You and your family rely on your hot water heater to shower, wash the dishes, and complete your laundry. Without a functioning hot water heater, you’ll soon find that your morning routine has become a mess. Unfortunately, your home’s hot water heater is often out-of-sight, out-of-mind. You don’t mean to neglect it. It’s just that they don’t come equipped with a bright, flashing light that says “pay attention to my maintenance.”
Your friends at Wagner want to remind you that, yes, it is a good idea to keep close tabs on your water heater, especially as it nears the end of its life expectancy. In this post, we’ll share some quick maintenance tips that you can do at home, and explore some situations in which you need to put down the wrench, pick up the phone, and call us for 24/7 emergency service.
Maintaining a hot water heater
First, do you know where your hot water heater is located in your home? In most newer homes, the system is located in the garage, but the location may vary in older homes, or be placed in a basement if you have one. Next, you need to know what kind of water heater you have. Most older heaters are going to be storage tanks, but newer ones may be tankless. This matters: tankless systems are very different than their hot water counterparts, and their maintenance requirements will be different. You’ll also need to figure out if your system uses electricity or gas.
There’s some important safety steps you should consider first. Wear gloves and goggles, and always makes sure the power source is off and that the cold water intake is shut down. Make sure you’re familiar with the location of these switches. The last thing you want is to desperately need to shut the water off in the event of a leak, but not be sure where the switch is.
Here’s a handy, detailed guide from Lowe’s on how to maintain various aspects of your water heater, from flushing the tank to dealing with leaks. If you have any questions about the steps contained in this guide, let Wagner know. We’d be happy to help.
When to call the professionals
If you get stuck at any point in your water heater maintenance, don’t hesitate to call the Wagner Mechanical team. Our plumbers can either talk you through the process or come out to your home to fix the problem. If, at any point, you feel uncomfortable with the maintenance process, stop what you’re doing and call our team.
If you followed the safety steps above, you shouldn’t have any potential for a major leak. However, if you encounter a water heater problem that you can’t solve, call Wagner immediately before it gets worse.
Signs that you need a new water heater
Maintenance can only get your water heater so far. As time passes, eventually all water heaters begin to succumb to age. Most standard, tanked water heaters should be replaced soon after their 10th birthday. But, here are two other signs you should replace your water heater:
- If the water coming out of your faucets is rusty when you turn the faucet to the hot setting. The presence of rust may be an indicator that the interior of the hot water heater has begun to start the rusting process. This can eventually lead to a burst if not treated by a professional immediately.
- If your hot water heater has begun to leak, even if only slightly. As tanked water heaters age, the continual process of heating and cooling will cause the tank to expand and contract. After doing this for a decade or more, hairline fractures begin to form in the metal tank.
- If all the connections are dry but you hot water heater is still leaving water on the floor, you’ll want to call the Wagner team to determine what’s gone wrong.
Ready to get started?
Wagner Mechanical is here to guide you through the process of maintaining your water heater. Whether you’re a DIY expert who is ready to jump right in, or you need some help from our team, Wagner has the expertise to help you keep your water heater running right. Give us a call to learn more!