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Cold showers might be refreshing, but only if you planned on it. If you notice a drop in the effectiveness of your water heater, it might be time to call the experts in Katy, TX.
Water heater repair involves many steps, from diagnosing the problem to designing a solution that works for you. Depending on the type of water heater: gas or electric, direct or indirect, your water heater repair might be anywhere from a simple fix to an involved repair. Here we'll look at some of the possible causes of reduced effectiveness in your water heater.
As part of the process of repair, your plumber may start by inspecting the quality of your water. Hard water is full of minerals that, when the water is heated, can form deposits on the heating elements of your water heater. Water heater repair in Katy, TX will frequently begin with treating hard water problems. Depending on the hardness of the water, this might include filtration at the water heater or for the whole house.
Another potential issue could be build-up on aerators or spouts at the service end. This can result in reduced flow due to mineral deposits on filter screens. Your repair might be as simple as cleaning the small filters at the sink faucet or shower head. If the water is especially hard it might be necessary to look into the supply lines. Much like squeezing a hose, hard water buildup inside pipes can restrict flow. The hard water in Katy, TX frequently causes the filters to need cleaning.
In older homes with basements or mobile homes with limited insulation and skirting, pipe insulation is another issue to consider. While you may have called the plumber for water heater repair, they might end up adding additional insulation to your pipes. Exposed hot water lines will rapidly cool the hot water inside when exposed to cold conditions, reducing the efficiency of your water heater.
An obvious issue requiring a water heater repair is a leak. Many small leaks around your water heater are caused by weakening or failed pipe solder. Leaks can escalate quickly, so if you notice puddles near your water heater or have a significant drop in water pressure, it might be time to call for a repair.
If the pipes supplying or leaving your water heater sound like a slamming door, you might have what's called hydraulic shock, or a water hammer. It happens when the water stops hard without an expansion area to go to after closing the tap or turning off the shower. Your water heater repair call might include adding expansion tanks in your plumbing system to alleviate this sound.
The type of fuel used for heating the water heater may also contribute to problems with your water heater. Wiring problems with electric water heaters can result in tripped circuit breakers or blown fuses, or intermittent power loss to the unit. Gas water heaters might have gas leaks, issues with pilot or ignitor lights, or air venting and circulation. As with any heating device, they also pose a fire hazard. Proper maintenance and cleaning will help reduce these risks.
If you replaced your electric water heater at any point, it's crucial to have the wiring checked. Depending on how old the previous water heater was, the wiring might not be to code or, the electrical service might be inappropriately sized for the new water heater. A water heater repair appointment should be scheduled to make sure your setup is reliable and safe.
Electric water heaters also use heating elements that build up hard water deposits over time. These deposits eventually cover the entire heating element, reducing the heat transfer from the element to the water. Depending on the size of the water heater, there may be more than one element. The heating elements are aware item, like brakes on your car, and will eventually burn out.
Direct fire water heaters refer to any water heater where the heat source, either gas or electric, is contained within the water heater itself. Direct fire gas heaters have a pilot and burner built into the water heater. They work a lot like a pot of water on your stove. One typical wear out item on this type of water heater is the pilot, which is responsible for lighting the burner whenever the thermostat detects the water in the tank isn't hot enough.
Indirect water heaters use a heat source that is separate from the tank. Often, this type of water heater relies on a heat exchanger from the primary heater to the stored water in the tank to generate hot water. Here, your water heater repair visit might look at your main heater to see if there are any issues with the heat exchanger.
A common component that fails with all types of water heater is the thermostat. This simple component controls the action of the heating element. While cold showers aren't enjoyable, a failed thermostat could cause the heating elements to overheat the water, creating a dangerous situation.
Finally, there are on-demand water heaters. These share all the same potential issues that traditional water heaters have, and are more susceptible to hard water scaling. On-demand water heaters work by passing cold water through small looping pipes that maintain close contact with the heat source. Because the water is directly heated and the interior pipes are thinner than the supply line, the potential for scaling to restrict the flow of water through the heater is more significant.
Cold showers aren't pleasant. Proper maintenance and expert service keeps the warm water flowing. Avoid the discomfort by reaching out to Benjamin Franklin Plumbing. Our punctual plumbers will be there for your water heater repair.