In this age of YouTube and DIY solutions, it is fairly simple to find out how to install a water tank or to do your own repairs on one. It might be something to consider if you want to save yourself some money but this one area where taking care of the pennies might backfire badly.
Heating tanks are not appliances that you want to mess with. Having gallons of hot water cascading down from the ceiling is not something that you want to risk. This is not a case when the worst-case scenario is that the appliance doesn’t work if something goes wrong.
And let’s not even start talking about messing with a gas-powered system or the dangers of the heating element burning out. Step away from the toolbox, and no one will get hurt. Need some more convincing?
You Will Void the Warranty
These tanks are not cheap. Not having them installed or repaired by a professional will likely void the company’s warranty on the tank itself. Professional plumbers will also guarantee their own work so if there are any problems with the performance; you have recourse.
Not Up to Code
Do you know what the fire or building codes are regarding these tanks? A professional plumber will and will also be able to get the right permits for plumbing going forward.
This is not a plug and play device. Installing it means messing with the electrics and the piping and venting in your home. Do you really want to risk possibly burning the house down so that you could save a buck or two?
It Is a Specialized Job
Have you ever tried lifting a standard hot water tank by yourself? Even the smallest ones are pretty heavy. Now imagine getting that into place in the ceiling or even up on the wall. It is a difficult job, even when you do have help.
If you are an enthusiastic DIYer, you might find that you have most of the tools that you need for connecting the wiring, etc. But if not, you are going to have to get them, and that is even more of an expense. It all adds up pretty quickly.
Your Insurance Could Be Voided
Say that something does go wrong. What if the tank bursts or the wiring causes a fire? If the cause is narrowed down to the tank, your insurance company could request proof that it was professionally installed.
If they get wind of it being a DIY job, they would be well within their rights to refuse to pay any claims.
It is Not Safe
We have already gone through this one. If you make a mistake when installing this, the potential for injury is high. Even something as simple as swapping two wires accidentally could lead to things going wrong really quickly. It really is not worth the risk.
If you are that keen on DIY, start with something simpler and leave this one up to the experts. No matter how many YouTube videos tell you how easy it is to replace an element, or install your own on-demand hot water heater system, this is something that is best left to a pro.
Top Brands To Choose From
Sometimes you need to take a cold shower, but most of the time, you don’t want icy water coming out when you turn on the taps. If your water is not heating up, you will want to get it sorted out as soon as possible.
And that is where we can help. We will be able to tell you straight out if we can repair your tank, or if it needs to be replaced. We start out by having a look to see what the issue is. If possible, we will look at repairing it first.
We do our best to keep expenses down, and we are not going to try and gouge you here by offering pricey replacements that are not really necessary. We will do our best to get your household back to normal as fast as possible.
When we say your hot water tank is ready to be put out of its misery, you can rest assured that nothing is going to be able to revive it. Having to get a replacement is not something that most homeowners want to have to do, but we will make the process as painless as possible for you.
We have a range of top brands that you can choose from, to ensure that you get a replacement that suits your hot water needs at a reasonable price. We only work with reputable companies that have the same commitment to quality and service that we do.
We believe that you and your water warmer should have a long-term relationship that won’t go lukewarm any time soon. To that end, we look for brands that offer excellent warranties and who offer the service to back up those warranties if something does happen to go wrong.
We’re like the Boy Scouts – we always want to be prepared. While we don’t think anything is likely to go wrong because we choose quality brands, we are also realists. We understand that things happen. And, when they do, we want you to be covered completely.
That is why we place such a high premium on quality. And if you think we are hard on the brands, you haven’t seen anything yet. We are a lot harder on ourselves when it comes to delivering what we promise.
Our promise to you is simple – we will give you the best possible service and advice. We work with you from the get-go to make sure that the solution that we come up with is the best one for you and your family.
We keep an eye on the long game. We are nice people, but we know you really don’t want us coming back too soon. We don’t take it personally – we understand that the best of friendships can make it through long periods without contact. We do the job right the first time. You can read this post to learn more about common issues you might face with your unit.
For outstanding quality, the right advice, and expert service at a reasonable rate, give us a call. We look forward to hearing from you!
Do you have a conventional unit to heat your water? Are you wanting to know how long it is going to last you? In this post, we will look answer this question and let you know how you can tell if your system might need replacing soon.
A standard tank-based system will last around about 8 to 15 years. That is pretty good going considering that elements inside the tank are constantly submerged in water. However, over time corrosion will set in – there is nothing that can prevent that.
If the corrosion is caught in time, before the rust particles get a chance to build up inside the tank, you will get away with just replacing the element. If you don’t catch it in time, the rust will damage the lining of the tank. If this happens, the tank is on its way out.
Now, knowing the age of your existing system is easy if you had it installed. If you didn’t, you would need to do some detective work. Start by checking the serial number of the tank. At the front of this number, you will find letters ranging from A – L.
Each letter represents the month of the year that is in the same spot. So, A is for January, B is for February, etc. More important are the two numbers that come directly after that because this will let you know what year it was manufactured in.
So, if your serial number starts with B12, for example, your tank was made in February of 2012. If you are not sure, or the serial number does not seem to make sense, look for a brand name and see what information you can find on the company’s site.
Knowing what to look out for will help you identify when you might need to start saving for a new system. The signs to look for include:
Tank Corrosion and How It Happens
A hot water tank has a tough life – it is generally working 24/7, and the heating element is submerged in water for all of that time. While these tanks are built to last, there is only so much they can do when it comes to resisting the effects of corrosion.
Most metals, if submerged in water for long enough, will corrode and the same can be said for the insides of your hot water tank. Corrosion in a tank-based system is a serious issue – once it gains a foothold and the inside of the tank becomes damaged, replacement is the only option.
Fortunately, there are ways to help stave off corrosion, and they need not cost a fortune.
One such solution is the extraneous rod that is placed in a lot of models in tanks. The purpose of this anode is simple – it is there to leach minerals and particles in the water to get them out of the water and keep them away from the lining. When the time comes, replacement is simple enough.
You would need to have a look at the manufacturer’s instructions when it comes to how often this anode must be replaced. Most have a lifespan of around three to six years depending on what the condition of the water and whether or not you have a water softening system installed.
If you do, you will need to look at replacing the anode more often because of the salt in the system. With a water softening system, budget to replace the anode once a year, or once every two years.
It isn’t all that hard to check whether or not the anode needs to be replaced. Start off by switching off the tank’s power source and the inlet water valve. The anode will be at the top of the tank and can be easily unscrewed. Do be careful, however, because the tank will be hot.
You will quickly see whether or not the anode needs to be replaced – if the outer lining has been eaten away, get a replacement immediately. You can get these from your local hardware store; you just need to either take the old anode in or let them know what make and model your tank is.
If the rod needs to be replaced, you need to flush the tank out as well to remove any existing particles still in the water.
Converse to what you might think; you do want to see some evidence of corrosion here, especially if the rod has not been checked in a while. If you do not, that could indicate that it is not doing its job properly and that it needs to be replaced.
If you don’t have a water softening system, you would want to see evidence of corrosion at around about the three-year mark.
It is a good idea to find out what the tank’s manufacturers recommend in this area, as water heater issues can cause quite the commotion. If you are not sure or don’t want to fuss about with the system yourself, it would pay you to have a pro come in and perform the check for you.
So, the time has come for you to replace your old hot water tank and you want to know what to expect. That is going to depend on the type of unit that is being installed, but if you are putting in a tank-based system, this post will cover the basic steps involved.
Step 1 – The Removal of the Old Tank
Removing the old tank means that it has to be shut off completely and drained of all water inside it. Then the tank has to be allowed to cool so that it can be removed safely.
If you want to give the installers a head start, consider shutting off all power and water to the unit the night before. If you know how to do so, drain the tank out as well. This is not an essential step, and the installers will do this for you if you don’t want to.
However, it is a great way to save a fair amount of time and is not that difficult to do. It also means that they will be able to get on with installing the new unit a lot faster.
Once the tank is completely empty and is cool enough to touch, it just needs to be detached from the pipes and wiring. This is best done by a professional. It will then be removed – again; the installer will usually do this on your behalf.
Step 2: Place the New Unit
Now it is time to out the new unit in place. This means connecting it up to the piping. The tank must be completely level so shims may need to be used if necessary. The valve is then placed in the open position and soldered onto the supply line. Lead-free soldering iron should be used.
Step 3: Wrap the Threads and Then Place the Fittings
The cold-water outlet is then fitted, followed by the hot water outlet.
Step 4: The Water Supply is Connected
This is can be somewhat tricky because it has to meet your local code requirements. This is one of the reasons that it is better to have a professional do the installations. The other is that the manufacturer’s warranty might be voided if you don’t.
Once the water supply has been connected, the installer will ensure that the valve for draining the tank is closed. The water supply is then switched on, and all the valves are opened.
They will advise you to open the taps in the highest areas of the home and then check to see that the water flows steadily from the hot tap. That only happens once the tank is full.
They will then get the taps switched off and make sure that there are no leaks present.
Step 5: The Electricity is Connected
To do this, the installer will make sure that the power coming from the mains has been turned off and will then connect the electricity.
Again, this is something that is better left to the pros. The connections must be done properly, and the tank must be properly grounded.
From there, it is just a simple matter of setting the thermostat and waiting for the water to heat up nicely. Go ahead and click here to read about some tips for maintaining the unit you've just put in.
On-Demand Hot Water... The Future
Is there always a fight in your home about who gets to shower first because the hot water runs out fast?
Hot water tanks do a good job of heating your water, but there is a finite supply of water in them. If you don’t have one big enough to meet the needs of your family, you will have the home version of the Amazing Race to see who can get the full benefit of the hot shower.
But what do you do? That is the only way to go, isn’t it? The good news is that you now get systems that don’t require a tank to operate. Instead of having a reserve of hot water that can run out, this system heats the water in the pipes – giving you piping hot water every single time.
How good are these systems? Let’s have a look.
Lower Energy Requirements
A normal tank-based system wastes a lot of energy because it is designed to keep the water in it hot all day. These old-fashioned tank-based systems are like the Cadillac of home appliances. They work, and they work well, but they are real gas guzzlers.
The newer warmers without the tanks were designed to be a lot more energy efficient. Because they can heat water on demand, they are between 24% and 34% more effective than your standard system.
In a standard tank-based system, there is always going to be a certain amount of sediment that builds up in the tank. This is fairly easily dealt with by flushing the tank annually, but it can still be a nuisance. No tank means that there is no sedimentary buildup.
Cleaner Water on Demand
The other advantage of the newer systems is that you won’t get rust or scale coming through because there is nowhere for them to build up. By the same token, any bacteria that may come through in the water supply are flushed out rather quickly. No tank means no contaminants.
When you just want clean water out of the taps, this is the best option.
Those old tank-based systems are big and bulky – you need to give up a substantial amount of space in your ceiling to accommodate them.
When it comes to safety, it is almost insane the lengths that we go to get hot water. Think of it this way – the tank is a pressurized container filled with scalding hot water. If it is properly maintained, it is relatively safe, but if the safety valve is faulty, it could just explode on you.
No tank means no chance of pressure building up in the system and no reservoir of scalding hot water that could drench the entire area.
Systems without a tank do cost more upfront, but you will start seeing savings in energy immediately. Even if you only save a minimal 24% on heating your water, that still translates into great energy-saving over the lifetime of the system.
Keeping in mind the savings in terms of energy and the reduced maintenance costs, no tank means a system that will pay for itself within a few years.
When it comes to heating the water in your home, a tank-based system will do the job. If you want it done better, though, you need to ditch the tank, and call the pros here at Savannah Water Heater Co.
Mineral Deposits in Your Unit
Nothing can do quite as much damage to your hot water tank as minerals that build up on the inside. If you live in an area that has hard water, then there is a good chance that minerals like calcium and magnesium are accumulating in the tank.
Fortunately, it is a problem that is fairly simple to deal with. If you do not, the scale will buildup in the bottom of the tank and eventually form a hard crust. This, in turn, will damage the lining and end up shortening the lifespan of the tank significantly.
This is something that many companies advise that you do at least once or twice a year. It involves draining the water out of the tank. This removes all the suspended particles and prevents them from settling later.
Start off by switching off the power supply of the tank. This is extremely important, or you risk burning the tank out. Next, find the inlet valve that supplies water to the tank and shut that. This stops water from entering the tank while you are trying to drain it.
Now open the hot tap nearest the tank and let it run. Next, check the tank itself and look for the valve to drain it. If you are not sure where this is, check the manufacturer’s instructions. Being careful because of the heat, you then attach a hose that is long enough to reach somewhere that the water can drain off safely.
Then all that is left to do is to wait until all the water has been drained out. Once the tank is completely empty, switch the water supply back on again. Give it about thirty minutes or so to fill and then switch the power source back on as well.
If you live in a hard water area, setting the thermostat of your tank too high could exacerbate the problems with scale as the minerals are more easily released. 120° F is a good temperature to keep the tank on to resolve potential issues with scale.
You will still need to perform your annual maintenance, but this is a good way to ensure that the problem is not made much worse.
Vinegar can be useful in removing scale that has built up. You would drain your tank as normal but instead of filling it with water straight away, add about a gallon of vinegar. Leave it for at least five to six hours, or, if possible, overnight. Then drain the tank again and add some water to rinse it out.
When the water comes out clean, and there is no trace of vinegar, you can fill the tank again and then switch on the power source.
This is one of the surest ways to ensure that there is no limescale building up in the system. This helps to remove the minerals that will cause the problems, such as magnesium and calcium by adding sodium ions to the system.
It should be mentioned, however, that the sodium can cause the anodes in the system to corrode faster so that means checking and possibly replacing these every year or two, instead of every five to six years as is the normal case.
Anodes are not that expensive to replace but you will have to weigh up the costs and benefits for yourself.
This does cost some money to have installed, but it would be worthwhile in a hard water area because it prevents scale buildup in all the appliances in the home, and also helps to improve the efficiency of detergents and soaps.
Overall, the best course of action is the prevention of scale buildup. Regular maintenance makes that possible. Call us today for the water heater service Savannah GA people love!
Leaks and How You Can Avoid Them
A hot water tank is one of the integral parts of our home. It makes us so much more comfortable and allows us to enjoy hot showers whenever we like. But, let’s be honest, most of them don’t give them much thought until we start to have problems.
In this post, we will look at the most common causes of leaks and what you can do to avoid them.
A loose drain valve is one of the most common causes of water leaks in your system. The valve can loosen up over time and water will leak out of it if it becomes too loose.
This is an easy fix, all you need to do is to ensure that the valve is snugly secured but not overtightened. You can do this when you flush your tank out annually.
Too Much Pressure
This is usually as a result of the thermostat is cranked up too high. What happens is that the excess pressure inside the tank causes the tank to leak. Try reducing the temperature to rectify this problem.
Pressure problems may also occur if the water being piped into the home comes in at a higher pressure than the tank can handle. In this case, speak to a plumber about valves that could prevent this.
The other thing that could be causing this issue is a temperature relief valve that has lost the will to live. If this is the case, it should be replaced.
The System is Old and Cranky
As we get older, the years start taking their toll. It happens to the best of us, and to the best of tanks as well. As the system ages, the integrity of the liner starts becoming impaired. If not replaced soon enough, the tank could burst leaving your with a flooded home.
Be careful not to mistake condensation for a leak. This will usually happen when cold water goes into the tank, and the air outside the tank is warm or hot. This is the simplest issue to solve as all you need to do is to wipe the condensation away.
The Best Tips for Preventing Leaks
Making sure that your tank is properly cared for is the best way to extend its useful lifespan and preventing leaks. Start off by choosing a quality product and have a pro install it.
Check what the manufacturer’s recommendations are when it comes to the maintenance of the tank. Most will recommend flushing it out at least once a year, or more if you live in a hard water area. A lot of people skip this step, but that is really a mistake you don’t want to make.
You could also schedule a regular servicing of the system every couple of years or so so that it is checked out by a pro. Regular servicing can help you get a lot more use out of your system and can alert you to problems that arise along the way-- putting off calling for brand new water heater installation until it's absolutely necessary.
How To Light The Pilot Light
If you have a gas-powered water tank, you need to ensure that the pilot light is lit. If this is not done, you have no chance of getting hot water. If you have one of these systems, and the water won’t heat up, it is a good idea to check on the pilot light and see whether or not it needs to be relit.
This is fairly simple to do yourself, and in this post, we will tell you exactly how you can do that. We do, however, also just want to point out that these are general instructions that will apply to most tanks, but we do recommend reading the manual for yours in this regard before you get started.
Start off by finding the valve that regulates the gas for your tank. It will be on the outside of the tank, at the point where the gas pipe makes contact with the tank. You will see a knob that can be turned on or off. That means you are in the right place. Make sure that this is off.
Give it at least five minutes before you start to look for the pilot burner. This will be underneath the tank, and you may have to remove a cover so that you can get proper access to this burner. It is important to make sure that you can see what is going on under there, so use a good flashlight to light the area.
Go back to the regulator valve and switch it over to pilot. Depress the button and keep it depressed so that gas starts flowing to the pilot burner. With some tanks, the gas to the pilot light is controlled separately, and that is why it is important to read the manual.
If yours is a separate control, then press that button and keep it down. From here on in the steps depend on what features your burner has. Some have a pilot igniter built in. To light, the pilot with these is a simple matter of depressing the ignition button that is usually placed on the gas valve.
You will know that you have hit the right button when the igniter starts to spark.
If you have a manual model, you will need to get in there to light it yourself. This can be more safely done by using a barbecue lighter that has a longer neck. You will position the lighter over the flame and then spark it.
Make sure to keep the knob on the regulator valve depressed for at least a minute. This is so that the flame is able to stay on long enough for the safety sensor on the tank to register that the pilot light has been lit. Now you can slowly release the button.
The light should stay lit, if it has not, start from the beginning again. If it has, switch the gas valve back to the on position. You should hear something that sounds like “whoomp” when the light is lit, and that means that you are done.
Screw back the access panel and get back to enjoying your hot water again.
And if you're ready to upgrade to the tankless water heater Savannah GA residents know and trust, give us a call and we'll explain all the benefits to you.
Common Issues You Might Face
When it comes to heating the water in your home, there are a few things that might go wrong. In this post, we will look at what these are and see what your best options are when it comes to dealing with them.
Not Getting Hot Enough
In summer, tepid showers can be pleasant, and even preferable. That is not true all year round. A common problem that people have is water that does not get hot enough. This is normally easily solved by cranking up the thermostat on the tank.
It is important, however, to be careful at how high you are setting it – you don’t want it to scald you. If you have cranked up the thermostat and it is still not producing the desired results, give a pro a call to check it out.
No Hot Water at All
This could be caused by a few different things, depending on the type of system that you have. With a gas-powered system, it could be a case of the pilot light going out. This could be as a result of issues with the control valve or the thermocouple.
For conventional systems, it could mean that the heating element needs to be replaced.
In either case, it is better not to fuss with these things yourself. Changing out these elements is something that can be quick for a pro, but not so easy if you don’t have the right tools. If not done correctly, it could be a safety hazard.
A Bad Smell
If the heated water smells like rotten eggs, it is an indication that the water in the tank is contaminated with bacteria and not safe to use. You can try to sort this out yourself by switching off all power to the tank and allowing it to drain.
Then allow it to fill but add hydrogen peroxide to the water this time. Leave it for a couple of hours and let it drain again. Fill with clean water and then flush it out once more. If after all this, the water still comes out smelling bad, then get a pro in.
If the water from both taps smells, that means that there is more likely a problem with the water supply or the pipes bringing it in.
A Lot of Noise
If your tank sounds like it is throwing a hissy fit, there are a few things that could be wrong. The most likely cause if nothing is actually wrong is sediment in the tank. This is something that can be avoided by switching the tank off once or twice a year and draining it completely.
Try doing this now and see if it makes a difference.
If it isn’t sediment causing the problem, it could be that the heating element is giving up the ghost or that there is something else wrong. In either case, switch it off and get a pro to check it out.
Once these tanks start leaking, it means that it is time to look for a new model. Leaks cannot be fixed and should not be ignored.
If you have a problem, give us a call, and we will come and see what we can do to help you with your water heater repair needs.
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