Professional Water Heater Service In Kansas City Metro
Water heater service includes the maintenance and repair of an existing water heater, as well as new installations. Of the many modern appliances we enjoy in our homes, the water heater may be the one we appreciate the most.
Waters heaters provide us with all the hot water we need for bathing, cooking, laundry, and housekeeping. When the water heater stops working, and all that luxurious hot water is no longer available, we realize just how inconvenient it can be. That’s why it’s so important to have regular water heater service to keep things going.
Types of Water Heaters
There are several types of water heaters available that either uses gas, propane, or electricity. The most commonly used are electric and gas tank-style units. All tank-style water heaters essentially operate the same way:
Cold water travels through the dip tube into the storage tank. Electric heating elements heat the water inside the tank. As the hot water rises it leaves the tank and is carried through the interior water lines to the various rooms in the house that are plumbed for hot water (i.e. kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms). The tank itself acts as a reservoir for hot water, keeping it ready for use at any time. However, when the hot water in the tank runs out and is replaced with cold water, you will temporarily be without hot water.
As the modern world embraces new technologies, and people become more concerned with conserving energy, the tankless water heater is growing in popularity, especially in new homes. This type of water heater does not heat the water inside the tank and keep it on reserve. Rather, the cold water is heated as it flows through the unit on its way to a faucet or fixture. It is a more efficient use of energy since there are no reservoirs of hot water waiting to be used. Rather, all water is heated “on demand”, so you never run out of hot water.
In order to get the most out of your home’s water heater, you should conduct routine maintenance checks. Water heater maintenance should be completed by a licensed plumber who is trained in water heater repairs and service.
During initial installation, the water heater’s thermostat is set at a safe temperature. When in proper working order, the temperature will be maintained. If it starts losing heat, however, the thermostat may need to be adjusted or even replaced.
A possible cause of losing hot water in electric water heaters is a faulty heating element. Heating elements usually have a long life span, but they can burn out and need to be replaced. Periodic checks of the element can head-off the sudden loss of hot water by making sure the element isn’t corroded or worn out.
Sediment Buildup/Flushing the Tank
At least once a year, the built-up sediment inside the tank needs to be flushed; otherwise, the water heater could stop working or even begin to corrode. Although some modern water heater tanks are encased in a thin layer of protective coating, it is still possible for water to seep into cracks and rust the tank.
Designed to prevent rust inside the tank, anode rods, made of magnesium or aluminum, are located inside the water heater tank. As you probably know, this could seem counterproductive, as magnesium and aluminum rust very quickly in water, but with the corrosion occurring on the anode rod, and not the tank itself, it actually protects the tank from rust. Again, periodic maintenance, checking for a corroded anode rod, is necessary. Though anode rods generally last 7-10 years, if you find it necessary to change out the anode rod during the warranty period of the water heater, you should always replace it with the same manufacturer brand as the water heater. Third party models may negate the warranty of the tank itself, dependent of the manufacturer’s policy.
The temperature and pressure (T&P) valve keeps the water inside the tank at a safe level. If you see evidence of water coming out of the valve, it could mean that the valve has failed. If the T & P valve stops working, the pressure will build up, and instead of the excess water escaping through the valve, the water heater could explode – literally. Regularly checks to make sure the valve is working properly could be vital to your family’s safety. If it isn’t working properly, it will need to be replaced immediately.
A pressure reducing valve is also important at regulating pressure. PRV’s are designed to reduce the water pressure flowing into the home, and keep the pressure from blowing out water lines, fixtures, even the water heater itself. Generally, water pressure is set to 50-75 psi in residential properties. Many manufacturers will require a PRV in order to honor the water heater warranty.
If you’re moving into a new home soon, you will need a licensed, insured plumber to install the water heater system. An incorrectly installed water heater can cause plumbing problems and possibly safety hazards in your home. Furthermore, your homeowner’s insurance policy may have specific riders to that effect and could deny coverage if something happens.
Expansion tanks are secondary tanks attached to the water lines of a water heater. As water is heated in the tank of a water heater, it causes thermal expansion. Since the expanding water is prevented from flowing back into the water supply, it could build up inside the tank causing an explosion of the tank. The expansion tank also contains water, but also has a balloon or bladder inside. The bladder is designed to allow the pressurized water to push against it to relieve pressure, rather than building inside the water heater itself. Many manufacturers now require the presence of an expansion tank in order to honor the warranty. City codes also often require the use of an expansion tank. If your current water heater is without an expansion tank, a licensed plumber can provide you with a quote to install one, without replacing the entire water heater. All new water heater installations should include an expansion tank.
Professional Water Heater Service
In general water heater repairs and servicing should only be completed by a licensed and insured professional. There are many components of a water heater that can severely injure someone who isn’t properly equipped or trained. Properly diagnosing a water heater involves using several testing tools, and a careless move can expose a technician to scalding water or over 200 volts of electricity.
The friendly experts at All-n-One Plumbing in Independence, MO are at your disposal to provide any water heater maintenance or service you may require.