Photo By Willowpix at istock
Understanding the different parts of your plumbing system and how they work is an important part of minimizing plumbing problems and saving yourself money. It’s especially important to understand how your water heater works since it’s responsible for delivering hot water to your Harvey, LA, home every morning. What’s more, it’s not uncommon to have a water heater problem that leaves you showering with cold water for a day. If you want to minimize water heater repair costs and keep your water heater in good shape, here’s what you need to know.
Perhaps the most important thing to think about when it comes to your water heater is its age. Homeowners tend to use the same water heater for quite a while, but these units aren’t designed to last as long as they used to. Even if you keep up with regular water heater repairs, experts estimate that a water heater should last about 8 to 12 years.
While you don’t have to replace your water heater as soon as it’s a decade old, it’s a good idea to keep a close eye on it when it’s nearing the expected end of its life. You may notice corrosion or leaking if you look at the water heater tank, which are both signs that it’s time to upgrade to something new.
Keep in mind that the expected lifespan of a water heater is assuming you’re keeping up with maintenance. If you neglect water heater repairs and maintenance over the years, you shouldn’t expect your water heater to last longer than a decade. As a matter of fact, some people have to replace their water heater before the 10-year mark as a result of poor upkeep.
As is the case with anything, keeping your water heater in good shape is largely a matter of staying on top of maintenance. This maintenance mainly comes in the form of having your water heater flushed of sediment every once in a while, although it never hurts to have an expert set of eyes looking for any problems you may not have noticed.
As far as having your water heater flushed goes, you should do it at least once a year. If you want to avoid repairs as much as possible, you can increase water heater maintenance to twice a year. By neglecting this maintenance, you’re allowing sediment to build up inside your water heater tank, increasing the risk of corrosion. While you can replace a heating element or thermostat in a water heater, there isn’t much you can do to fix corrosion.
The way you use your water heater also has an impact on how long it lasts, how good of shape it stays in and how well it serves you over the years. If you want the most out of your water heater, it’s a good idea to talk to a water heater repair expert about setting the right water heater temperature. Keeping your water heater at the right temperature means a reduced strain on the heating elements, which can extend the life of your water heater.
According to most plumbers, it’s best to set a water heater at 120 degrees F or lower. This is hot enough to kill bacteria in the water without being hot enough to burn your skin badly. Perhaps just as important is the fact that setting your water heater temperature to 120 degrees F will save you money on your monthly energy bill and water heater repairs.
Water Heater Problems
While water heater repairs aren’t the most common things, there are definitely problems you can fix without replacing your water heater. Knowing how to spot these problems so you can call a plumber as soon as possible is an important part of saving money on repairs and keeping your water heater in great shape for longer.
Heating element problems are the most common cause of a lack of hot water in your Harvey, LA, home. If your water heater is set to the right temperature but you’re still not getting hot water, you can have a plumber replace the upper or lower (or both) heating element to see if it fixes the problem.
Sometimes, temperature problems are a result of a bad thermostat. During a water heater repair call, a plumber will also take a look at your upper and lower thermostat to make sure they’re working properly.
Upgrading Your Water Heater
If you have a water heater problem that’s not easy to fix, it’s often better to upgrade to a new water heater. The thing is, choosing the right water heater can seem like a daunting process if you haven’t shopped for them before.
The most important thing to look at for a tank-style water heater is the first-hour rating. This tells you how much hot water you have access to, including the amount that will replenish over the course of the first hour. However, you might want to upgrade to a tankless water heater for better efficiency. These units only heat the water you need, which reduces energy costs and saves you money on water heater repairs.
For the ultimate convenience, you can install point-of-use water heaters in various rooms in your home. These water heaters are designed to provide a dedicated hot water supply for a room so you never run out.
Call the Pros
You have a lot of responsibilities on your hands if you want to keep your plumbing system in good shape. Not only do you need to keep up with maintenance, but you also need to hire a water heater repair company when you spot a problem.
If you need help taking care of your water heater, bluefrog Plumbing + Drain of New Orleans can help. If you’re having water heater problems but can’t seem to find the right plumber, call bluefrog Plumbing + Drain at (504) 229-4848 today.