Plumbing

Is It Time For Water Heater Replacement?

Water heaters can last up to 10 years on average. If yours is older than that or displaying signs of trouble, it’s time to consider replacing it. Contact Water Heater Replacement Denver for professional help.

Water Heater

Leaks could signal a broken heating element or thermostat. Other causes include short back-to-back uses of hot water, which can cause a condition called stacking.

A water heater is an essential part of a home, but it can be dangerous to install. This is a project best left to professionals, who can ensure the job is done correctly and in accordance with local plumbing codes. A professional installation will include the cost of a new water heater, any required plumbing work and gas or electricity hookups. The size of the water heater, installation location and any additional upgrades will also impact costs.

A typical electric water heater uses an element and a control panel to generate hot water. The water flows through a pipe from the home’s main shutoff valve to the heater. The element heats the water to produce steam, which then falls back into the tank or flows out through a vent pipe. Gas water heaters use a natural or propane gas to power the burners that heat the water, but the process is more complex and expensive than with electric models.

The first step in a water heater replacement or installation is to drain the old unit. Open a hot water faucet and let it run until the temperature is cool, which typically takes 10 minutes or more. This helps reduce the risk of scalding and can make it easier to remove the old unit.

Before beginning any work, turn off the electricity to the water heater at the breaker or fuse box. If the water heater is gas, turn off the gas at the control valve on the water heater. Remove the cover from the junction box at the top of the water heater to expose the wire connectors and cable clamp. Use a wrench to loosen the wire connectors, then disconnect the wires from the terminals on the water heater.

Removing the old water heater will reveal a copper, iron or steel discharge pipe that connects to the bottom of the tank. If the pipe is cracked or damaged, it will need to be replaced. This is an excellent opportunity to consider replacing it with a flexible tubing kit, which will provide a smoother, safer and more reliable connection.

Maintenance

Water heater maintenance can help your facility avoid a variety of costly problems. Some of these issues include water leaks, which can cause serious damage to the surrounding area and reduce productivity. Others include a foul odor, which may indicate excess corrosion that can affect production, as well as low water pressure, which can slow production. Fortunately, there are several easy and inexpensive ways to keep your water heater in good working order.

Some of these measures, like adding insulation and setting the temperature, have to be done only once, while others, such as flushing the tank and checking the anode rod, should be performed at least every six months. Additionally, you should also check the temperature and pressure relief valve (T&P Valve) on gas or electric units annually to make sure that it is functioning properly.

The T&P Valve is designed to release water if the pressure inside the tank gets too high, which can protect your unit from exploding and causing expensive damage. You can test it by placing a bucket under the discharge pipe and opening it to allow water to drain for a few seconds. If the water drains and stops, the T&P Valve is operating correctly.

Another important water heater maintenance task is to inspect the unit for signs of corrosion, which can be very expensive. You should do this at least once a year, and make sure to shut off the power to the unit before beginning any inspections or maintenance work. Additionally, you should make sure that the water heater is cool before doing any close inspections to prevent scalding burns.

You should also test the anode rod on a gas or electric water heater by putting a bucket underneath the discharge pipe and loosening the hex head to pull the rod out to examine it. If the rod is corroded, you should replace it. The anode rod attracts sediment and keeps it from corroding the water heater, protecting the unit.

You should also check the water temperature on an electric or gas water heater, which is best set around 120 degrees Fahrenheit to help lower energy bills and protect the unit. Lastly, you should drain and clean the water heater at least once per year. You can do this by cutting off the power and gas or extinguishing the pilot light on a gas water heater, turning off the cold-water inlet and drain valve, and using a garden hose to drain about 10 percent of the hot-water capacity.

Repair

Your water heater works hard to keep your home supplied with a constant supply of hot water for showers, dishes, laundry and more. But like all major appliances, it can eventually run into trouble. The good news is, if you have the right tools and a little know-how, some of these problems are fairly easy to diagnose and repair.

If your water heater is making a loud or gurgling noise, it could be due to sediment buildup that has settled in the bottom of the tank. If this is the case, it will need to be flushed. The process involves shutting off the power to the unit, turning off the water supply, and removing the water heater drain valve. This can be done by hand or using a special pump that will remove the sediment and flush out the tank, allowing you to restore your hot water.

In some cases, a leaking water heater can be repaired simply by replacing the pressure relief valve. This is a job for a professional, but one that can be relatively inexpensive and is a relatively simple task for any plumber to perform.

A faulty thermocouple can prevent gas from entering the heater, which will also stop your pilot light from staying lit. You can replace this part yourself if you have a gas model, but if your water heater is electric, you will need to contact a qualified electrician to do so.

If you notice that your water has a reddish color to it, this is a sign of rust inside the tank and can be quite dangerous if not addressed quickly. Again, this is a problem that should only be handled by a certified professional and will likely require replacement of the entire unit.

If you are experiencing consistent hot water shortages, it may be a sign that your unit is undersized for the size of your home and family. Replacing this with a larger model should resolve the issue. Alternatively, you may be experiencing an upper or lower thermostat problem that can often be fixed by resetting the temperature dials.

Replacement

When a water heater has reached the end of its useful life or is constantly experiencing problems, it may be time to consider replacing it. Replacing a water heater is usually much cheaper than repairing one. However, there are several things to keep in mind when determining if it makes sense to repair or replace your water heater.

It’s important to have a proper tank size for your household. If you consistently experience cold showers or your family doesn’t have enough hot water, it could mean your tank is undersized. If you want to save money on utility bills, you can upgrade to a more energy-efficient model.

You’ll also want to consider the location of your new water heater. A natural gas water heater typically requires a vent pipe, while an electric unit needs a dedicated 240-volt electrical connection. If your home’s main electricity supply comes from solar panels, you might want to install a tankless water heater that uses power from the sun to heat your water.

If you have a water heater that has been in your home for more than 15 years, it’s probably time to consider replacing it. Older models are less energy-efficient and more susceptible to leaks, which can be costly.

In the simplest replacement, a pro swaps your old water heater for a similar model. This avoids additional installation costs, such as installing new plumbing and electric wiring. If you’re looking to save money, you can also choose a smaller capacity or upgrade to a tankless unit.

During the replacement, you’ll have to disconnect your current water heater and drain it. You’ll also need to remove the dip tube, which is used to measure the temperature of the water inside the tank. If your dip tube is corroded or damaged, it’s important to replace it before it causes damage. This is a job most homeowners can do themselves, but if you’re not comfortable with it, you can hire a plumber. An anode rod is another essential maintenance item that should be replaced every five years. This is made of magnesium or aluminum with a steel core, and it helps retard corrosion in the tank.