Water Heater Repair
As a water heater ages, it can begin to leak, lose efficiency, or provide insufficient amounts of hot water. If you are noticing diminishing returns in your hot water supply, give Benjamin Franklin Plumbing a call! We are available 24/7 and offer same-day appointments for water heater installations, repairs, or maintenance. Our fully licensed, insured, and certified plumbers will arrive on time and prepared to get the job done right!
Types of Water Heaters
There are two basic types of water heaters: gas and electric. Both types have positive and negative attributes to consider. However, they share one upside: Our team can repair, install, and maintain both.
Gas Water Heaters
Advantages of gas water heaters:
- Lower monthly energy costs (due to the low price of natural gas)
- Faster hot water delivery
- Available in energy-efficient models
- Reliable even during power outages
Electric Water Heaters
Advantages of electric water heaters:
- Lower upfront costs
- Less maintenance
- Fewer safety concerns
- More energy-efficient
- Available in a wider range of sizes
Signs of a Failing Water Heater
The presence of hot running water does not necessarily mean your water heater is in prime condition. These telltale signs might reveal underlying issues:
- Leaking water
- Randomly shutting off
- Standing water in the unit
- Running constantly
- Increasing energy bills
Less Hot Water Than Normal
If you observe a sudden reduction in hot water supplies, the problem may be sediment buildup in your water heater tank. As sediment accumulates, the amount of hot water available for use can significantly decrease. You might need a larger water heater to keep up with demand. Installing a tankless water heater will ensure your household needs are always satisfied.
Water Leaking from the Water Heater
Water heater leaks may be caused by:
- A faulty temperature & pressure relief valve – This safety feature releases excess water pressure through a tube directed at the floor. If damaged or rusted, it can leak.
- A defective drain valve – Located at the bottom of the tank, the drain valve must be correctly and completely closed to avoid leaking.
- A damaged tank – Many structural problems can cause water to leak and pool around a tank.
Smell Coming from Water Heater
If a rotten egg smell emits from faucets and fixtures when running water, it may be caused by sulfate bacteria within your hot water tank. This can result from warm tank water remaining stagnant for too long or pulling from an unchlorinated well water. Another possible cause involves soft water breaking down the magnesium of the anode rod placed inside most water heaters. Although DIY articles recommend draining and flushing tanks that smell sulfurous, the foul odor is unlikely to dissipate without professional assistance.
A Noisy Water Tank
There are many reasons for a noisy water heater. Here are some common sounds and their associated issues:
- Popping – This is likely caused by hot water bubbling up through sediment.
- Crackling – This is likely caused by calcium exploding inside a tank.
- Ticking – This is likely caused by fluctuations in water pressure or loose pipe straps connected to your hot water lines.
- Sizzling – This is likely caused by water leaking onto a hot burner assembly.
- Hammering/knocking – This is likely caused by an abruptly halted water flow.
From putting plastic spacers between pipe straps to replacing pressure valves to installing air cushion devices, we have expert remedies for every situation.
Rust or Corrosion on the Tank
If hot water penetrates the glass-lined steel layer present inside most tanks, rust and leaks are practically inevitable. Luckily, most water heaters are built with a special rust-preventing rod called a cathodic/sacrificial anode. To determine the condition of an anode, turn off the power and remove it with a wrench. Industry experts recommend checking the anode twice a year. Our maintenance team can do this for you. We can also replace a deteriorated cathodic anode quickly and affordably.
Delayed Arrival of Hot Water
It can be very frustrating when water is slow to heat. Here are 5 solutions:
- Have your water pipes insulated
- Have your faucets replaced with water fixtures that provide higher flow rates
- Have professionals perform regular preventative maintenance
- Have a tankless water heater installed
- Have a hot water recirculation pump installed
Should I Repair or Replace My Water Heater?
The older a water heater becomes, the more likely it will run into issues that require expensive repairs. If well maintained, an inexpensive repair on an old water heater may still be the wisest decision. However, when the cost of repairing a water heater is 50% or more of the cost of replacing it, we almost always recommend installing a new unit.
Beyond the cost of repairs vs. replacements, upgrading to a modern water heater can also provide many benefits, including:
- Unlimited hot water
- Compact sizes
- Reduced energy usage and monthly bills
- Increased reliability
How Long Do Water Heaters Last?
With proper maintenance, the lifespan of a gas water heater is typically 8 to 12 years, while electric water heaters last about 10 to 15 years. Modern models can last significantly longer (up to 20 years) with regular maintenance.
Water Heater Repair Costs - Thorough Assessments & Upfront Pricing
Water heater repair costs involve many factors:
- The specific part(s) being fixed
- The make and model of the water heater
- The condition of the water heater
- The labor and time the repair will require
At Benjamin Franklin Plumbing, we always prioritize your needs and budget. After we assess and diagnose the problem, we will present straightforward options. Before performing any work, our technicians will let you decide which route is right for you. You can rest assured that there will be no hidden costs or misleading information!
Water Heater Maintenance Can Go a Long Way
Your water heater should be inspected at least once a year. Maintenance can prevent emergencies, improve durability, and satisfy warranty requirements.
Our water heater maintenance services include:
- Routine flushes
- Part replacements
- Multi-point inspections that check for cracks, leaks, and joint gaps
- Anode rod examinations
- Temperature and pressure valve safety checks
- Discounts on services & products
Flushing a hot water tank to remove sediment buildup is particularly beneficial. Sediment shortens the unit’s lifespan and reduces its efficiency.
Along with draining, cleaning, and examining your water heater, our specialists can determine if your tank would benefit from insulation. If the tank is hot to the touch, heat is being expelled and wasted. Wrapping it in insulation is an inexpensive, fast, and effective solution that will make your water heater more efficient and cost-effective over time. Our highly trained installation technicians follow all the guidelines outlined by Energy.gov to deliver trusted results.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, heating water accounts for 18% of annual household energy expenses. Fortunately, there are many ways to improve efficiency:
- Draining/flushing your tank to eliminate sediment
- Insulating your water pipes and tank to retain heat (this can even increase water temperatures by 2-4 degrees)
- Fixing water heater leaks (even a minor leak can waste hundreds of gallons of water each year)
- Calibrating your hot water temperature and thermostat to a comfortable level
In addition to the previously mentioned tips, adding an expansion tank can significantly improve a water heater’s lifespan by providing a bonus pressure outlet. Expansion tanks are ideal for closed system tanks that cannot release tension by backflowing water into the main line. Enduring constant pressure, a water heater will wear down fast. We can install an expansion tank to alleviate this pressure!
If your water is mineral-heavy, we can also install a water softener to mitigate the corrosive consequences of hard water.
Performing regular maintenance can save you from wasting energy and dealing with costly water damage. By keeping your tank in prime condition, we can extend its lifespan and help you lower your monthly utility bill.
We're Water Heater Professionals! See All Other Water Heater Services We Provide:
We’ll provide professional guidance at every stage of your water heater installation process, including:
- Make and model selection
- Gas line installation
- Electric, tankless, gas, or solar water heater installation
Water Heater Installation
A well-maintained and modern water heater can provide reliable hot water for up to two decades. This is why installing and selecting the right water heater is so pivotal. Our Benjamin Franklin Plumbing water heater specialists can help you find an option that is compatible with your home and satisfies your daily hot water demands.
We will also ensure that the water heater is compatible with your:
- Local codes and regulations
- Venting system
- Water pipes
- Gas line
- Electrical connections
Tankless Water Heaters
With a modern tankless water heater, you can say goodbye to high energy bills, limited hot water, and spacious tanks. Tankless units are energy-efficient, produce endless hot water on demand, and take up a fraction of their bulky predecessors' space. The mere size of a briefcase, tankless water heaters are state-of-the-art and out of your way.
Solar Water Heaters
Solar water heaters may cost more upfront than conventional water heating systems, but they can ultimately save you money long-term. On average, solar water heaters reduce monthly energy usage by 50%–80%.
The amount of money you will save depends on:
- Your water heater’s performance
- Your geographic location and sunlight exposure
- Potential financing/governmental incentives
- The cost of conventional fuels (natural gas, oil, and electricity)
As noted already, expansion tanks are always highly recommended for closed-loop water heaters that depend on regulating valves to expel pressure. Like high blood pressure, consistently high water pressure can have negative (even explosive) long-term consequences.
Smart Water Heaters
A smart water heater has two primary benefits:
- Wireless connectivity – By monitoring your water heater on a mobile device app, you can turn the heater on and off, set schedules, adjust temperatures, and analyze your water consumption remotely.
- Energy savings – A smart water heater is truly intelligent. It can automatically learn your schedule and optimize its functions based on high-usage hours. By turning itself off during off-hours, it will save both energy and money.
Water Heater Inspections
The number one way to prevent water heater emergencies is to invest in regular inspections. Warning signs, such as corrosion and sediment, can be effectively treated if caught early. Inspections can also protect your home and family against carbon monoxide exposure. Carbon monoxide can leak when a gas water heater is improperly installed and/or vented. An odorless gas, carbon monoxide can cause stomach aches, chest pain, vomiting, mental fogginess, weakness, dizziness, headaches, and even death.
Water Heater Repair Frequently Asked Questions
Should I Shower or Use Hot Water if My Water Heater Is Leaking?
For the most part, showering will not exacerbate a water heater leak. However, a leak may cause a water heater to turn off – either tripping the breaker of an electric unit or putting out the burner/pilot light of a gas unit. Even if a small leak doesn’t turn off a water heater, it should be tended to immediately. A tiny leak can cause mold, water damage, and fire hazards. It can also indicate potentially dangerous structural issues.
How Can I Detect If My Water Heater Is Leaking?
Water heater leaks can happen without warning and cause considerable property damage. Fortunately, leak alert technology can help you avoid a disaster. Let Benjamin Franklin Plumbing install a leak alarm and automatic shut-off system. By connecting a valve to the water line feed and a sensor in a pan near the drain tube, any leak will set off a leak alert and simultaneously shut off the water intake to minimize damage.
Can a Water Heater Explode?
During water heater maintenance, we will test the pressure-relief valve. This valve should open automatically when tank pressure gets too high. To test it, our technicians will gently lift the pressure-relief valve lever to make sure water is properly released from the discharge pipe into a bucket. If the valve fails to release water, we highly recommend having our technicians replace the valve immediately before excess pressure in the tank causes an explosion.
Can Water Heaters Catch Fire?
There are two ways a water heater can explode and cause a fire in your home:
- A gas leak – If gas leaks near your water heater, the small ignition flame/ pilot light can ignite the gas, causing a dangerous explosion and probable fire.
- Excessive water pressure – Pressure builds inside the tank whenever water is heated. If your water heater’s safety mechanisms fail, the pressure can cause the entire unit to burst and erupt into flames.
Are Water Heater Repairs Covered Under Homeowners Insurance?
Water heater repairs and replacements are often excluded from standard homeowners’ insurance unless a unit is damaged by a covered incident, such as flooding or a house fire. Nevertheless, water heaters can be covered by supplemental equipment breakdown coverage added to an insurance policy. In rare instances, dwelling insurance may cover certain water heater malfunctions. Fortunately, you can always count on Benjamin Franklin Plumbing to stand behind all water heater services and parts we provide with reliable warranties and guarantees!
Available 24/7, We're Here to Fix Your Water Heater Issue! Contact Us Today!
Nobody can control when an emergency happens. That is why our reliable team is on standby nights, weekends, and even on holidays. When disaster strikes, our qualified technicians are responsive and punctual. If we arrive later than our scheduled appointment time, we’ll provide a discount to make up for the inconvenience.
Don’t wait for another second – we are waiting and ready to assess your water heater! Call (800) 259-7705or contact us online today!
*Check with your local franchise, services may vary by location.