Water Heater Maintenance

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Plumber Repairing Conventional Tank Water Heater

We Repair Water Heaters in Austin

A properly functioning hot water heater is probably the most vital part of your plumbing system. Over time, wear and tear, hard water, age, pressure, or other issues can cause your water heater to fail. This failure can lead to a number of problems and ultimately leave you standing under a cold shower. Fortunately, Reliant Plumbing is your local Austin hot water heater expert and is available to help you diagnose your issues and make replacements and repairs whenever you need them. Today's water heaters can be quite complex with more electrical components than ever before. Read below to determine whether your issue is a quick fix or if you need to call in a licensed plumber for help.

We Repair Water Heaters in Austin

A properly functioning hot water heater is probably the most vital part of your plumbing system. Over time, wear and tear, hard water, age, pressure, or other issues can cause your water heater to fail. This failure can lead to a number of problems and ultimately leave you standing under a cold shower. Fortunately, Reliant Plumbing is your local Austin hot water heater expert and is available to help you diagnose your issues and make replacements and repairs whenever you need them. Today's water heaters can be quite complex with more electrical components than ever before. Read below to determine whether your issue is a quick fix or if you need to call in a licensed plumber for help.

Plumber Repairing Conventional Tank Water Heater

Working with water heaters can be hazardous, so it's best to leave it to the pros especially when you have to deal with flammable gases and high voltage electrical lines. Many issues can be repaired to get your current water heater back on track. However, we recommend replacement if your water heater is older than 10 years old. Poorly maintained water heaters in homes or businesses with very hard water may need to be replaced before that.

Water Heater Leaks

If you see water pooling around your water heater, you’ll first need to determine whether it’s actually leaking. If you see a small amount of water, it could just be condensation from the water heater or surrounding pipes. This is especially common in basements. If your water heater is leaking, you’ll need to call a licensed plumber to make repairs. We do not recommend DIY work on your water heater as the components can be quite complex. As a general rule of thumb, plumbers may be able to replace specific parts like valves and connections if they are broken. However, if your leak is coming from the tank itself due to corrosion or damage, you’re going to need a new water heater.

Once the repair is completed on your leaky water heater, you always want to install an automatic water heater shut off valve on your conventional tank style water heater. The automatic water heater shut off valve will automatically shut off the water supply to the heater when water or moisture is detected in the pan saving you possibly tens of thousands of dollars in water damage. Since water heaters can be located in the attic or a closet hidden away, installing an automatic water heater shut off valve will give you peace of mind if for some reason your water heater starts leaking.

Water heaters can leak for many reasons. If you're looking to diagnose a leak, check out our article detailing the Top Causes of Water Heater Leaks.

Water Doesn't Get Hot Enough or Runs Out Quickly

There are actually quite a few issues that can leave you with lukewarm water from issues with the thermostat to an improperly sized water heater. Read our article "Why isn't my Water Heater Giving Me Hot Water?" to learn more about the various causes and solutions to this common water heater problem.

No Hot Water

If you are not getting any hot water at all in your home, it could be that you are experiencing a very severe version of the above issues. However, there are a few additional issues that can lead to complete water heater failure.

We hear from home and business owners with gas water heaters all the time that their pilot light has gone out and they are having trouble lighting it again. This usually happens because there is too much debris around the pilot light area and it needs to be thoroughly cleaned. Call a professional plumber to clean the burner chamber, air intake, and flame arrestor and relight your pilot. It may be tempting to try this on your own, but mistakes around gas fixtures can be very dangerous and are not worth the risk to you or your family’s safety.

Water is Too Hot or Too Cold

Rheem Conventional Tank Electric Water Heater

For many years the IPC (International Plumbing Code) stated that there be a hot water mixing valve installed on the hot water system to ensure that hot water will not exceed 110 degrees Fahrenheit. This was done as a measure to protect babies by avoiding 2nd or 3rd degree burns as the mixing action prevents scalding. It also allows the tank to hold water at a higher temperature reducing the threat of bacteria growth and you also increase your available hot water supply since you are mixing both the hot and cold water. However, when water mixing valves fail, it will cause you to experience “water not hot enough” or no hot water at all. Since a water mixing valve could be installed by a garden tub or by sinks in a public restroom setting this could be the first place you will notice the problem.

Rheem Conventional Tank Electric Water Heater

Pilot Won't Light or Stay Lit

For gas water heaters, the first place you should check is your pilot light. If it’s not lit, you can relight it. However, it is common that pilot lights won’t stay lit. In this case, the burner chamber, air intake, and flame arrester probably need a thorough cleaning or your thermocouple needs to be replaced. Since gas is particularly dangerous to work with, you should give Reliant Plumbing a call if you are having issues with your pilot light.

Foul Smelling or Dirty Hot Water

When water smells like rotten eggs, most people assume this is a sewer problem. However, it can also be caused by your water heater. This is particularly common if you have been travelling or the home has been vacant. When water heaters aren’t used for several weeks or a month, the water inside the tank can breed sulfur bacteria and take on a disgusting smell. This small can also occur in homes or businesses that have a well for their water supply. In either this case, a plumber will need to flush your water heater and they may add some chlorine to your tank to be sure it is thoroughly cleaned.

Another cause of gross smelling water is your water heater’s sacrificial anode rod. This is a component of your water that protects your tank from corrosion by attracting all the corroding elements of the water. It is normal for anode rods to wear down over time. If you have a plumber check on your smelly water right away, they may be able to replace the anode rod and save you from needing a water heater replacement. However, if your water heater operates without an anode rod for too long, it will eventually corrode beyond repair.

Water Heater Tank Making Noises

We’ve heard our Austin customers describe noises coming from their water heater in a million ways, but usually it could be said that it’s a hum, pop, rumble, crack, or even a sizzle. Most of these sounds are caused by the presence of materials other than water inside of your tank. This could be sediment, mineral deposits from hard water, or limescale. The buildup can create a sediment layer at the bottom of the tank that water must push through as it rises creating popping or rumbling. Sizzling and hissing noises usually mean debris has covered the component’s that boil water. All of these issues can be resolved by having a plumber regularly flush your tank, but if the buildup gets very severe, you may need to replace your water heater.

Whether your water heater needs to be repaired or replaced, we know that most of the time this is an unexpected expense. As a peace of mind, Reliant Plumbing offers 0% financing for 12 months through GreenSky to help when you need it the most. We are standing by with repair parts and water heaters in stock to serve the Austin area.

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