Water heater repairs in Winder aren't always as easy as 1-2-3.
Water heater repairs in Winder are probably not on your list of top ten things you’re looking forward to this year. But can you imagine living without hot water? No hot water for showers, no hot water for washing dishes, no hot water for doing laundry - no way. For our hot water needs, we depend entirely on our water heaters to keep on chugging along. It’s funny that we are so dependent on them, yet we hardly give them a second thought. Until they stop working, that is.
So, if you have hot water issues, what can you do? The big question is, can a plumber fix the issues, or will you need to replace the whole tank? That’s where you can rely on the advice from the experts. Water heaters require careful treatment by knowledgeable, licensed, trained technicians. Not only are you dealing with natural gas lines, but you’re also up against a whole lot of gallons of water, and you don’t want either of those things leaking out.
So, let’s talk about repair vs. replacement. What are the repairable problems and what would require complete water heater replacement? We’ve broken it down for you. Take a look.
Problems Fixable with Water Heater Repair
Not Enough Hot Water
Is there ever enough hot water? One of the most common complaints plumbers get regarding water heaters is that the water isn’t hot enough or there just plain isn’t enough of it. There are a few reasons this could be the case, most of which are fixable with small adjustments or repairs.
First, the temperature is set too low. A bump up to a higher temperature could fix the problem but beware of setting it too high. Anything much above the factory default of 140 degrees could pose a scalding hazard.
Another reason for a lack of hot water could be a faulty or defective heating element. Replacing a bad heating element should fix the problem. If it’s not the heating element, it could be a faulty temperature gauge. Either of these issues should be relatively simple to repair.
A Noisy Water Heater
Your water heater should be relatively quiet. If it starts making noise when it’s in the process of heating the water, it could be a sign of sediment buildup. The sediment can buildup on the heating element and turn to scale which can create a whining noise.
If your heater is popping or rumbling, it could be the sediment has built up on the bottom of the tank. When this happens, the bottom of the tank overheats and causes the water to boil instead of heating to the desired temperature. Regular service that includes draining the tank annually can remove the sediment before it builds up on the inside of the tank.
Leaking Pressure Release Valve
Thermal expansion on the inside of your tank can cause the pressure release valve to leak. This is preferable to the tank exploding, which is what would happen as water expands when it gets hot if there’s no way to release that building pressure. A little bit of water on or near the valve can be normal. If you see more than a bit of water, it could mean the valve itself is leaking. This is usually an easy fix. A simple pressure valve replacement should do the trick.
Problems that Require Water Heater Replacement
Not Enough Hot Water
Sometimes this problem requires simple repair. Sometimes, however, it’s a sign your water heater needs replacing. Depending on the age of the unit, it’s possible it has reached the end of its life. The average life expectancy of a water heater is eight to twelve years. If yours is reaching those golden year milestones and you’re having issues with not enough hot water, it could be time for a new one.
The Water Heater Tank is Too Small
Another reason for too little hot water is a water heater that is just too small. Often a unit can provide plenty of hot water for many years, but as your family grows and your hot water demands grow with it, you need a more abundant supply. The only way to increase the amount of hot water you have available is by replacing your old, outdated, too-small system. You can figure out how big your water heater should be at the energy.gov website.
A Noisy Water Heater
A water heater that is making a lot of noise is sometimes repairable, as mentioned above. The problems that cause the sound can lead to a much bigger issue, however. If you drain the tank annually to remove sediment, that can add some years to the life of the unit. If you don’t drain the tank annually, or if the buildup continues even with regular maintenance, the sediment can get so bad that the tank needs replacement.
Water and steel together can lead to rust. If your water heater gets even the smallest amount of rust inside the tank, it can lead to corrosion. Once your tank starts to corrode, it will turn your water a rust color. While rust isn’t common when a unit is new or only a few years old, it’s inevitable once the unit approaches its expiration date.
Another problem with rust and corrosion, besides the gross rusty water, is that it can lead to a leaking tank. A leaking water heater can be a nightmare as it can flood the area and cause an enormous amount of water damage, not to mention a colossal headache.
Leaking Water Heater Tank
Your water heater will experience thousands of cycles of expansion as it works to heat your water over the years. This daily wear and tear on the metal of the tank can eventually lead to fractures in the tank material. While they might be small at first and not result in leaks, over time, the fractures will worsen leading to gaps that can lead to tank leaks. When this happens, there are no repair options. The only choice is to replace your water heater.
Increased Energy Bills
Have you noticed your energy bills gradually increasing? This could be the result of an inefficient water heater. As they age, they become less and less energy efficient. Even with proper and regular maintenance, they still can’t keep up as effectively as they once did. Replacement is the best option when they start using excessive amounts of energy to keep up with demand. And the latest water heater technology is significantly more efficient than older models, making it worth the investment. You’ll recoup your investment in energy savings.
When was the last time you tried to go without hot water? If you’re lucky, you haven’t had the pleasure. The truth is, none of us would last very long without this daily necessity. But just like any other household appliance, your water heater is subject to the wear and tear that can lead to breakdowns and issues. Fixing some of these is easy and affordable with some simple repairs that a reliable plumber can perform. Some just are not an easy fix, and in those cases, it’s time to replace your old heater and upgrade to a new one.
Whether your system needs repair or replacement, you can count on the professionals at Anthony Wimpey Plumbing for all of your water heater repairs in Winder and beyond.