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Can you repair a hot water heater?

water heater in a basement

What is the most common problem with water heaters?

If you’re like most people, when your water heater quits working, you replace it. You don’t think about water heater repair being a possibility, probably because they are a mystery.  We aren’t sure what’s going on inside that tank that produces the hot water for our morning shower, but we do know without it, that shower is cold! 

Today, we’re going to answer some common hot water heater repair questions, or should it be replaced, and hopefully give you a little more knowledge about this big tank. 

The water heater in your home is working hard to provide your family hot water when you need and want it. Just like you, the water heater gets tired and because it doesn’t get any paid time off, it will begin to weaken and start having problems. For of the most common problems for water heater are as follows, along with tips on doing your own water heater repair. Before you start any troubleshooting and repairs, turn the circuit breaker off first: 

  1. Water temperature – The water temperature is a common issue households have with their water heater. There are three things that can be the problem: 
    • Cold Water – Check the circuit breaker and make sure it is in the on position or replace any fuses. Make sure the water heater power switch is in the on position. Then as a last resort, make there the water heater is getting power. 
    • Insufficient Warm Water – If the water is only getting warm, the water heater you have may not be large enough for your household. First check the cold and hot water connections to make sure they are turned on and not switched by turning the water supply off. Then turn the hot water faucet on, and if water is flowing out but cold or warm, then your connections are reversed. If that isn’t proving to be the problem, then call your plumber for water heater repair service. 
    • Too Hot Water – If the water is getting too hot, you can lower the thermostat a few degrees. The recommend temperature is 120° F for a balanced and efficient heat level. 
  2. Leaks – Try to do your own water heater repair by checking for loose connections and tighten them. Check the heating element bolts and tighten if loose. If the leak appears to be coming from the heating element, you’ll need a professional plumber water heater repair service. If the tank is leaking, it is time to replace your water heater.  A water heater leaking can be caused by a few different issues like these:  
    • a faulty T&P valve (temperature and pressure valve)
    • inappropriate water pressure
    • water heater overheating
    • valve stuck
    • a plumbing connection leaking
    • bolts loose to heating element 
    • gasket gone bad 
    • the tank is leaking
  1. Water is Discolored – Dirty, rusty looking water coming from your water heater usually indicates either the anode rod needs replacing, or the lining has rusted. If a water heater repair of replacing the anode rod doesn’t stop the dirty, rusty water, then it is time to replace the water heater. 
  2. Noises and Sounds – A water heater should be fairly quiet, but when sediment has built-up in the tank, it will cause odd noises and sounds. A fairly easy water heater repair that may fix this is to flush the tank. The owner’s manual will provide instructions on how to do this. If you don’t have the manual, you can find instructions online. If the odd noises and sounds continue after flushing the water heater, you’ll need replace the water heater. 

What would cause a hot water heater to stop working?

Hot water is a luxury that we assume will always be there when we need it, but one day, there is no hot water for your morning shower. It was working fine last night, what could have happened overnight?

  • No Power: Whether you have an electric or gas water heater, if the power source is connected or working, you’re not going to have hot water. If all the other electric or gas appliance and features of your home are working, then you need to check the circuit breaker or the gas connection to the water heater. If these check out okay, you need to schedule a water heater repair service call. 
  • Cold Water: If all you’re getting is cold water, it could be the built-in thermostat, your water heater may have two thermostats. Did you know that a thermostat can fail though, and when it does, all you’ll get is cold water. A professional plumber can complete a water heater repair for this type of issue quickly and save you from buying another unit. 
  • Sludge Clog: If you’ve never drained and flushed your water heater, it probably has built up sediment and sludge in the tank. This can keep a water heater from heating the water, or worse, cause the tank to leak and flood your home. Call a professional plumber for water heater repair to drain and flush your water heater, or you can do this yourself following the instructions in the owner’s manual. 
  • Water Heater Age: Water heaters last on average, a maximum of 12 years and by the time they are 10 years old, they start performing poorly. If you have had several water heater repair calls in the past year and the unit is 8 to 10 years old, it is time to buy a new water heater. 

Do you call a plumber to fix a hot water heater?

Yes, when there is a problem you can’t do your water heater repair as we’ve discussed here, then put that water heater repair on a professional plumber!  They will inspect the unit, do some testing and if they find is water heater repair or replacement is necessary. They will provide you a written water heater repair estimate or installing a replacement unit. 

What are the signs your hot water heater is going out?

Here are some key indicators that a water heater repair isn’t going to keep you hot water any more and it is time to buy a new one: 

  • The Age: Unfortunately, your water heater, like all the other household appliances, won’t last forever. You can usually get 10 years from a good quality unit that you’ve taken the maintenance steps like draining and flushing duties. Having a water softener installed will give your water heater a longer life too and require less water heater repairs. The first 2 numbers in the serial number will tell you the year your water heater was manufactured. 
  • Leaks:  A leaking water heater is never a good thing, and it isn’t always visible. Often, a water heater has a small leak behind it dripping into the drip pan. Check your water heater connections all around it and on top, if you see any leaks, all a professional plumber for water heater repair, or you may need to replace it, the plumber can give you the best advice. 
  • Cloudy or Rusty Water: When the water is coming out of the faucets is cloudy or rusty, or has a metallic smell, it could be the pipes between the water heater and faucets, or it could be inside the water heater tank. A possible water heater repair would be replacing the anode rod but depending on the quality of the water and the age of the water heater, then you need to get a new water heater. 
  • Short on Hot Water: If you run out of hot water fast or it takes forever to get hot, your water heater is about to quit. If you have taken the recommended maintenance steps of draining and flushing your water heater and you’re still having these issues, you definitely need a new water heater. 
  • Water Temperature Varies: Three things can get your morning off to a bad start. One is no coffee, two is no water heater, and the third is the hot water gets cold, then hot, then cold again. When a water heater isn’t keeping hot water flowing steadily in your morning shower, it is time purchase a new water heater. 
  • Strange Sounds: If your water heater has popping and rumbling sounds coming out of it, that is a sound of needing a new water heater. This sound is emitting because there mineral and sediment buildup formations inside the tank hardening. With that extra thickness inside the tank, the water heater is not heating water efficiently and it is highly likely the tank could crack any time now and flood your house. 
  • Expensive or Multiple Repairs: A regular tune-up for your water heater shouldn’t be costly. As it gets older and parts begin to wear out, however, maintenance work will likely get more expensive. Smart homeowners know to compare the rising cost of fixing the unit with a replacement. When repairs become too expensive, replacing the water heater will be the clear solution.

How many years does a water heater last?

A good quality water heater with recommended maintenance by the homeowner, i.e. annual draining, and flushing, keeping connections tight, will give you a lifespan of 10 years or more, some have even lasted 20 years. Without the recommended maintenance, you can expect a lifespan of 8 years or less. Call 423-718-7342 today for your water heater repair needs in Chattanooga, TN.

What is high recovery water heater?

high recovery water heater system

How is water heater recovery rate calculated?

When you use up all the hot water, your water heater has a recovery period before it will have hot water again. Every brand and model has a different recovery period, of course the better the brand and model, the faster the recovery. However, each brand has its own model of high recovery water heater, with the average around 55 gallons within an hour. 

What that means to you  is that with a high recovery water heater, your 50 gallon capacity water heater will be able to furnish you hot water in an hour.  What is the difference between a high recovery water heater vs regular water heater? The water heaters with less recovery will have up to 40 gallons of water heated within that same hour. 

The recovery rate is the volume of hot water a water heater can produce during a specific time frame. There are several factors that can affect that volume of hot water be produced: 

  • Heating element wattage
  • Size of burner
  • Temperature setting
  • Time frame allowed

The Recovery Rate is commonly specified out by the number of  gallons that are produced based on a 100º ascent in temperature within an hour. Today, 90 degrees is used for the baseline in most places versus the 140 degrees in the past. 

To determine how long it will take a water to recover the amount of water drained to get at the same temperature, this generic number is an example of how to calculate that information: BTU times recovery efficiency = pounds of water heated one degree. Take that number and divide it by 8.33 then divide that by the required temperature increase desired. 

How long does it take for a water heater to fully recover?

Water heaters may be the hardest working appliance in every home. It is faithful in creating hot water for every bath, load of dishes or laundry, and cooking. The average home with 1.5 bathrooms have a forty-gallon water heater. 

The hot water recovery time varies between electric water heaters and gas water heaters. An electric forty-gallon water heater will recover the spent hot water in two hours on the average.  A forty-gallon gas water heater recovers its spent hot water within one hour. 

What is recovery efficiency in a water heater?

For example, a gas water heater is said to have a recover rate of 75%, meaning that 75% of the gas burner heat is actually used to heat the water and 25% of the heat is wasted up the vent.  An electric water heater however, with a heating element that is immersed has 99% recovery rate, meaning only one percent of the energy is wasted. 

It is important to note that while an electric water heater uses less energy to heat the water than a gas water heater, however, because the gas unit takes less recovery time, less gas is used compared to the amount of electricity used. A 50 gallon high recovery water heater offers hot water fifty percent faster than a standard 50 gallon water heater. This attracts the attention of homeowners a jacuzzi or teenagers. 

How do I know if my water heater is working?

The following are indications that your  water heater is not working: 

  1. You run out hot water: If all you’re able to get from your water heater is one shower or one load in the dishwasher, then you need to replace your water heater. If you have a busy household, aka, kids, then consider upgrading to a high recovery water heater. 
  2. Water temperature varies: If you have really hot water one time and the next time you have to wait for it to get lukewarm, it is time to replace that unit with a new water heater. 
  3. Leaking water heater: when you hear water dripping in the drip pan or you find water in the floor around the water heater, it is past time to replace the unit. 
  4. 4. Water flow reduced: If you have  sudden drop in water flow or water pressure, it could be your water heater needs to be flushed to remove any buildup of sediment. However, if your water heater is close to 10 years old or older, replace it now!  
  5. Noises and sounds: A water heater should not be noisy to the point you hear it above everything else in your house. Any banging, boiling, cracking, or gurgling sounds indicates your water heater is full of sediment and sludge. Flushing it out may help, but chances, it simply needs to be replaced. 
  6. Discolored and smelly water: When you notice a strange odor like rotten eggs coming from your water faucets, or the water heater smells like burning, or the water is discolored in a muddy or rusty color, that water heater is done. That is what you’re bathing in and cooking with and it is full of bacteria you don’t want to ingest.
  7. The age of your water heater: The average water heater will give you up to 10 to 12 years of use, after that 10th year, start shopping for a new water heater.  
water heater system

Which type of water heater typically has the highest recovery rate?

The best high recovery water heater is an electric unit. Electric water heaters for residential use typically have a one-hundred percent recovery efficiency because of the immersion-style elements. Electric water heaters don’t have a flue like a gas water heater, there isn’t any wasted energy going up. 

Don’t wait until your water heater has quit working. Use the information within this piece to know when your water heater is near its end-of-life. Whether you have a house full of kids or it is just a one person show, replacing your hot water with a high recovery water heater unit is an investment worth. For high recovery water heater installation in Chattanooga, TN, call 423-718-7342 today!

Do Electric Water Heaters Need Maintenance?

water heater system

Keeping your water hot

How often do you practice water heater maintenance? If you’re like most homeowners, probably never. We have a new water heater installed and life goes on every day with bathing, cleaning, and cooking.  Until the water starts giving us problems again, maybe 10 years later. In our piece today, we’re going to answer some basic questions about How to maintain a water heater and help you get more than 10 years from your water heater. 

To get a longer lifespan from your water heater, you should have a Water heater maintenance checklist and follow it just as you do for changing the HVAC air filter and other household duties. How do you maintain a water heater? Here are six easy and inexpensive things water heater maintenance steps that will extend the lifespan of the water heater and increase its operating efficiency. Following these steps, you can avoid expensive Water heater maintenance and repairs. 

1. The TPR Valve

  • Turn off the power and the cold-water supply.
  • With a bucket placed under the pipe connection to the TPR (temperature-pressure-release) valve, usually located on the top or side of the water tank. 
  • Lift the tab to release some water from the tank then let go. If water doesn’t stop flowing, partially drain the tank and with pipe wrench, unscrew the old valve and install a new TPR valve.

2. The Anode Rod

  • Attach a hose to the drain cock on the tank to release some water.
  • Using a 1 and 1/16-inch socket with hex head, unscrew the rod and if there is half inch thick calcium build-up, replace it with a new one, wrapping the threads with plumber tape and return to tank, securely tightening it. 

3. Drain Tank, Rinse Out Sediment

  • Drain any remaining water into the bucket and open the cold-water valve to stir up the sediment in the tank’s bottom. Drain and repeat the process until clean water is coming from the hose
  • Shut the drain cock and refill the tank, the turn the power on.

4. Tweak the Temperature

  • Unscrew the cover on the temperature dial and with a flathead screwdriver, remove the cover and adjust the temperature dial to 120 degrees. For every ten degrees you lower the temperature, you’ll save as much as five percent in energy costs.
  • If you’re not home for 3 or more days, you can turn the water heater off or turn the thermostat down to the lowest setting.

5. Pipe Insulation

  • Slide 3/8-inch-thick foam insulation that will matches the pipe diameter over both the cold and hot water pipes.

6. Heater Insulation

  • Cut an insulating blanket so that it fits around pipes, temperature control, and TPR valve that are outside the tank.
  • Wrap the tank and then use foil tape to seal the cuts. Do not cover the top!  

Do water heaters need maintenance?

A water heater is like any other basic household appliance – it needs to be maintained and kept up to get a longer lifespan.  When a water heater maintenance is properly cared for, you can get up to 12 to 15 years lifespan. Recognizing the following signs and addressing them as soon as possible, you could extend its lifespan, or have is professionally repaired or replaced before it leaves you without hot water. 

Inconsistent or no heat

Obviously, if there is not any hot water at all, there is a problem with the water heater. If the heat is fluctuating, that is an indication the heating element is covered in mineral deposits, blocking, and interfering the heating process.

Low pressure 

Mineral build-ups can block the water pipes that are connected to the water heater.

Strange sounds

A water heater should naturally make some sounds, but when those sounds get so loud they are disturbing the household, it may be time to replace the unit. Loud banging, cracking, or popping sounds need to be addressed.

Water pooling at base

If the water heater has water puddled around the base or is leaking, it could be under high pressure that needs to be released or it could be cracked and needs to be replaced. 

What is the lifespan of a water heater?

Water heaters did good to last ten years not that long ago, but today, water heaters are designed better and last longer than those older models. With water heater maintenance routine, a water heater can last as long twelve, even fifteen years.  The condition of the water running through the water heater can affect the lifespan as well.  This is why water heater maintenance is so important to stay on top of with a regular routine.

Electrical water heater system

How do you know your water heater is going?

Here are four signs you have a bad water heater and should schedule your plumber soon to replace the unit: 

  • Water heater age: Knowing how old your water heater is will tell you that is nearing the end of life. The serial number on the tank will usually provide that information.
  • Rusty water: When rusty water is coming out of the hot water faucet, this indicates the tank has rusted inside and will only be a short time before it busts through and starts leaking. 
  • Noises and rumbling: The older a water heater gets, the more sediment build ups inside and on the bottom. That sediment hardens and the water isn’t able to flow through and heat as efficient as it should.
  • Water on floor: If you notice water around the base and on the floor, the tank may have a crack and is leaking on the floor as it contracts and expands.

We recommend a routine of regular water heater maintenance, but how often should a water heater be serviced? For most homeowners, it is recommended a water should be flushed every six months. If you live in an area with hard water, you may consider installing a water softener and flushing your water heater every three months. Need water heater maintenance in Chattanooga, TN? Call 423-718-7342 today.

Can Tankless Water Heater Heat Whole House?

A Tankless Water Heater in a Shower.

Can tankless water heater heat whole house?

If you are thinking about installing a tankless water heater, you are probably wondering if it will be sufficient to heat all the hot water in your home. Largely, this will depend on the size of your home and the size of the system you choose. You will need a larger tankless unit to heat the whole home than you would to heat a particular appliance or section of your home. Several manufacturers produce such units. When you are looking for professional tankless water heater installation in Chattanooga, TN, search no further than Chattanooga Water Heater Co.. We offer a full range of water heater services. Learn more by calling 423-718-7342.

Which is better tank or tankless water heater?

If you’re planning to replace your water heater, you might want to consider a tankless system over a standard tank water heater. People choose tankless systems because of the appeal of getting hot water on demand. Because you draw hot water as needed, instead of heating water in a storage tank, you’re also saving energy, so tankless systems are generally more energy-efficient than tank systems. One drawback tankless systems have is the ability to heat a whole household using one system.

Tankless systems are also valued because they are so much smaller than a tank system. But this small size means you often have to install more than one system to meet a large household’s hot water demand. A smaller tankless unit can get overwhelmed when demand is high and it can take it longer to heat water. Some manufacturers, however, produce large units that will meet the demand of a larger household. Another disadvantage of tankless systems is the higher cost of installation, although this cost is often offset by long-term energy savings. Tax rebates are also sometimes available.

Is a tankless water heater worth it?

Energy savings and endless hot water draw people to tankless water heaters. But are these the only reasons you’d want to have one installed in your home? What is the downside of a tankless water heater?

Pros

  • Delivers on the promise of hot water on demand.
  • Lasts almost 20 years, or about twice as long as a tank water heater.
  • As much as 22% more efficient than tank systems and reduces the cost of “standby loss” because it only runs when needed.
  • Even the largest units take up much less space than a tank system.
  • Tax credits available in most cases.
  • Longer warranties are usually offered.

Cons

  • Hot water temperatures can be inconsistent.
  • Initial installation costs are high.
  • Can get overwhelmed by demand trying to supply several outlets at once.
  • Additional equipment like water softeners often needed.
  • Gas lines sometimes have to be rerouted.
  • Annual maintenance required so warranties remain valid.

Can you run out of hot water with a tankless water heater?

Technically, a tankless water heater can never run out of hot water. Hot water that can be depleted isn’t being stored in a tank. Instead, water is heated as it’s needed. Why does my tankless water heater go cold? While your tankless system can’t technically run out of hot water, you might occasionally find yourself initially taking a cold shower.

When demand is high the system can get overwhelmed. This can happen if two or more outlets are being used at the same time and the system is too small to handle it. It’s also possible cold water could be lingering in the pipes and you might get an unexpected chill before the hot water comes out.

Can tankless water heater be installed in attic?

For the most part, you can install a tankless water heater anywhere there is room in your home, including in the attic. If your tankless system is gas, you will also need to make sure there is proper ventilation to release toxic gases like carbon monoxide. Moreover, with gas appliances of any kind, you have to have enough combustion air available for the appliance to work. This means there must be enough air around for combustion to occur consistently.

Can tankless water heater be installed outside?

Both gas and electric tankless water heaters can be installed outside. In fact, some gas tankless systems are made specifically for outdoor installation and you will have to choose between interior and exterior models when putting a new tankless system in. Electric tankless systems will need to have some kind of shelter installed over them to protect them from the elements.

A Tankless Water Heater on a Green Tile Wall

Who installs tankless water heaters?

If you are looking to install a tankless water heater in Chattanooga, TN, turn to the water heater specialists at Chattanooga Water Heater Co.. We have the expertise to install any kind of water heater you want. Start benefiting from hot water on demand today with a tankless system by calling 423-718-7342.

How Often Should Water Heater Be Inspected?

A Technician Inspects a Water Heater.

How often should water heater be inspected?

Your water heater is essential for your home. You want to make sure it’s working properly and providing you with enough hot water. To ensure your water heater is in great shape all year, you  should schedule a water heater inspection at least once per year. With an inspection, technicians can catch problems early on and make necessary repairs before they get worse and end up costing you a great deal of money. Moreover, your system will be flushed, which will help control sediment build-up, a common cause of problems for water heaters. Inspections also often involve deep cleaning of components like coils and rods. If you want make sure your water heater is working properly in Chattanooga, TN get in touch with the pros at Chattanooga Water Heater Co. for expert water heater inspection and testing. You can reach us at 423-718-7342.

What is a water heater inspection?

A water heater inspection is a yearly maintenance service for your water heater. With an inspection, you can check for major problems like sediment build-up that might cause your water heater to malfunction. If such problems are addressed quickly, you can save money on serious repair or premature replacement costs. Moreover, inspections help keep your system running efficiently, which will lower your energy expenses. Water heaters make up about 18% of home energy usage. 

How do you check a water heater?

If your water heater suddenly stops producing hot water, you’ll want to check to see what might be causing the problem. Some quick checks could save you on expensive repairs. Look at the circuit breaker to see if it’s flipped or a fuse has blown. Replace the fuses and wait for about an hour to see if the water heats up. You also want to check the thermostat, temperature limit switch, and heating element for any signs of damage. These are located behind the water heater’s access panel. Whether or not there are obvious signs of damage, you’ll want to call out a professional like those at Chattanooga Water Heater Co. for a more thorough water heater inspection and repair.

What are the signs of a failing water heater?

Lack of hot water is usually the most common sign your water heater is on the brink of failure, but you’ll want to stay alert to these other problems:

  • Popping or rumbling noises usually indicate mineral and sediment build-up are affecting the system. If the sediment is flushed and the noises persist, there could be a crack or leak.
  • Cloudy water means you have heavy sediment buildup, while rusty water means either your water heater or plumbing pipes are rusted and need to be replaced.
  • A faulty pressure relief valve will either be leaking or restrict hot water flow when it’s tested. It will need to be replaced. Leaving it unchecked could lead to dangerously high pressure building up and possible bursting or even explosion.
  • A leaking tank will require you to replace your water heater.

By having a regular water heater inspection, you can often safeguard your water heater, yourself, and your property from serious and expensive problems.

What happens if you don’t flush your water heater?

When you don’t have your water heater flushed—a task often performed with a water heater inspection—sediment will build up in the tank, which can cause a variety of problems. Sediment build-up can cause the tank to corrode, which eventually leads it to crack and leak. This build-up can also cause your pressure relief valve to clog, and that can lead to your water heater bursting or exploding. 

Do home inspectors check water heaters?

A good home inspector will inspect water heaters very thoroughly, looking for leaks or other signs of corrosion or sediment buildup that could lead to serious damage and expenses. If your water heater failed inspection you’ll want to make sure it’s repaired before you sell your home. If you don’t repair it, you might have to renegotiate the price on your home so the buyers can make necessary repairs.

Water heater inspection after installation

When you have a new water heater installed in your home, it will have to be inspected immediately afterward. The inspection will ensure that the water heater was installed properly. It may also detect minor issues with the new unit that can be corrected. You want to make sure the unit was installed correctly as incorrect installation can lead to dangerous situations that can harm you and your property. If you are installing the water heater yourself, you should check your city permits office for any required permits.  

A Technician Checks a Water Heater.

Who does water heater inspection

As part of your regular maintenance plan, you should have your water heater inspected at least once per year. When you need expert water heater inspection in Chattanooga, TN, you can always count on the trusted local professionals at Chattanooga Water Heater Co.. Find out how we can help you or schedule a service appointment by calling 423-718-7342.

Do Water Heater Boosters Work?

water heater booster

Do Water Heater Boosters Work?

A water heater booster installation is an important installation when water heaters need assistance. A tank booster is in charge of mixing cold water from the input valve with hot water. This procedure allows water to be stored at a higher temperature and then released at a cold temperature. Acknowledging that the temperature in a water heater being raised and mixed with cold water means that a tank booster draws less water out of a hot water tank. 

How Do I Increase My Hot Water Time?

Are you interested in expanding your hot water time? There are a couple of tips that can help you extend your hot water time. The first thing that will help you is flushing your water heater tank once a year. Practically all water heater manufacturers recommend flushing the water heater tank annually. The second thing that you will want to do is check the anode rod and replace it if it is badly corroded. The third thing that you will want to do is insulate the hot water heater tank if possible.

Can Water Heaters Last 20 Years?

Water heaters can certainly last a long time, especially if they have the proper maintenance and repairs when the time is necessary. Please review the following bullet-pointed list to discover more about the symptoms to be observant of when it’s time to replace your water heater.

  • When your water heater if ten, fifteen, or twenty years old, it will be important to make sure that it is performing as efficiently as possible. Newer models of water heaters will perform better than old versions.
  • If the unit is rusting in one or more areas, it will be important to bring in a water heater technician to survey the unit.
  • Erratic noises. If your water heater is making unusual or banging noises, it is certainly a sign of problems.
  • Leaks. If your water heater is leaking, it is certainly a sign that you will need to replace it. The sooner the better for water heaters because water damage can damage your floor and your subfloor.

Should I Replace My 15 Year Old Water Heater?

According to leading experts, it is important for you to replace your water heater if it is over six to twelve years old, or when you start running out of hot water faster. However, it is important to consider that there are other factors that will give credence to this eventual decision. If your fifteen-year-old water heater is performing perfectly well, there is certainly no need to replace it. If you have hard water that will negatively impact all of your water appliances, ranging from your dishwasher to your laundry machine, and to your water heater.

Should You Replace a 20-Year-Old Water Heater?

According to leading experts on the issue, if your water heater is over ten years old, a water heater replacement is never completely out of the equation. If your water heater is leaking, then it must be replaced as soon as possible. The other thing that you must be aware of is if your water appears to have any sediment in it. If so, your water has become contaminated. A proficient plumber or water heater technician will be able to diagnose the source of the problem and get you a good pathway forward.

How Does Water Heater Booster Work

Tank boosters work by mixing cold water from the input valve with the heated water that comes from the hot water valve. It’s important to consider that with a tank booster the water heater temperature can be set to 140 F but will come out at 120 F. This means that less hot water is coming out of the tank and it subsequently increases storage capacity.

Hot Water Heater Booster

There are a number of different hot water heater boosters on the market. The best way to find out which one is best for you is to set up a consultation with a licensed and insured HVAC repairman. He or she will be able to discuss your hot water heater booster options and get you the assistance you need.

Hot Water Heater Booster Pump

Hot water heater booster pumps are vital when they are necessary. Due to the fact that they are a large expense, it is important to set up a consultation with a reputable HVAC technician and discuss the factors that are contributing to the need.

water heater booster

Water Heater Booster for Dishwasher

Your dishes need to be clean when they come out of the dishwasher. It is only possible if you have enough hot water to make that happen. Through a consultation with a reputable HVAC technician.

If you need a water heater booster in Chattanooga, TN, you can rely on us to get the job done right. Please reach out to us at 423-718-7342.

What would cause a gas hot water heater to stop working?

gas water heater dial

Reliable Water Heating Units

Natural gas is one of the cleanest forms of energy we have today. It is popular, and preferred, by restaurants for cooking and when it comes to hot water, a gas water heater heats the water up faster than an electric unit. The gas water heater efficiency level is higher than an electric water heater, but it can be a little more complicated to understand a how these units work. To learn more about a gas water heater for your Chattanooga, TN, dial 423-718-7342 to connect with the experts at Chattanooga Water Heater Co..

Can water heaters last 20 years?

The typical warranty for a gas powered hot water heater is usually five or six years. A higher quality, more expensive brand will have a ten-year warranty. Gas water heater made of fiberglass will typically come with a lifetime warranty and a stainless steel gas water heater will last even longer than a conventional unit.

So, if we were to even all things to equal, a new gas water heater should last the length of the warranty. If you keep the basic maintenance done, like flushing it as recommended by the manufacturer, you could get up to thirteen years or longer.

gas water heater

How long should a gas water heater last?

A manufacturer’s basic warranty for service life of a gas water heater is eight to twelve years. Where the water heater is used can affect the lifespan based on the water quality. Professional installation can affect the lifespan, and the homeowner’s diligence of maintenance can all affect the life span. With all things in an ideal situation, you could get up to thirteen years or longer.

How do you know when your water heater needs replacing?

Here in Chattanooga, Tennessee, like anywhere else, the water heater is an essential appliance for the household. We’re taking bathes or showers, we’re washing dishes or cooking, or we’re doing laundry. Not a day goes by that you won’t use you gas water heater. If you aren’t sure how old your gas water heater is, or you do know and wonder if it is time to replace it, here are some signs that will tell you it is time to get a new water heater:

The Age

If you aren’t sure how your gas water heater is, look for the manufacturer’s serial number tag. The first two numbers of the serial number are the year they manufactured your gas water heater. If you can’t find that tag, use the manufacturer’s website and they may have a source to determine the age.  A gas water heater that is ten years old needs to be replaced unless you have a history of the unit. 

Water is Rusty

If the hot water coming out of your faucets is rusty, your gas water heater is probably rusted inside the tank. Drain your water heater into several five-gallon buckets and if any rust comes out, you need a new gas water heater. Metallic tasting water or muddy looking water is a sign that a new gas water heater is needed.

Insufficient Hot Water Supply

If one load of wash keeps you from getting a hot shower, your gas water heater has probably reached its end of life. Overtime, sediment from the water will build up inside the water heater tanks and eventually, it can’t keep a supply of hot water. This is one reason manufacturers recommend draining your gas water heater ever two to three years to keep that sediment level minimized. 

Clanking and Rumbling

A gas water heater should be relatively quiet, but as they age and that sediment builds up in the tank, it is heated and reheated, eventually hardening. A lot of energy is wasted and you’re not getting full use of your water heater.  When you hear clanking, rumbling, or other noises, you’re probably running out of hot water faster too, it is time to replace the unit with a more energy efficient unit.

Leaking Gas Water Heater       

Metal contracts and expands with cooling and heating. If there is the smallest fracture in the gas water heater tank, you’ll probably notice sooner than later that your gas water heater is leaking. What if you don’t see any fractures or water leaking from the tank, but there is water in the floor around the water heater? Check all the connections and fittings to make sure none of it has come loose. Check the drain pan and if there is water there, your gas water heater is leaking from the bottom. 

How do I know if my gas water heater is bad?

Reviewing the signs of a gas water heater reaching its end of life are the same signs that a water heater is bad. If you’re not getting any hot water from it, it is already beyond those signs, and if you don’t know the exact age and can’t find the serial number tag, it is probably an old model that should have been replaced long ago.

How do you troubleshoot a gas hot water heater?

No hot water? First thing you want to check is the pilot light. Towards the bottom of the tank you’ll find an inspection window. Check there for either a small flame or an LED light, depending on how old your gas water heater is. If no flame or light, then the pilot light has gone out and needs to be relit. Your water heater should have instructions on the side of it how to relight it. 

If the pilot light on the gas water heater will not light, then check the electric spark needed isn’t getting to the pilot. This could be because the gas line has air in itand needs to be purged.  Or the gas supply valve is turned off. It should be in a parallel position with the gas pipe.

Sometimes, the thermocouple could be defective, which is easy to replace yourself if you have any mechanical ability. If not, call a professional plumber to replace it for you. The gas pressure may be too low, which will need to be checked by a professional plumber or your gas company.

working on a gas water heater

Last Words

A gas water heater is one of the cleanest ways to heat water. It burns clean and cooks faster. Take the time to drain your water heater once every two or three years and you’ll have many good years of use from your gas water heater for your Chattanooga, TN. Call the team at Chattanooga Water Heater Co. using 423-718-7342_ to learn more!

What is a High Recovery Water Heater?

A Technician Services a Water Heater.

What is a high recovery water heater?

When choosing a water heater for your home and household, you’ll need to consider several aspects including size and what kind of fuel—usually gas or electric—the water heater will run on. In addition to size and fuel type—natural gas is the most common—you’ll want a unit that is energy efficient and recovers hot water quickly. A high recovery water heater might be an option for you, especially if you have a large family that uses a lot of hot water. These are units, usually larger, with extremely fast recovery times. You can find labels on the unit that show its energy efficiency and recovery time or first-hour rating (FHR)—how quickly it heats water. When selecting your water heater, FHR is a key measure, and you’ll want a unit that can manage your household’s usage. The higher the FHR, the higher the recovery.

While most households with a one-and-a-half bath can operate fairly efficiently with a 40-gallon tank for larger households, a bigger tank—50 gallons or more—is required. These bigger tanks often have higher recovery times. One of the best ways to determine what kind of water heater you might need is to talk with a plumbing professional, especially one that specializes in water heaters like Chattanooga Water Heater Co.. You can also get help with high recovery water heater installation in Chattanooga, TN. Learn more about how we can help by calling 423-718-7342

What is a good recovery rate for a hot water heater?

If your household uses a lot of hot water, a high recovery water heater may be right for you. These units are usually larger—50 gallons or more—but the size of the tank isn’t what matters the most, it’s the recovery rate. This number measures how quickly in an hour it takes your water heater to heat water to 90 ¼ degrees. The number appears as gallons per hour (gph). A normal 50-gallon unit heats water at around 40 gph, and the higher the gph, the faster you’ll get hot water, and the more you’ll be able to use at any one time. Some heavy-duty models get 50-60 gph, and certain brands can produce almost 160 gph. What’s best for your household should be determined by how much hot water you use. You might have a large household that uses very little hot water or a small family with young children that uses a lot of water for baths, laundry and cleaning. The small family, in this case, might need a unit with a high recovery rate. 

High recovery water heater vs regular

When choosing between a high recovery water heater and a regular unit, you’ll weigh the advantages and disadvantages of both.

  • Regular water heaters are less expensive and cheaper and easier to install 
  • Regular water heaters are less efficient than high recovery.
  • For gas heaters, the room where it is installed must be fire-rated and venting must be adequate
  • High recovery water heaters are more efficient and cost less to operate.
  • Hot water is created much more quickly with high recovery.
  • No fire-rated room is required.
  • Installation costs can be higher for high recovery units, depending on venting.

How long does it take for a 50 gallon water heater to run out of hot water?

In general, a standard water heater will deliver about two-thirds of its capacity at a time. If you use about 2 gallons of hot water per shower, a 50-gallon tank will run out of hot water after about 17 minutes. It will take about 20 minutes for the tank to refill and another 20 minutes or so to heat back up.

How long does it take for a 40 gal water heater to recover?

The time for a 40-gallon water heater to recover will depend on whether it is gas or electric. A gas water heater will take about an hour to recover, while an electric water heater will take about two hours. If you have a high recovery water heater, which normally has a larger tank, it will heat the water in much less time, on average about 20 minutes.

Electric water heater with a high recovery rate

Recovery rates for electric water heaters will vary. A key to a high recovery rate for an electric high recovery water heater is the wattage of the unit’s heating element. A small 750 watt heating element will only heat 3.4 gph to 90 degrees, while a 6,000-watt unit can heat water to 90 degrees at 27.3 gph. 

High recovery gas water heater

Typically, if you are getting a high recovery water heater, you’ll be getting a gas water heater. The recovery rate is figured on BTU (British thermal units). A 30,000 BTU unit will raise the water temperature to 90 degrees at 30.3 gph, while a 100,000 BTU unit will raise the temperature to 90 degrees at 101 gph.

A Plumber Connects a High Recovery Water Heater.

What is the most reliable hot water heater?

There are multiple great water heaters on the market today. Among the leading brands are Rheem, AO Scott, and Whirlpool. Many consider the Rheem Performance Platinum Gas Water Heater the best high recovery water heater on the market today. It has a 50-gallon tank with 40,000 BTU/hour recovery. It’s a good unit for a medium-sized household. Of course there are plenty of great brands out there and if you are looking for a high recovery water heater in Chattanooga, TN, let the professionals at Chattanooga Water Heater Co. help you select the very best for your family. Find out how we can help or book a service appointment by calling 423-718-7342.

Do water heaters need maintenance?

water heater in need of maintenance

Expert maintenance for your water heater

Have you recently replaced your old water heater? No more gurgling sounds and the hot water comes out faster now. What you may not realize, to get a longer lifespan, water heater maintenance is necessary. Yes, a water heater needs maintenance to get the full life expectancy the manufacturer offers.

You can do this yourself, and we will provide you water heater maintenance tips on how to perform this maintenance. Or you can hire a water heater maintenance company, which could be the same company that installed your new water heater also provides water heater services.

How often should a water heater be serviced?

Today, it would be hard to imagine living without a water heater in our lives. We’ve become accustomed to this appliance in our home, our businesses, everywhere. We use hot water for bathing, cleaning, and cooking. There are industries that use hot water to create steam.

It isn’t a law when it comes to the frequency of water heater maintenance how often. Experts recommend it to have a regular water heater maintenance schedule for inspection and service of your water heater. The purpose of this is for you to get the longest lifespan possible.

Every two months, experts recommend checking the plumbing joints for corrosion as a part of your water heater maintenance schedule. If your water heater is gas-powered, make sure there are no flammable products around it.

Experts also recommend draining your water heater every 5 years to remove the sediment that builds up inside water heaters. You should replace the anode rod every 2 to 3 years, and they recommend that you should have this done by a professional as it entails many internal workings.        

How do I shut the water off to my water heater?

Gas and water leaks are two things that scare people about working on a water heater. If you know how to turn off both the gas and the water, it isn’t so scary, so even if you hear an alarm going off from the water heater, don’t panic. Turn off the gas and water, then call the plumber. Now, let’s earn how to turn that gas and water off so you can proceed with your regular water heater maintenance schedule that will keep your new water heater going for a long time. 

  • Disconnect the Water Heater from the Power Source – if it is an electrical heater, turn off the power at the circuit breaker. If you have a gas water heater, turn the thermostat to the lowest point. 
  • Turning the Water Off – Only after you are 100% sure the electricity is off, find the handle on the water heater and if it is a circular handle, turn it to the right. This will open the cold-water flow, turning off the hot water to the kitchen and bathroom. If you aren’t sure where the water turns off at the water heater, turn off the main water supply to your house. 

How do you drain a water heater for maintenance?

Once you have the electricity and water off going to the water heater, the tank is drained through a connection at the bottom of the tank with a water hose. After inserting the hose there and running it outside or into a tub and allow the water and sediment to drain out. This is one of the biggest things you can to with your regular water heater maintenance schedule that will extend the life of your water heater.

Can I flush my own water heater?

Definitely! Making it part of your water heater maintenance schedule, flushing your water heater will help extend its lifetime. The first thing you need to know is where the cold-water spigot is on the water heater tank. Hook up the water hose as described above and turn the cold water on, allowing it to run until the water coming out of the hose is clear.

water heater in a basement

How do you know when to replace a hot water heater?

Everyone in your household uses the water heater every day. When you consider the number of times, each person uses hot water, you can better understand the demands a water heater has to meet and why eventually, a replacement water heater is needed. It doesn’t have to be a surprise outage though.

A water heater will not last forever, we’ve discussed this. An average lifespan of a water heater is eight to ten years, some have lasted as long as 20 years. If your water heater is close to its 8th anniversary, you should start paying attention to these indications: 

  • Rust on the tank, in the water, or both
  • Rusty inlet/valve
  • Rusty pipes
  • Gurgling and popping noises
  • Leaks around the bottom
  • Won’t heat water

By performing a regular schedule for water heater maintenance, these are the things that you will prevent from happening too soon and keep your water heater around a little longer.

Create a water heater maintenance checklist and follow this with your regular water heater maintenance routine: 

  • The Pressure Relief Valve: the pressure relief valve is needed to make sure it is working order, it is the safety mechanism that prevents it from exploding if there is a buildup of pressure inside the tank.   
  • The Anode Rod: The anode rod attracts corrosive minerals, so the rod corrodes instead of the tank. By replacing it every 5 to 6 years, the tank won’t corrode as quickly. 
  • Tank Flushing: Once a year flushing the tank will remove mineral sediment build-up that rusts the tank. 

While this may all seem overwhelming, once you have a routine water heater maintenance in place, it will become second nature, like changing the HVAC filter. For your water heater maintenance in Chattanooga, TN, call 423-718-7342 today.

Do water heaters need to be inspected?

tank water heater in a corner

Inspection to keep your system at its best

When you read that title, you may have said to yourself, “Do water heaters need servicing?” in a curious and surprised tone.  You wouldn’t be the first or only homeowner to have asked that question, most of them ask it out loud, much less would they have any idea that a water heater inspection is something they should be doing.

As a homeowner, you know you have responsibilities beyond paying the mortgage, insurance, taxes, and utilities, right?  There is keeping the house clean and the yard clean and trimmed, changing the HVAC filter monthly, replacing batteries in the smoke alarm monthly, and inspecting the roof and the plumbing from time to time, and all those small but important things. Do you perform or have a water heater inspection done?

Probably not. If you’re like most homeowners, you may not even realize that it is something you can and should be doing. You’re getting plenty of hot water so why would you do a water heater inspection? Our answer to that question is: So, you can keep getting hot water from it and catch any problems before they become a problem.

Maybe you’re asking, “How do I get my water heater inspected?”, and we’ve got a water heater inspection checklist for you here.  Or you can call a professional plumber to do an inspection, we recommend twice a year, or at least once a year. Instead of waiting for water heater problems come about, be proactive with the following simple inspection steps. This will ensure your water heater is operating correctly, efficiently, and safe:

  1. Is the hot water supply consistent? If the hot water flow unexpectedly drops, the burner could burn out or the tank may have sediment build-up in the bottom.  
  2. Are there strange sounds coming from the water heater? Sounds of water boiling, boiling, or gurgling coming from the water heater typically indicate sediment build-up in the tanks.
  3. Are there scorch marks at or near the water heater base? This usually indicates a backdraft, which could mean that carbon monoxide is being released. This is beyond homeowner DIY – call your plumber immediately.
  4. Is the water heater properly ventilated? Make certain the draft hood is secure above the tank, with the flue connected at each joint with at least 3 screws each. If the flue passes through to a chimney, make certain it is properly lined and well connected. This keeps that carbon monoxide from coming back inside the home. 
  5. Is the drain pan properly placed under the water heater? 
  6. Are there any drips or leaks coming from any of the pipes?  
  7. Are there any combustible materials nearby? 

How do you check an electric hot water heater?

The steps we just listed pertain to electric or gas water heaters.  With an electric unit, the following steps will guide you through checking the heating element. You’ll need a multimeter (they are inexpensive at any auto parts or hardware store) and a screwdriver.

  • Turn the breaker to the water heater off.
  • Remove the access panels, then any insulation and safety cover.
  • There should be two wires at the top above the red reset button.
  • These are the 120-volt lines that come from the breaker.
  • Electric water heaters need 240 volts, and this is where you must use the multimeter to check the voltage coming into the unit.
  • Set the multimeter dial on RX1K.
  • Remove one wire from the element of the water heater.
  • Place the meter probes on the element screws.
  • If there is no movement from the meter needle, the element is not working.  
  • If the water heater cuts randomly or the water is too hot, it could be the element that is grounded.

The easier way to do this, and the safest way, is to hire a plumber for an official water heater inspection. This will cost you a few dollars, but it can also save you from the expense and trouble of having a new water heater installed.

How do you know a water heater is going bad?

  • Check the Power for Issues: If you’re not getting hot water, it could be your water heater has died, but it may also be as simple as the breaker has tripped for an electric water heater, or the pilot light is out for a gas unit. A quick water heater inspection of whichever power source is the first thing to do before assuming you need a new water heater.
  • Check the Water: If the water is coming out of the faucet rusty, your water heater is about to quit working. Other indicators would be muddy water, or the water tanks are having a lot of sediment in the bottom. You can flush this out by attaching a water hose to the drain bib and turn the water heater off. As the water drains and performs a water heater inspection tank by watching the contents coming out with the water. If there is a metallic taste to the water, that would be another indicator your water heater is about to quit.
  • Tell Tale Noises: If you are hearing strange noises and sounds coming from the water heater, like bubbling, burping, gurgling, loud cracks and pops, the heating elements are probably covered with sediment and must work harder to heat the water.  The above draining method could help, or it may be time to buy a new water heater.
  • Address Any Water Leaks: Do a water heater inspection of sorts around the exterior and if you see any water leaking around the water heater, turn the electricity or gas to the water heater, and order a new unit.
tankless water heater system

Can I replace my water heater myself?

So, if your water heater has gone out or the water heater failed inspection, you need to get a new unit. Yes, if you have a good amount of basic electric/gas/water connection knowledge, you could do your owner water heater installation, even a water heater inspection.

However, depending on where you live, there may govern water heater inspection requirements. What this means, the local governing body, aka, the city or county, may require a permit do replace a water heater. They will also turn the water off until the installation job complete and do a water heater inspection. A licensed plumber will know these steps, including if they need a permit before removing the old water heater and installing a new water heater.

Any homeowner takes serious responsibility for the monthly financial duties, but it is those physical duties that we sometimes overlook, or maybe don’t even realize they should be done, like performing a water heater inspection.  Creating a reminder on your cell phone is one of the easiest things to do, and well worth the effort. 

For your water heater inspection in Chattanooga, TN, call 423-718-7342 today! Chattanooga Water Heater Co. is always available to assist you!