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Water Heaters: Repair of Replace?

Repair or Replace | Water Heater Repair Katy

Water heaters are easy to overlook until they give trouble. When problems arise, how is a homeowner to know when a water heater should be replaced or if providing water heater repair in Katy is sufficient? Your plumber is the homeowner’s best guide for identifying the cause behind water heater problems, and the decision of whether to provide water heater repair in Katy or to replace the appliance. Let’s look at some basic information for replacing a water heater.

Water Heater Basics

Conventional water heaters are available in gas and electric. The majority of homeowners replace a water heater with the same type of water heater, gas for gas, for example. Replacement provides the opportunity for an upgrade, such as a larger size and improved energy efficiency.

When purchasing a water heater these features should be considered:

  • Capacity – Capacity is how many gallons a tank-style water heater holds. Know the capacity of the existing water heater. For example, when the current water heater is 40 gallons and you are happy with the capacity, you will want to purchase the same capacity and not a smaller amount.
  • Recovery rate – Recovery rate is the number of gallons the water heater will heat in an hour. Recovery rate will vary, if several persons are showering in the evening you will want to purchase a model with a faster recovery wait.
  • Dimensions – This is the width and height of the appliance. Measure your space to ensure the new water heater will fit in the space.
  • The energy efficiency rating – There should be a sticker on the water heater providing the estimated annual cost of operation for the appliance. Select the best your budget allows you to save money on energy dollars.

A licensed plumber should be used to install a water heater. Due to the inherent dangers of both electricity and gas, water heater installation should not be a DIY task. Working with gas lines is especially dangerous for unlicensed persons lacking experience. Gas water heater installation requires a gas certified professional. A plumber has the equipment to test for gas leaks, whereas a homeowner is not likely to have the equipment or to be trained in gas leak detection.

Replacement vs. Water Heater Repair in Katy

There are several factors that can affect the life expectancy of a water heater. Water chemistry is a common factor that can promote the premature decline of the appliance when the water source is considered to be ‘hard water’. Hard water is water which is high in minerals, typically calcium and magnesium. A water heater affected by hard water won’t last as long as a water heater receiving filtered and softened water or natural water free of minerals. The majority of water in the U.S. is hard water, so the chances of having “soft water” are minimal without a water softener installed.

The level of maintenance the water heater receives is the next factor with a significant impact upon its longevity. Flushing the appliance at least once per year removes the sediment that leads to premature failure. Areas with extremely hard water can benefit from the removal of 2-3 quarts per 2 to 3 months to keep the sediment from minerals flushed, reducing the issues hard water may cause.

The quality of installation is an additional factor in how long the water heater will last and can affect its safety and performance. If the appliance requires frequent water heater repair in Katy, you will be better off going ahead and replacing it with a new, more energy-efficient model.

Hot Water Heater Issues

A common complaint is that the water isn’t hot enough or the water heater isn’t heating at all. In an electric water heater, a thrown breaker or blown fuse can cause the appliance to fail to heat and should be checked before calling for water heater repair in Katy.

Check the temperature the appliance is set at. It should be set to 120 degrees F. While there are other potential causes for a lack of sufficient hot water, they require a plumber to positively identify them and to provide water heater repair in Katy.

If these steps don’t resolve the problem, call Benjamin Franklin Plumbing® of Rosenberg’s experienced plumbers for water heater repair in Katy.

The Gas Water Heater has a pilot light, ensure it is lit. If the water heater uses propane gas, check the check to ensure an adequate supply.

If natural gas is the water heaters fuel, ensure the meter hasn’t been shut off, mistakes can occur. Ensure the thermostat is set at 120 degrees F.

If these steps don’t resolve the problem, call Benjamin Franklin Plumbing® of Rosenberg experienced plumbers for water heater repair in Katy.

Other Water Heater Problems

Unusual noises in the electric water heater – Sediment may have collected in the tank. Drain the tank until the draining water is clear. The heating elements may require replacement by a plumber in Katy.

Hard water will eventually lead to corrosion of the tank. Once corrosion has occurred, leaks can occur at any time and the water heater will require replacement.

Corrosion typically begins inside the water heater and works its way out. A potential sign of corrosion is discolored water, which may be caused by a corroded galvanized pipe, a sacrificial rod within the water heater in need of replacement, or the rusting of the tank. If the tank has rusted water heater repair in Katy will not, the water heater will require replacement to prevent potentially damaging leaks to the home and foundation.

Water Heater Maintenance

Water heaters require routine maintenance to ensure optimal performance, efficiency and to extend its longevity. Hard water, a lack of routine maintenance and the failure to provide timely water heater repair in Katy when required, will significantly reduce its life expectancy and reduce efficiency.

Recommended maintenance tips include:

  • Flush the water heater annually to prevent the accumulation of sediment.
  • The thermostat should be set at 120 degrees F. This will reduce the risk of scalding, reduce potential damage due to overheating, and will prevent bacterial growth.
  • Insulate visible hot water pipes to maintain the water temperature as it travels through pipes, reducing wear on the appliance while saving energy.

Benjamin Franklin Plumbing® of Rosenberg offers licensed, experienced plumbers who provide reliable plumbing services. When you require water heater repair in Katy or professional assistance in the decision to repair or replace a water heater, call Benjamin Franklin Plumbing® of Rosenberg. We serve Katy, Sugar Land, Houston and the surrounding areas. We are a member of the BBB with an A+ rating.