The water heater in homes is a plumbing appliance that is used the most. It operates 24/7, maintaining a consistent hot temperature. Water heaters never sleep, providing the sole task of providing your home with an adequate supply of heated water over the years. Some boilers may fail as time goes by, succumbing to advancing age, lack of or the incorrect maintenance, along with issues caused by hard water from the day of installation.
It is not necessary to be an expert in plumbing to know when your boiler or water heater needs help. One of the more common signs that a water heater is no longer operating as it should is when the temperature of the hot water starts to drop, or the hot water starts running out a lot quicker than it did before. Hot and long showers are no longer possible, or even having sufficient heated water for your dishes or laundry starts becoming highly inconvenient.
In the gas-powered units, a common failure point has to do with the thermocouple. This part shuts the supply of gas off once the pilot light has gone out. You can try to reignite your pilot light before you decide to call for help by following the recommendations and directions on the actual unit. If your pilot light goes out again, then the thermocouple may be faulty.
In an electric system, the more common causes for water-heater service calls have to do with a faulty or failing heating element. These water heaters use electrical energy that conducts heat into your water directly. This is unlike gas-operated units that use an open-flame to heat your water.
An electric heating element is submerged in a water tank for its entire lifespan, which is why they eventually start eroding, lowering hot water efficiency and output. When compared to gas-powered units, the electric-powered units are less energy-efficient. They also take a lot longer to heat the water tank.
The first thing you should do is try not to panic!
When you are faced with a "no hot water" situation, it can be frustrating and inconvenient, but there is a solution to your problem. The first thing to do is to check all the faucets in your home to determine whether the issue is isolated to one area of your home, or is the problem affecting your entire house. If there is no hot water throughout your home, first check on your circuit breaker to make sure the switch is on. For a gas-powered unit, ensure that your pilot light is still lit.
The average tank-type water heaters last for between 8 to 12 years. Without consistent maintenance, many of these units will need repairs or some type of service within the first 5 years, and having to replace the entire unit within 7 years.
Tank-type boilers in residential homes store between 40 to 70 gallons of water, maintaining temperatures of 120 to 140 degrees. The consistent cooling and heating water cycles cause these steel tanks to contract and expand. This constant changing of the steel brings about pinhole leaks that occur especially on and around the welded seams. Once the tank springs a leak, there is usually no other option but to replace it.
Arvada area homeowners all know about how hard water affects everything from their dishes, laundry to their hair, and skin. Many people are not aware of the damages that this type of water has on their plumbing appliances, especially the impact it has on water heaters.
Moving parts in toilets and faucets wear down due to the extremely small mineral particles present in the water that supplies homes. These particles result in premature wear-and-tear and leaks. In a water heater, it is the unmoving parts that are more susceptible to the impact and effects associated with hard water.
One of the best ways to improve the longevity, performance, and efficiency of your water heater is to have your water heater regularly serviced. Steel tanks in these water heaters are affected adversely by the sediment in hard water that accumulates along the bottom part of these storage tanks. As time goes by, these build-ups start to block the heat that is transferred from your gas burner to your water tank.
With regular maintenance, which includes draining your tank, the build-up of sediment is removed from the unit. Having this type of service conducted every 6 to 12 months can potentially increase the efficiency of the heater by up to 15%. It can also extend the overall lifespan of your tank by stopping premature corrosion.
While this is usually among the most common questions that we get asked about, there are no reliable methods to predict the costs involved for these types of services. The prices typically range from $150 to replace a broken thermocouple, to $1,000 for a replacement or complete overhaul. If the water heater is over 7 years old, and the service estimate exceeds $500, you may want to think about rather replacing the unit.
At Jet Plumber in Arvada, our professional and expert plumbing technicians have proudly been repairing water heaters in Arvada since 2015. We provide free estimates as well as a complimentary second opinion when it comes to any replacement or maintenance services that your system might require.
Give us a call today, and we will send out one of our professional and knowledgeable plumbing technicians.