Washing our hands, taking a shower, doing the dishes or laundry: A water heater is one of those appliances we depend on every day but probably don’t think about much during the course of it. A big reason is that many water heaters do their work for a long time, and they do so mainly out of our sight.
When a water heater finally expires, it can be messy and urgent. Water heater replacement in Oswego, Yorkville, Naperville, Aurora and Plainfield also is an investment – one you want to get right to ensure you receive the desired performance according to the proper details.
Concerning water heater replacement, you can be a proactive home consumer who saves trouble and expense with the right awareness and knowledge for getting the most from your water heater while avoiding the possible pitfalls.
Let’s talk about water heaters, including what to look for and ways to maintain them before you seek a unit replacement.
Water Heater Basics
The most common type of water heater in Oswego, Yorkville, Naperville, Aurora and Plainfield is the conventional storage water heater.
In this system, the water is heated to a set temperature by either gas or electricity and then stored at that temperature in a tank. As the hot water rises in the storage tank, it is moved to and through the home by means of what’s referred to as a heat-out pipe. The heated water is released when a hot-water tap is turned on.
With a gas water heater, the storage tank is insulated to preserve the heat and ensure the stored water does not transfer heat to the unit’s metal structure. A gas water heater also includes what’s called an anode rod, which is a rod made of metal that rusts faster than the metal of the water tank. This rod helps prevent the outer tank from rusting.
An electric water heater operates much as a gas heater does. It draws cold water into the tank, heats it with electric elements inside the tank and then stores it. An electric water heater also contains an anode rod.
Many manufacturers describe the average service life of a tank they produce as being between eight and 12 years. If a unit is well-maintained, it can potentially serve for longer. Factors that will influence a hot-water tank’s lifespan include the unit’s design, its location in the house, the quality and accuracy of installation, the frequency of maintenance and the quality of the water used.
Tankless water heaters that can perform for more than 20 years are now available as well.
Signs of Water Heater Trouble
As an informed and proactive consumer, you can watch for and recognize signs of water heater wear or malfunction. This becomes especially important before and during the winter months in Oswego, Yorkville, Naperville, Aurora and Plainfield.
Some indicators of trouble are obvious. If the water heater is older than 10 years and it’s starting to leak at the base of the tank, you’re probably on track for a replacement.
In addition to leaks, some other indicators you might be getting closer to a water heater replacement are:
- visible corrosion
- knocking or hissing sounds
- inconsistent water temperatures
- loss of warm-water volume
- rusty or cloudy water
- increasing heating bills
Keep an eye on the number of repairs as well. A good water heater should not need to be fixed more than twice a year. If you are starting to pay for multiple repairs, a water heater replacement will usually make more financial sense while also often equipping you with an even more cost-effective, energy-efficient current model.
Just as important, be mindful of things that can be checked and done before you discuss a replacement. For example, sometimes a heating issue can be caused simply by a tripped circuit breaker or a faulty thermostat. In some other cases, a replacement pipe, igniter or pressure-relief valve may be all you need to keep the unit running for a while.
Water Heater Maintenance Tips
You can do a few things on your own to help delay the signs of trouble that we’ve discussed. Consider the following steps for maintaining your water heater, especially in preparing for winter.
Keep the thermostat at around 120°F to reduce overheating and control energy bills.
Test the pressure relief valve by cooling the water, placing a bucket under the pipe and then opening the valve. You can also test it by lifting the valve’s handle and letting it snap back into place. A valve that is working should release a burst of water into the overflow pipe.
Flush the sediment from your tank each year by draining it. This is particularly important if your unit cycles hard water.
Check and change the anode rod.
Proper water heater maintenance also contributes to better water hygiene as well as keeping an open warranty active.
People will have different levels of comfort and familiarity with maintenance steps such as those outlined above. If you ever have a question or need further support, simply reach out to a professional for assistance.
Contact Us Today
Aquaduct Plumbing specializes in water heater maintenance, repair and replacement for Oswego, Yorkville, Naperville, Aurora and Plainfield. If you need replacement, we can ensure you arrive at the system with the right size, capacity, heating rate and energy efficiency. We will also remove your old unit and reinforce our labor with a service warranty. Simply give us a call at (630) 504-9594.