What is a water heater? How does it work? Water heater? Hot water tank? Same thing really. It’s your home’s engine that gives you and your loved one’s hot water. The tank holds your hot water and keeps it hot until you turn the faucets or appliances on.
Many homes have – sadly – inefficient, older, tank style, hot water heaters. Trouble is, when you are not using the hot water, it just sits in the tank, being continually heated. Furthermore, those long and luxurious showers/baths can deplete supply and you can wait for an age for the tank to refill. To see where you’re at with your hot water tank, it’s always best to call a professional water heater repair company. To give you sound advice. We can also assess your needs and help you save money.
How water heaters work
Hot water tanks are plugged into the mains or they can run on gas/fuel. The basic configuration is:
- One pipe brings cold water in
- One pipe moves hot water out
- Heating element
- Safety valve releases water from the tank if pressure/temperature is too high
The cold-water pipe brings water to the heating elements in the bottom of the tank. The water warms up, moves to the top of the tank and voila – you have hot water on demand.
Tankless hot water heaters
Tankless hot water heaters do not store heated water in a tank. They deliver it only when you need it. Tankless water heaters are smaller standalone units that have a cold-water pipe that is heated by a gas burner or an electric element in an enclosed unit. Tankless water heaters deliver a constant supply of hot water – with some cons:
- Limited flow rate
- Installation cost can be higher
- In a larger home you may need two
The pros are compelling though:
- No storage tank means hot water on demand
- Long life expectancy
- Low operating costs
- Vastly improved energy conservation
- Saves space in smaller units
For a more thorough look at these units, make sure to consult with “Toronto water heater repair.” We will lead you in the right direction.
What are the most common problems with water heaters and how to avoid them?
Smile HVAC Water Heater Repair Services helped us to outline the most common water heater issues:
No hot water
Is your pilot light on? Most gas-powered water heaters have a clearly labelled knob. Set to “off,” and wait five minutes for the gas to clear. Refer to your manual to relight if it is off.
Not enough hot water
Your thermostat may be down, or your tank may be too small. Get a bigger water heater from us or call us out to check thermostat.
Try adjusting the thermostat to the right temperature. If it doesn’t work, call us. We’ll check your thermostat and correct any sediment build up.
If your water is brown, it’s probably the anode rod needs to be replaced or you have corrosion in your tank.
Low water pressure
Have a plumber (or us) check your pipes. Sediment or leaks in the lines are the likely issue.
Check all connections and water exchange pipes. Tighten if loose. Check valves. Turn off the gas or electricity in your house then open and close the A and P valve. A properly working valve will release water when open.
Check your breaker and thermostat. If both are fine, it may be your heating element. Your breakers are probably located in your basement or storage room. Breakers can trip if you are using multiple appliances at once. Switch the one that is off back again and see if it solves the problem. Call us if it doesn’t work.
How to extend the lifespan of your water heater
There are some basic steps you can take to prolong the life of your water heater. It’s best to call a pro but before you do but, try these:
Hard water means sediment build up. Sediment blocks heating elements and make your hot water tank work harder. A once a year maintenance flush can help. Drain the water from your tank by shutting off the gas or electricity. Attach hose to the drain valve at the bottom of the tank and direct it into a floor drain or bathtub through a colander. Turn on a hot water faucet and wait until the sediment is gone.
Drained completely? Close the drain valve and fill the tank a little with cold water. Do the whole process again until clear.
Anode rods attract minerals from water and hold on to them. Those minerals become the sediment. Anode rods have a lifespan though. Replacement every 3-5 years is a must.
There is usually a hex nut on the top of your tank, the rod will be directly attached to it.
If your rod has heavy deposits, it is time to replace it.
Following the above, simple steps can extend the life of your water heater and prevent any costly accidents.
Always call a professional water heater repair company. Technicians can help with any issues you have, no matter the size. Your water system is an integral part of your home, they can help you to make it last longer and save you money.
partnered post • cc-licensed image by john carl johnson