Studying Water Heaters 101 For Back To School Season

It’s now August, which means the back to school time is here. It’s time to put away the bathing suits and rollerblades and trade them in for backpacks and pencils. As parents send their kids to start a new year of school, some parents feel the absence of the learning environment.

Even if you never want to step foot in a school again (we can sympathize), we still believe you should take learning seriously; especially when it comes to the units and systems in your home. This is why we have developed a quick course on your water heater!

Below, we are going to school you on how your water heater works, how to do preventive maintenance, and how to spot signs of trouble. With all the knowledge we have to offer, you won’t ever have to worry about waking up to a cold shower again!

Water Heaters and How They Work

Your water heater takes cold water, heats it, and delivers it throughout your home. Though there are a few different models of water heaters (tankless water heaters) we are going to focus on a standard water heater. The way a water heater makes hot water is basically simple.

First, cold water is deposited at the bottom of your water heater tank by a long pipe. Next, the cold water is heated either by an electric mechanism or gas mechanism. As the hot water rises, it is distributed through pipes throughout your home.

In tankless water heaters, the basic functions work the same except there is no tank. Cold water passes over the heating mechanism as you need it. This allows for continuous hot water but is generally preferred by those in smaller homes with single occupants.

Maintenance For Your Water Heater

Water heater maintenance is another important part of taking care of your system. This will help keep everything running smoothly. Usually, a professional plumber is recommended for water heater maintenance, but here is the basic idea of what will happen.

  • The energy source for your water heater is turned off.
  • The cold water is turned off.
  • A hose is attached to the tank’s drain valve.
  • The water heater is flushed by emptying the water.

Keep in mind, this is only a basic overview of water heater maintenance. In most cases, you want to allow a professional to maintain your system.

Not only will they be able to complete this quickly and accurately, but they will also be able to spot any repairs that may be needed.

Water Heater Signs You Need Repair

There are some issues that can be spotted by you that will indicate you need repairs. The signs below mean you could be facing complete system failure, and you should call for help right away.

  • Lack Of Hot Water: This is a fairly obvious one, but if you do not have any hot water you are in need of a professional.
  • Odd Noises: Any odd noises coming from your water heater, such as banging or gurgling sounds, are not normal. This could mean system failure, and you should call for help.
  • Cloudy Water: If you notice your water looks cloudy or has a funny taste, this could indicate a mineral build up in your water heater. Mineral buildup can clog your system and cause it to fail.
  • Water Leaks: Always make sure you check for pooling and leaking water under your hot water tank.
  • Leaks In pressure Relief Valve: You also want to check for leaks in your pressure relief valve. This can mean a serious issue and it should be addressed right away.

If you notice any of these issues, it is best to call for help from a professional. Being able to spot these problems can help you reduce the risk of having no hot water, or needing more costly repairs.

Get In Touch With A Professional

As time progresses, you may notice that you need more frequent repairs done on your water heater. If this is the case, and your water heater is getting up there in age, it may be time to install a new system.

Experts generally agree that water heaters last anywhere between 10 and 15 years. If your cost to repair is more than half of a new water heater, it’s time for a new one!

Modern water heaters have many features that their counterparts do not. If you would like to hear more about the new water heater features, or you are ready to have one installed, give Tom Drexler Plumbing, Air and Electric a call. We are standing by ready to answer your questions at (502) 716-5430.


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