Water Heater Basics for Back to School

August means the end of summer and the start of a new school year. It’s a busy time for students of all ages as they work to make sure they’re ready for a strong start to the year.

Whether or not you’re busy with back-to-school preparations this August, it’s always a good time of year to focus on learning something new.

With that back-to-school spirit in mind, today we’re going to talk about some water heater basics and give you a general water heater lesson.

Understanding How Water Heaters Work

waterheaterThe basic function of your hot water depends on whether you have a tankless or a conventional water heater. If you have a tankless water heater, you have hot water on demand.

When a hot water faucet is turned on, cold water travels through your heating unit and is heated with either gas power or an electric element. In contrast, in a conventional unit, water is heated and stored in a tank until needed.

In these units, cold water comes into the tank through a dip tube and then is either heated through a gas burner or an electric heating element, depending on the type of unit you have. When a hot water faucet is open, cold water comes into the unit and pushes hot water out.

Staying on Top of Water Heater Maintenance

waterheatermaintenanceKnowing some basics about taking care of your hot water heater can help to ensure that it works effectively and efficiently, doesn’t cause any plumbing emergencies and lasts as long as possible.

One easy thing you can do to help care for your unit is to set the temperature at 120 degrees. This will help your unit run efficiently, will save energy and will still give you water that is adequately hot.

Next, it’s important to flush sediment out of your tank every year, schedule water heater cleaning services. As we’ll discuss below, sediment is one of the biggest causes of problems with your heater, so consistently cleaning it out will help to keep your system working well.

Further, it’s important to check your anode rod and pressure release valve. Your anode rod rusts so the rest of your tank doesn’t. As a result, you’ll want to regularly check its condition and replace it if it’s rusted. Plus, consistently testing your pressure release valve can help avoid leaks and water damage.

Signs Your Need Water Heater Repair

waterheaterrepairIf you know what to look for, it can be easy to know if your hot water heater needs to be repaired. Identifying when there’s a problem can help to avoid both an outage and a plumbing emergency.

With that in mind, we’ll discuss some basic things you should be looking for. If your water is lukewarm, it probably means that there’s sediment buildup in your tank. If so, your water heater needs to be flushed out.

Similarly, if you hear popping sounds from your water heater it’s usually a sign that sediment or minerals are causing problems. This generally means they have formed a layer on the surface of your water heater.

Again, start with a flushing. If the sound continues after that it could mean you’re on the cusp of a crack or a leak. If your heater is leaking or if your water is coming out cloudy, it likely indicates that your water heater is failing.

If you see any of these signs, it’s a good idea to address them as soon as possible before your heater cracks, leaks or goes out. Call Water Heater Medic at (860) 896-3342 if you need your water heater upgraded or have any questions about your water heater.