Go Back

Water Heaters 101 for Back to School

Water heater 101 back to school

August is an exciting time of year as students of all ages prepare to go back to school. This fall, whether or not you’re going back to school, it’s always fun to learn something new. In keeping with the spirit of the season, today we’re going to give you a lesson on water heaters.

While you might not think about them too much, we all rely on water heaters every day for everything from showering to laundry to cleaning. Given the important role that hot water heaters play in our lives, today we’re going to talk a little bit about the basics of hot water heaters: how they work, necessary maintenance and common repairs.

How Water Heaters Work

waterheaterWhile tankless water heaters, which essentially provide hot water on demand, are becoming increasingly popular, most homes still have a conventional water heater.

In these water heaters, water is heated and stored in the tank of your water heater until it’s needed. Cold water comes into the tank through a dip tube, and it’s then heated through a heating component.

In a gas water heater, it’s heated with a gas burner, and in an electric heater, the water is heated by electric heating elements. When you open the hot water faucet, more cold water is pushed into your heater, which pushes hot water out of the tank and into your faucet. Hot water heaters use some relatively basic principles to ensure that you have adequate amounts of hot water readily available.

A Few Things You Need to Know About Water Heater Maintenance

waterheatermaintenanceBy properly maintaining your hot water heater, you can help to prevent problems and the need for costly repairs while also extending the lifespan of your water heater.

As a start, it’s a good idea to set your water heater’s thermostat at 120 degrees. This will give you water that is plenty hot, but will help you to save energy and to not overwork your heater.

Every year, you’ll want to flush the sediment out of your tank. This is important maintenance because minerals will build up and can create problems. By regularly flushing out the sediment, you can extend the lifespan of your water heater.

It’s also important to regularly check and replace your anode rod and to test your pressure release valve. Performing or scheduling this basic maintenance can significantly extend the life of your water heater.

Some Basics of Water Heater Repair

waterheaterrepairEven with the best maintenance, at some point, your water heater will need to be repaired or replaced. There are a few issues that commonly occur with water heaters.

One common issue is that it’s not heating properly - instead of getting hot water, you get lukewarm water. If this is happening, it likely means that there is sediment built up in your tank.

This can usually be resolved by flushing out the tank. A second common complaint is hearing a popping sound. Again, this is likely the result of minerals building up in the tank. You’ll first want to flush it out, but if the popping persists, it could mean that you’re on the verge of a crack or a leak and it’s time to replace the water heater.

Other complaints that might indicate that your water heater needs to be replaced are cloudy water coming from the tank or a leak from the tank. If you think that your hot water heater needs to be replaced or that you need to upgrade your water heater and are wondering about pricing, call RupCoe Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning today at (908) 226-1616.