Hot water heaters are a necessity in the modern home because they produce all the hot water needed for taking showers, running dishwashers and clothes washers as well as performing other household chores. A hot water heater can contribute to about twenty percent of the home’s energy costs so it is extremely important to maintain and repair it often. Water heater repair can happen on most parts of the heater except the tank. Once the tank rusts, it must be replaced.
Water Heater Maintenance & Repairs
Regular maintenance and making small repairs as needed can extend the average seven-year life of a water heater. Without this maintenance, you could need a water heater replacement in as little as five years. A professional plumber in Ocean City, MD can provide preventative water heater maintenance for your home. A trained plumber will inspect the valve designated to release if a safety problem occurs and emergency valve that will shut off the water heater if the need arises. This ensures that the water heater is as safe as possible just in case a problem should arise. The plumber will also examine the water temperature to make sure it is set correctly. The water in your home should be warm enough to take a hot shower, but not so hot as to cause burns to the skin. The burner assembly will also be checked at this time because it is the power supply heating the water for your home. The hot water heater could need flushing and this can be done during a routine check as well. The system would be flushed to remove any debris that could cause a problem with the efficiency of the water heater. Decreased efficiency could lead to bigger problems and higher energy bills as the hot water heater ages.
Although preventative maintenance will extend the life of the water heater after five years homeowners should be aware that it may be time for a replacement. Some water heaters could be more than twelve to fifteen years old and in that time the technology has improved greatly. There are new efficiency standards for water heaters now that can help reduce your energy bills in the long-term. New water heaters that hold fifty-five gallons of water or less can boost energy efficiency up to four percent. Larger water heaters that hold fifty-five gallons or more could possibly reduce energy costs twenty-five to fifty percent in the long-term. To determine the right fit for your home you should look at the number of people living there and take into consideration how many showers are taken a day as well as how often clothes and dishes are washed. A professional plumber can help you determine the size of the tank that will serve your family the best.
Tankless Water Heaters
A relatively new option for homeowners in need of a replacement water heater is the tankless water heater. These heaters use heated coils to heat water as needed. A standard tank water heater stores water to be used when needed. Tankless water heaters produce about three and a half gallons of hot water a minute. This may not be a good fit for homes where water is being drawn for two different sources at a time. For example, washing a load of clothes and running the shower at the same time could result in a lower water temperature. Tankless water heaters are also best suited for homes with natural gas. Upgrading the home’s electrical capacity for a tankless heater could be costly and time consuming.
Standard Water Heaters
The standard tank water heater is of course also still an option and new versions are more energy efficient. The natural gas option is even more energy efficient and could cut energy costs. However, the tank itself is more expensive up front and your house must have an available natural gas line and hook up for the heater.
Whether you are looking for water heater repair, water heater replacement, or the installation of a tankless water heater, there are qualified professional plumbers in Ocean City, MD who can complete the job for you. Remember that even if your water heater is less than five years old it still needs routine maintenance to extend its lifespan. If your hot water heater is five or more years old it definitely needs to be checked for any leaks or needed repairs. Water heaters are constantly under pressure and in use so there is no way to know when a major repair could be needed. Routine maintenance can prevent homeowners from being without hot water while they wait on a replacement to be installed.