serviced is 8 to 12 years? Chances are getting routine maintenance on it is something that often slips your mind. This can cut its life even shorter. Throughout a traditional 30-year mortgage, a homeowner should expect to have to replace a water heater 2 to 3 times.
If you find yourself panicking in the Santa Cruz area, Anytime Plumbing is available to help you day or night with your water heater repair or replacement needs.
Basic Anatomy of a Water Heater
It is a good idea to familiarize yourself with your family’s water heater. This is just basic knowledge that can help you determine when it is time to call in a professional. Your knowledge can also help you explain the problem to a professional and they can be prepared to fix the problem.
- The Tank
- The water heater tank generally can hold 40 to 60 gallons of hot water. Around the inner tank is an insulation type of material. This helps keep the outside of the water heater from being hot to the touch and keeps the heat inside. Over this insulation is a decorative shell, generally a thinner metal.
- Dip Tube
- This is the tube in which water enters the heater from the source. This is the cool or cold water (depending on the weather) that will fill the tank from the bottom up and be heated.
- Heat-Out Pipe
- This second pipe is where the water exits the water heater tank and makes its way to whichever hot water faucet has been turned on.
- Shut-Off Valve
- If there is nothing else about the anatomy of your water heater that you learn, learn this one. The shut-off valve will be along the exterior of the tank. Generally, these are placed above the unit. This is used to stop the continuous water flow to the tank. If you have a leak, this may be the only way to temporarily stop the leak until it is repaired.
- Heating Element
- This is at the bottom of the tank and heats the water. In electric water heaters, these are located inside the tank. In a gas water heater, they use a burner and chimney type system.
- A thermometer and temperature control device to help regulate the temperature of the hot water that gets put through the pipes.
There are other anatomical features to your water heater, but you probably should not mess with them unless advised to do so by a professional. The professionals at Anytime Plumbing know the anatomy of a water heater and can repair or replace it should a problem arise.
How Do You Know Something Is Wrong?
Your water heater may give you some hints when it is ready to bite the dust. These signs can be subtle, or they can be a rude awakening-like a suddenly cold shower.
If you aren’t getting your water heater serviced and checked regularly, it is important to pay attention to it and look for the signs.
When you start noticing rust coming from your water heater, the time has come for a new one. Inside of the water heater is something called a sacrificial anode. This sits in your tank and rusts so that your tank does not rust out. When it goes bad, that is when your tank will begin to rust on the inside which will cause the tank to corrode.
If you keep your water heater in a naturally damp place, like a basement, there is a chance that the outside of the tank will begin to rust over time. Just as corrosion happens inside the tank, it can happen on the outside and damage the tank.
If you notice noises coming from your water heater, it can tell you a lot about its health. So, what do the scary noises coming from your basement mean?
- A common noise that comes from a water heater is popping. This is usually a sign that there is a build-up of mineral deposits and other sediments in the bottom of the water heater. This is especially true if you live in an area that is primarily hard water. The good news is that this is usually just a simple repair. Anytime Plumbing can flush these deposits from your tank and get you going as good as new.
- Screeching Sounds
- This can be an indicator that your water flow is restricted in some way. Having the lines checked to make sure there is not something beginning to block it.
- Crackle Sounds
- This is more prevalent in gas water heaters. There is a possibility that condensation has become built-up on the burner. Although an annoying sound, it does not require repair or replacement.
- Sizzle Sounds
- If there is a leak in your water heater, the sizzling sound could be indicative that the water is dripping onto the burner. If you don’t have hot water and it is making a sizzling sound or you notice water around the tank, then you may have a leak. This is when things get a little more complicated. This is when you need to get ahold of Anytime Plumbing to get your water heater fixed or replaced so that you no longer waste your water or energy.
If you notice water building up around your water heater or it is making noises, the best solution is to turn off the water and the power supply and call Anytime Plumbing. Water damage is not the only problem that can be caused by a leaking water heater. If it is a gas water heater, and the gas doesn’t get triggered off during a leak, it can create a hazard for the entire home.
Leaks can be as simple as a leaking valve or as complex as a cracked tank. The best thing that you can do as a homeowner is to have the problem assessed by a professional.
The easiest way to know if your water heater is experiencing problems is by its inability to heat your water. When this happens, it can be annoying, but it tends to occur at the most inconvenient of times.
That is why when you find yourself in a bind in Santa Cruz, Anytime Plumbing can come to the rescue.
Anytime Means Any Time
Water heater repairs and replacements can come up suddenly and we aren’t usually prepared for it. That is why knowing that you can call Anytime Plumbing, at any time, and an expert plumbing professional will come to your rescue is a relief all on its own.
Just remember, that if you need repair or replacement in Santa Cruz, Anytime Plumbing will be here for you.