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Water Heaters 101 Back to the Basics

Learning the Basics of Hot Water Heaters

The basics of how a water heater works in a home are rather simple and straightforward. It starts with cold water being brought in through the water line and passing through a dip tube at the top of the water heater. What a homeowner will find inside the tank differs based on the type of water heater. There will be a heating element in an electric heater, while a gas heater will have a burner at the bottom with a chimney in the center of the tank to spread the heat. Once the hot water is summoned elsewhere in the home, like for a shower, bath, dishwasher, or washing machine, it flows out of the heat-out pipe, then goes to its final destination.

Every home and homeowner will experience life with a water heater. Knowing at least the bare minimum of information on these units can help save time and money. 

The Types of Water Heaterswater heater

There are a variety of different types of water heaters, each with its own pros and cons. The two most popular types of water heaters are tank heaters and tankless heater systems. Both types can be used with either electric heating elements or gas burners. Tank systems can hold upwards of 80 gallons of water for large household water heaters, while tankless systems offer instant and on-demand unlimited hot water. 

Choosing the correct water heater may seem daunting, but with the help of qualified professionals keeping, updating, or replacing the current system should be no trouble. There are other types of water heaters a homeowner can look into as well, including solar-powered units, hybrid heaters, condensing units, and on-demand. 

Water Heater Maintenance Tips

Keeping up-to-date on a water heater may seem like a trivial thing, but overall, it can lead to a longer and better life span of the unit. Tank units can last upwards of 10 years with proper yearly maintenance and sediment build-up cleanings. Tankless units often don’t need as much upkeep as tank units but are more affected by hard water. The amount of maintenance an on-demand unit will need will depend on the location and hardness of local water. 

Here are a few basic maintenance tips to have done by a professional:

  • Having the system flushed
  • Insulating the tank and pipes
  • Checking the thermostat
  • Inspecting the valves and pipes

Signs of Water Heater Repair Is Neededwater heater

The last way any homeowner wants to learn that their water heater needs repair is mid-shower. That’s why it’s important to know some of the telltale signs repair is needed, including: 
  1. The age of a water heater is the first telling sign. After about 10 years, a tank system is generally in need of replacing. For a tankless system, it is around 20 years.
  2. Rusty-colored water can indicate that something inside the water heater is not pumping correctly, probably due to sediment build-up.
  3. Loud noises, gurgling, or banging sounds can be scary for any homeowner to hear and should be assessed by a professional ASAP. It could be something small like broken off the sediment and indicate a draining and cleaning or something bigger like a broken pressure release valve.
  4. Leaks or pooling water at and around the water heater show a definite sign of needed repair.
  5. No hot water can indicate something as simple as a pilot light that’s gone out, which a technician can relight for any wary homeowner. However, it could also mean something along the lines of a burnt-out heating element that would need replacing.

About Walker Plumbing, Heating & Repair

Reliable hot water heater services by Walker Plumbing, Heating & Air in Southern Utah are the best way for homeowners to protect their homes. With upfront pricing, clear communication, tailored solutions, and licensed master plumbers and technicians, Walker’ll Fix That! Contact them today for water heater repairs and services.