PlumbingA Few Hot Water Heater Lessons for Back to School

August 22, 2019

When you think about August, it’s hard to not think about going back to school and to remember childhood days of preparation and excitement. As adults, the season more often makes us think of busy schedules and lots of tasks and events to juggle.

But, the back-to-school season doesn’t have to be just for kids. In keeping with the spirit of the month, we’re going to help adults go back to school this August with a lesson on water heaters.

We’ll talk through some basics of how your hot water heater works, the maintenance you should be doing, and ways you can know if your system needs to be repaired in hopes of helping you understand more about this important part of your home’s plumbing system.

How Does Your Hot Water Heater Work?

waterheaterUnderstanding some basics about how your hot water heater works can help with maintenance and repairs.

Both electric and gas water heaters function in essentially the same way, they just use different heating components.

If you have a conventional water heater, cold water enters a tank through a dip tube. It’s then heated by either a gas burner or an electric element and held until you need it.

When the hot water faucet is opened, cold water is pushed into the tank, and hot water is pushed out. Tankless water heaters provide hot water on demand. Rather than holding hot water in a tank, when a hot water faucet is opened, cold water is pushed through your unit.

As it passes through, it’s heated with either a gas burner or an electric element before flowing through your faucet. While each provides some unique advantages and disadvantages, both are effective ways of providing adequate hot water to meet your home’s needs.

How Water Heater Maintenance 101

As is true with many of your home’s systems, there is some regular hot water heater maintenance that you should keep up with to ensure that your system runs effectively. Staying on top of this maintenance can also help avoid plumbing emergencies and extend the life of your hot water heater.

Here are a few basic things that you should add to your maintenance list:

  • waterheatermaintenanceMake sure the temperature is set at 120 degrees to ensure your system is running as efficiently as possible
  • At least once a year, flush sediment out of the tank
  • Regularly check your anode rod and change it as needed
  • Test your pressure release valve

Some Basics of Water Heater Repair

waterheaterrepairIn addition to keeping up with maintenance, knowing when repairs are needed can help to keep your hot water heater working and help to avoid plumbing emergencies.

If your hot water is coming out lukewarm, you hear a popping sound, your hot water is cloudy or your unit is leaking, your hot water heater needs some maintenance or repairs.

These are common indicators of sediment in the tank, a leak, or a failing tank.

Addressing these issues early can sometimes extend the life of your water heater and often helps you avoid water damage and a plumbing emergency. If you need to upgrade your water heater or have any questions about your water heater, call Torch Service Company at 918-358-6724.