Hey Utah County, do you love consistent hot water for your shower, bath, dishes, and laundry? I know it is a silly question, of course, you do. Having hot water is why water heaters are essential for all modern homes. On-demand hot water is crucial for comfort and an effective way to sanitize and protect your home from unwanted bacteria, fungi, and some viruses. In this article, I go over all the water heater basics, from what are they, the different types, dangers, the DIY water heater maintenance/repairs, and when it’s time to call in a professional plumber.
What is a Water Heater?
Types of Water Heaters
Tank-style Water Heaters
Tankless Water Heaters
A big consideration with the tankless is the type of fuel used. Gas heaters are more expensive, however, can heat more water at a time than electric. This is important for the homeowner to consider if you are going to have multiple showers going at a time. Example: the average shower uses 2.5 gallons of water a minute and an electric tankless will heat around 3.5 gallons per a minute when outside temperatures are below 40 degrees. A gas fueled tankless can heat 8 or more gallons per a minute despite being cold outside.
Solar Water Heaters
Heat pump Water Heaters
Condensing Water Heaters
Are Water Heaters Gas or Electric?
The most popular water heater types (tank and tankless) come with options of both gas and electricity as a fuel source. Both types have their own set of advantages and disadvantages, such as cost, efficiency, lifespan, maintenance, and environmental impact. The choice of which type to use will depend on factors such as how much water you use, how quickly you need it, the availability of natural gas, the cost, and the local building codes.
Gas water heaters use gas to light a fire which heats the water. Gas is the fastest way to heat water and has generally has a lower monthly utility bill. However, it requires more maintenance, has a shorter lifespan than electric and has a higher upfront price tag.
Electric water heaters use electricity as a power source to heat the water. Electric is typically more energy efficient and has a lower environmental impact. However, electric can take longer to heat up. Some residential or commercial properties do not have natural gas lines, its rare but it does happen. In which case, electric would be your only option. Electric requires a dedicated electrical circuit and usually are 220-volts.
Gas and electricity are not the only fuels used to heat up water, oil, propane, and solar energy are also commonly used.
Best Water Heaters Sunset Plumbing Recommends for Utah County
Ultimately, it’s best to consider all the pros and cons of each type of water heater before making a decision. To ensure the households needs for hot water are met, consider the following:
- Fuel type. The fuel will affect how much water can be heated at once and how quickly. It also affects the energy efficiency and the cost of monthly utilities.
- Size. To ensure adequate hot water for your family or business needs calculate how many gallons you’d need per an hour. A tank-style average is a family of 4 would need a minimum of a 55-gallon tank. Or for a tankless household with two showers running simultaneously would need a gas fueled unit.
- Budget. A water heater can be a large investment be sure to ask Sunset Plumbing for options that fit within your price range.
- Warranty: Look for water heaters that come with a good warranty to protect your investment.
- Brand Reputation: water heaters from brands that have a good reputation for quality and customer service.
Now might be a great time to introduce myself. My name is Alma Bradshaw I’m a local plumber in Utah County and owner of Sunset Plumbing. Here are my personal recommendations for water heaters. If the tank-style units are best for you I recommend the brand Rheem finding a model size that would satisfy your home’s needs. The reason is in all my years of experience installing different brands of water heaters Rheem has the highest customer satisfaction and less complications. However, if you decide a tankless is the best type for your home or business needs then I recommend the Navion brand as it is the best for performance and quality with tankless water heaters.
Water Heater Special Considerations
What Size Water Heater Do I need?
The size of water heater you need will depend on the hot water usage of your household and the number of people living in your home. Here are some factors to consider when determining the size, you need:
- First Hour Rating (FHR): The FHR is the amount of hot water that is needed per an hour, it is important to choose a model with an FHR that meets your household’s peak hot water usage. Example: If you have a tankless and three adults are using a shower (2.5 g per a minute) simultaneously, you’ll need approximately 7.5 gallons per a minute to supply hot water to all three showers.
- Capacity: The capacity of the water heater is the amount of hot water that the tank can hold, it is important to choose a capacity that meets your household’s hot water usage. Example: If you have a tank-style water heater and three adults take a morning shower within the same hour (average of 18 gallons per a shower) then you’ll need a 55-gallon tank or greater to ensure no one runs out of cold water.
- Recovery Rate: The recovery rate is the amount of hot water that the water heater can produce in an hour, it is important to choose a water heater with a recovery rate that meets your household’s peak hot water usage. This is a consideration for tank models that need to reheat water as it is being used.
- Size of Household: The number of people living in your home will affect the amount of hot water used, it is important to choose a water heater with a capacity that can handle the hot water usage of your household.
Are Water Heaters 110 or 220?
The Most Efficient Water Heaters
Having an efficient water heater reduces the monthly energy bill and has a lower impact on the environment. The goal of efficiency is to heat water quickly to optimal temperatures, while conserving as much energy as possible. Every type of water heater has models that are more efficient than others, such as a tank having thicker insulation, so they retain the heat for longer periods of time. Look for models with the highest energy efficiency rating, such as Energy Factor (EF) or Thermal Efficiency (TE).
Tankless water heaters are generally considered to be the one of the most efficient types of water heaters. They heat water as it flows through the unit and do not have a storage tank, which reduces energy consumption. Tankless water heaters can have Energy Factor (EF) ratings as high as 0.95, making them very efficient.
Heat pumps use electricity to move heat from the air or ground to heat the water, which can be up to three times more efficient than traditional units. Electric heat pump water heaters can have Energy Factor (EF) ratings as high as 2.5, making them highly efficient.
Condensing water heaters are also highly efficient, they have a secondary heat exchanger that captures the heat from the flue gases and use it to preheat the water, which can increase efficiency by up to 96%.
It’s important to keep in mind that the efficiency of a water heater can vary depending on factors such as the size of the unit, the type of fuel used, and the location and installation of the unit. It is recommended to consult with a professional plumber to help determine the most efficient water heater for your specific situation.
What is the longest lasting water heater?
The longest lasting water heater is a tankless water heater with a lifespan of up to 20 years or more. This is due to the fact that they only heat the water when it is needed and do not continually keep a large volume of hot water stored like traditional tank-style water heaters.
Solar water heaters come in as second place as they last between 15-20 years. Heat pumps last between 13-15 years, condensers last between 10-15 years, and finally tank-style water heaters will last between 10-15 years for electric ones and 8-12 years for gas ones.
It’s important to keep in mind that regardless of the type of water heater, regular maintenance can help extend the life of the unit. It’s also important to keep in mind that the water quality, and the environment where the water heater is located can impact the lifespan of the unit.
Tax Credits for Efficient Water Heaters
There are a few tax credits or programs available for upgrading to energy efficient appliances. However, you cannot claim both programs.
The Federal government has introduced a new 2023 Tax Credit for energy efficient Water Heaters. To qualify for this credit the improvements must be done between January 1, 2023 and before December 31, 2032. The credit is for $2000 on qualifying models.
There is also a Home-Owner Managing Energy Savings (HOMES) rebate program which could pay for 50% of the cost of the energy efficient improvements.
- An energy cut by 20%: The rebate could be up to $2,000 or half the cost, whichever is less.
- An energy cut of 35%: The rebate could be up to $4,000 or half the cost, whichever is less.
- However, if the household income is 80% or less of an area’s median income, then the above amounts are doubled to $4,000 and $8,000.
The Energy Star label is awarded to products that operate more efficiently than its counterparts. Federal rebates are available for Energy Star Navien tankless water heaters.
It is important to check with a tax professional and consult the most recent version of IRS form 5695 and the manufacturer’s certification statement to confirm the eligibility of the specific water heater you are interested in and the amount of credit you can claim.
Are Water Heaters Insulated?
Tankless water heaters are usually not insulated. These units heat water as it flows through the unit, meaning there is no need for insulation to retain heat.
Can Water Heaters be Outside?
In Utah, it is not recommended to put water heaters outdoors as they need to be protected from freezing temperatures. Water heaters are not designed to operate in freezing temperatures and can be damaged if they freeze. However, if putting a water heater outdoors is your only option then consider purchasing a gas model that has been specifically designed for outdoor use. These types of water heaters are typically vented and have a weather-resistant enclosure to protect the burners, controls, and other components from the weather. That being said, it’s recommended to insulate the area or the water heater itself, to prevent freezing. It’s important to check with the manufacturer and local building codes to ensure that the water heater is suitable for outdoor installation and that it meets all the necessary safety requirements.
Electric water heaters are not recommended for outside installation due to the risk of damage of the heating elements from rain, snow, and extreme temperatures.
In general, it’s recommended to consult with a professional plumber to determine if an outdoor water heater installation is suitable for your specific situation and to ensure proper installation and safety.
The History of Water Heaters
What water heaters are made in the USA?
Water heaters are made by various manufacturers and some of them are based in the United States. Some well-known American manufacturers of water heaters include:
- Rheem: A Georgia-based company that manufactures a wide range of water heaters, including electric, gas, and tankless water heaters, as well as commercial and industrial water heaters.
- A.O. Smith: A Wisconsin-based company that manufactures a wide range of water heaters, including electric, gas, and tankless water heaters, as well as commercial and industrial water heaters.
- Bradford White: A Pennsylvania-based company that manufactures a variety of water heaters, including electric, gas, and tankless water heaters, as well as commercial and industrial water heaters.
- American Water Heaters: An American company that manufactures a wide range of water heaters, including electric, gas, and tankless water heaters, as well as commercial and industrial water heaters.
- GE Appliances: An American based subsidiary of Haier, that manufactures a variety of water heaters, including electric, gas, and tankless water heaters.
It’s important to note that some manufacturers may have plants or facilities located in the USA but may use parts or components sourced from other countries, so it’s best to check with the manufacturer for more information on where the specific water heater you’re interested in is made.
How Water Heaters are Made
Water heaters are made using a combination of materials, including steel, copper, aluminum and plastic. The manufacturing process typically involves several steps, which can vary depending on the type being made.
For traditional storage tank water heaters, the manufacturing process typically involves the following steps:
- The steel tank is made by rolling and welding steel sheets to form a cylinder, which is then coated with an enamel or glass lining to protect against corrosion.
- The heating elements, thermostat, and other electrical components are installed inside the tank.
- The insulation is added around the tank to reduce heat loss.
- The tank is then tested for leaks and proper operation.
- The water heater is assembled with all the components.
For tankless water heaters, the process is somewhat different:
- The heat exchanger, which is the main component of a tankless water heater, is made of copper or stainless-steel tubing and is bent into shape.
- The electronic controls and other components are installed in the heat exchanger.
- The exterior casing is made of aluminum or plastic and is designed to protect the components inside.
- The tankless water heater is assembled and tested for proper operation.
It’s important to note that the manufacturing process is subject to strict quality control standards and are tested and certified to meet safety and efficiency requirements.
How Does a Water Heater Work?
The Possible Dangers of Water Heaters
Water heaters can be dangerous if not properly maintained or if there is a malfunction. Some potential hazards associated with water heaters include:
- Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
To minimize the risk of these hazards, it’s important to have your water heater inspected and maintained regularly by a professional plumber, and to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for safe use and operation.
Can Water Heaters Catch Fire?
To minimize the risk of fire, it’s important to have your water heater inspected and maintained regularly by a professional, and to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for safe use and operation. This includes having the proper venting for gas water heaters and keeping the area around the water heater clear of flammable materials. It is also recommended to install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors near the water heater and to test them regularly. In case of a malfunction or fire, it is important to turn off the gas or electricity to the water heater and call the fire department immediately.
Can Water Heaters Explode?
Water heaters can explode under certain conditions. An explosion can occur when the pressure inside the water heater becomes too high, causing the tank to rupture. Some common causes of overpressure in water heaters include:
- A malfunctioning temperature and pressure relief valve: This valve is designed to release excess pressure and temperature inside the tank, if it becomes clogged, it can cause pressure to build up, leading to an explosion.
- Improperly vented gas water heaters: This can cause pressure to build up inside the tank, which can lead to an explosion.
- Overheating: If the water heater’s thermostat or heating element fails, it can cause the water to overheat and cause pressure to build up inside the tank, leading to an explosion.
- Rust and corrosion in the tank: Over time, corrosion can weaken the tank, making it more susceptible to rupture.
- Improperly installed water heaters: If the water heater is not installed correctly, it can cause pressure to build up and lead to an explosion.
It is important to note that explosions are rare and preventable with regular maintenance and proper use. To minimize the risk of an explosion, it is recommended to have your water heater inspected and maintained regularly and to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for safe use and operation.
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning from a Water Heater
Can Water Heaters Burn you?
Can Water Heaters Leak?
leaks from a water heater can cause water damage. There are several reasons they might start leaking, some of which include:
- Corrosion of the tank: Over time, the metal tank of the water heater can corrode, causing leaks.
- Loose or damaged connections: The connections between the water supply and the water heater can become loose or damaged, causing leaks.
- Worn out or damaged valves: The temperature and pressure relief valve, and the drain valve of the water heater can become worn out or damaged, causing leaks.
- Overpressure: If the pressure inside the water heater becomes too high, it can cause leaks from the pressure-relief valve or the tank.
- Clogging: If the drain valve of the water heater becomes clogged, it can cause leaks.
- Age: The age of the water heater is also a factor that can contribute to leaks, as water heaters have a limited lifespan and will eventually start to deteriorate.
It’s important to address a leak from your water heater as soon as you notice it, to prevent further damage and potential hazards such as flooding and mold growth. It’s best to call a professional plumber to inspect the water heater and make any necessary repairs or replacements.
Can Water Heaters Freeze?
Yes, water heaters can freeze, especially if they are located in an unheated area or if the temperature drops below freezing. When the water inside the tank freezes, it expands and can cause damage to the tank and other components of the water heater. Freezing can cause the tank to crack or burst, or damage to the heating element, thermostat, and other parts.
The risk of freezing is higher for water heaters that are located in unheated areas, such as garages, basements, or attics. It is also more likely to happen in places with cold climates or during winter seasons.
To prevent freezing, it is recommended to take the following steps:
- Insulate the water heater and pipes to slow down heat loss.
- Keep the area around the water heater warm by sealing drafts, adding insulation, or using a space heater.
- Drain the water heater and turn off the water supply if you will be away for an extended period of time.
- Drain the water heater if there is a risk of freezing temperatures.
- In some cases, it may be necessary to install a freeze protection device, which will automatically turn on the water heater or circulate the water in the tank if the temperature drops too low.
It’s important to keep in mind that freezing can cause serious damage to the water heater. If a water heater has frozen and has been damaged, it will likely need to be replaced. It’s always recommended to consult with a plumber professional to determine the extent of the damage and to fix it if possible.
Utah County Water Heater Maintenance
Utah’s has hard water and hard water is rough on water heaters. This means regular maintenance is a vital step to keeping your water heater running safely and efficiently. Hard water can cause a hard mineral buildup which can affect its efficiency while also lowering the unit’s lifespan. The general recommendation is to perform maintenance on your water heater annually and check for any potential issues. However, with Utah’s hard water, especially if your water heater gets its water from the main vs from the water softener than you may consider doing mini tank flushes 2-3 times a year in addition to a full drain cleaning annually.
Where is the Water Heater Cold-Water Supply Shut Off Valve?
The location of the cold-water supply shut-off valve for a water heater can vary depending on the type of water heater and the specific installation. However, here are some common places where you may find the shut-off valve for a water heater:
- The shut-off valve is typically located near the water heater, either on the water supply line going into the tank, or on the cold-water supply pipe just before it enters the tank.
- In some cases, the shut-off valve may be located inside the house, near the water meter or near the main water supply line.
- Some newer homes may have a shut-off valve located on the wall behind the water heater.
- In some cases, the shut-off valve may be located outside of the house, near the water meter or near the main water supply line.
It’s important to be familiar with the location of the shut-off valve in case of an emergency or repair work, and it’s also important to make sure that the valve is easily accessible and in good working condition. If you can’t find the shut-off valve or you are not comfortable working with the water heater, it’s best to contact a professional plumber to help you locate it.
What is a T&P Valve?
A T&P (temperature and pressure) valve, also known as a TPR (temperature and pressure relief), is a safety component of water heaters. It releases excess pressure or temperature from the water heater tank to prevent it from becoming dangerous. The T&P valve is located on the side or top of the water heater tank and is connected to a pipe that runs to the outside of the building. It is designed to open and release water if the temperature or pressure inside the tank becomes too high. The valve is set to open at a specific temperature and pressure, which is determined by the manufacturer. This is usually around 210°F and 150 PSI.
Common issues that can occur with a T&P valve include:
- Leaking: A T&P valve can develop a leak, which can be caused by a variety of issues, such as mineral buildup or corrosion.
- Sticking: A T&P valve can become stuck in the open or closed position, which can prevent it from functioning properly. This can be caused by mineral buildup or corrosion.
A leaking or sticking T&P valve should be inspected and replaced by a professional.
Testing the T&P Valve
It is important to note that the T&P valve is a safety device and should be inspected and tested annually. To test the valve:
- Turn off the cold-water supply shut off valve.
- Turn on a hot water tap until it reaches full temperature.
- Place a bucket underneath the T&P valve, then lift up the lever on top of the valve. If the valve works properly, you should hear a hissing sound and see some steam or hot water coming out of the pipe into your bucket. Warning: The water is very hot so take care to avoid skin contact.
- After a few seconds, let go of the lever and observe if it snaps back into place and turns off the water without any leaks.
Where is the Water Heater Drain Valve?
The drain valve on a water heater is a valve that allows you to drain the tank and remove any sediment or debris that may have accumulated. The location of the drain valve on a water heater can vary depending on the specific model and manufacturer, but here are some common places where you may find the drain valve:
- The drain valve is typically located near the bottom of the water heater, on the side of the tank.
- In some cases, the drain valve may be located behind a small door or access panel on the water heater.
- On electric water heaters, the drain valve is typically located at the bottom of the tank.
- On gas water heaters, the drain valve is typically located near the bottom of the tank, on the side of the tank or on the control valve.
- On tankless water heaters, the drain valve is typically located on the bottom of the unit.
It’s important to note that draining the water heater periodically can help to remove sediment build-up and prolong the life of the water heater. The recommended frequency of draining depends on the specific model and the water quality in your area, it’s best to check the user manual or consult with a plumber.
How to Drain the Tank
- Turn off the power.
- Turn off the cold-water supply.
- Turn on a hot water faucet to relieve some of the pressure.
- Attach a hose to the drain valve or grab a bucket.
- Release the water by opening up the valve.
- Drain the water. (For a mini flush, drain the water 5-10 gallons or until the water runs clear.)
- Turn on the cold-water supply and continue to drain until the water runs clear.
What is a Water Heater Anode Rod?
Where Is the Thermostat located?
The location of the thermostat on a water heater can vary depending on the type of water heater and the manufacturer. However, here are some common places where you may find the thermostat on a water heater:
- On electric water heaters, the thermostat is typically located near the bottom of the water heater tank, on the side of the tank or on the top of the tank.
- On gas water heaters, the thermostat is typically located near the bottom of the water heater tank, on the side of the tank or on the control valve.
- On tankless water heaters, the thermostat is typically located on the control panel, which is usually located on the front of the unit.
- On solar water heaters, the thermostat is typically located on the control panel, which is usually located on the front of the unit, near the storage tank.
It’s important to consult the user manual of your specific water heater model to find the location of the thermostat, as well as the instructions for adjusting the temperature setting. If you can’t find the thermostat or you are not comfortable working with the water heater, it’s best to contact a professional plumber to help you with the adjustment.
What water heater temperature settings should I use?
Most water heaters have a thermostat that allows you to adjust the temperature setting. Some have a dial or a digital display that shows the current temperature setting, and others may have a button or switch that you can use to adjust the temperature.
Where is the Water Heater Reset Button?
The reset button on a water heater is a button or switch that allows you to manually reset the water heater in case of an overheat or malfunction. The location of the reset button on a water heater can vary depending on the specific model and manufacturer, but here are some common places where you may find the reset button:
- On electric water heaters, the reset button is typically located near the bottom of the water heater, on the side of the tank or on the top of the tank.
- On gas water heaters, the reset button is typically located near the bottom of the water heater, on the side of the tank or on the control valve.
- On tankless water heaters, the reset button is typically located on the control panel, which is usually located on the front of the unit.
- On solar water heaters, the reset button is typically located on the control panel, which is usually located on the front of the unit, near the storage tank.
It’s important to note that if the water heater trips the overheat or malfunction, you should try to reset the button. However, there might be a serious issue that caused it to trip in the first place.
Where is the water heater pilot light?
The pilot light on a gas water heater is a small flame that burns continuously to ignite the main burner when hot water is needed. The location of the pilot light on a gas water heater can vary depending on the specific model and manufacturer, but here are some common places where you may find the pilot light:
- The pilot light is typically located on the control valve, which is usually located near the bottom of the water heater, on the side of the tank.
- The pilot light may also be located on the control panel, which is usually located on the front of the unit, or on the top of the water heater tank.
- In some cases, the pilot light may be located behind a small door or access panel on the water heater.
It’s important to note that if the pilot light goes out, the hot water heater will not function and this can be a safety hazard, so it’s essential to relight the pilot light following the manufacturer’s instructions. If you can’t find the pilot light or you are not comfortable working with the water heater, it’s best to contact a professional plumber to help you with the lighting or relighting.
Why won’t the Pilot Stay Lit?
The pilot light is responsible for igniting the burner, if the pilot light is not lit the burner will not ignite. There are several reasons why a pilot light might be going out:
- Dirty or clogged: If the burner is dirty or clogged, it may not be getting enough gas to stay lit properly.
- Thermocouple: The thermocouple is malfunctioning, it may not be able to signal the gas valve to open, and the burner will not stay lit.
- Gas valve problem: The gas valve controls the flow of gas. If the gas valve is not working properly, it may not be able to open and allow gas to reach the pilot or the burner.
- Control module: Some water heaters have a control module that manages the ignition process, if this module fails the water heater will not light.
- Air flow: If there is not enough air flow to the burner, it will not be able to ignite or stay lit.
It’s recommended to consult with a plumber to determine the cause and fix it. These issues can be dangerous if not addressed by a professional, as it can lead to gas leaks and carbon monoxide poisoning.
What is a Thermocouple?
A thermocouple is a safety device found on some gas-powered water heaters that helps to prevent the release of dangerous gases, such as carbon monoxide. It is a small metal rod that sits in the pilot light assembly and is designed to detect the presence of a flame.
The thermocouple works by generating a small electrical current when it is heated by the pilot light flame. This electrical current is sent to the gas valve, which allows gas to flow to the main burner. If the pilot light goes out, the thermocouple cools down and the electrical current stops flowing, which in turn causes the gas valve to close and shut off the gas supply to the main burner. This helps to prevent the release of dangerous gases, such as carbon monoxide, into your home.
A faulty thermocouple can cause the water heater to malfunction, either not allowing the pilot light to stay on or shutting off the gas supply to the main burner even if the pilot light is on. If this happens, the thermocouple needs to be replaced.
What is a Burner Assembly?
The burner assembly is a crucial component of a gas-powered water heater. It is responsible for heating the water in the tank by burning natural gas or propane.
The burner assembly consists of several different parts, including the burner, the ignition system, and the flame sensor. The burner is a metal plate with small holes that allow gas to flow through and be ignited. The ignition system is responsible for creating the spark that lights the gas. This can be done through a pilot light.
When the water heater is in use, the burner assembly works by burning gas and producing heat. The heat is then transferred to the water in the tank, raising its temperature. The thermostat on the water heater controls the burner assembly by regulating the flow of gas and ensuring that the water is heated to the desired temperature.
Common issues that can occur with a burner assembly include:
- Failure to ignite: If the burner assembly is not lighting, it could be caused by a malfunctioning ignition system, clogged burner ports or a faulty flame sensor.
- Yellow or sooty flame: A yellow or sooty flame can be caused by a variety of issues, including a dirty burner assembly, a blocked flue, or a problem with the air intake. This can be dangerous as it can lead to the release of carbon monoxide.
- Rumbling or popping noise: A rumbling or popping noise can be caused by a buildup of sediment in the bottom of the tank. This can lead to damage to the burner assembly and should be addressed as soon as possible.
If you suspect that you have a problem with your burner assembly, it is important to have it inspected and repaired by a professional. Attempting to repair or replace a burner assembly on your own can be dangerous, as it involves working with natural gas.
Are Gas Control Valves Interchangeable or Universal?
Gas control valves are used to regulate the flow of gas on water heaters. They are typically interchangeable with other valves of the same size and pressure rating. However, it is important to ensure that they are compatible with the specific type of gas that will be flowing through them. Some valves are designed to handle high-pressure gas, while others are designed for low-pressure applications.
It is also important to ensure that the valve is designed for the specific type of gas that will be flowing through it. For example, a valve designed for natural gas will not be suitable for use with propane or butane.
Another important factor to consider when determining whether gas control valves are interchangeable is the connection type. Different valves may have different connections, such as threading, flanges, or compression fittings. It is important to ensure that the connections on the new valve match those on the existing system to ensure a proper seal and the prevention leaks.
Do Water Heaters Leaks Gas?
Water heaters only leak gas if there is a problem. The problem is with the gas line that supplies the water heater. Some common causes of gas leaks in water heaters include:
- Loose or damaged gas lines: The gas line that supplies the water heater can become loose or damaged, causing gas to leak.
- Corroded or damaged gas valves: The gas valves that control the flow of gas to the water heater can become corroded or damaged, causing gas to leak.
- Clogged burner or pilot light: The burner or pilot light can become clogged with debris, preventing the proper combustion of gas, and cause gas to leak.
- Worn out or malfunctioning thermocouple: The thermocouple is a safety device that prevents gas from flowing to the burner if the pilot light goes out, if it’s worn out or malfunctioning it can cause gas to leak.
- Improperly installed or maintained: If the water heater was not installed or maintained properly, it can cause gas leaks.
It’s important to address a gas leak from your water heater as soon as you notice it, to prevent further damage and potential hazards such as fire or carbon monoxide poisoning.
Do Water Heaters Leak Water?
Water heaters are not supposed to leak so if you notice a water leak, you have a problem.
Water heaters can leak for a variety of reasons, including the T&P valve, drain valve, connections might be loose, the anode rod, or a tank failure possibly from corrosion. If you notice a leak from your water heater, it’s important to address the issue as soon as possible to prevent further damage and potential hazards such as flooding and mold growth. Here are the steps to finding the source of the leak:
- Turn off the power.
- Turn off the cold-water supply.
- Turn on a hot water faucet to relieve some of the pressure.
- Inspect the water heater to see if you can visually identify where the leak is coming from.
- Test the T&P valve.
- Inspect and tighten the connections if needed.
- Inspect the anode rod.
- Test the drain valve.
- visually inspect the tank.
- If the leak cannot be identified, it is time to call in a plumbing technician.
Why is the Water Heater Making Noise?
Water heaters should be fairly quiet, here are a few reasons you might be hearing noise:
- Sediment build-up: Our Utah Hard water can leave mineral deposits in the tank, which can lead to sediment build-up. When the water is heated, this sediment can harden and cause the tank to make noise.
- Expansion and contraction: As the water in the tank is heated and cooled, the metal of the tank can expand and contract, causing noise.
- Loose parts: If parts inside the tank become loose or dislodged, they can cause noise as the water is heated and moved through the tank.
- Anode rod: When the anode rod gets corroded, it can make noise as it rubs against other parts inside the tank.
- Water hammer: When water flow is suddenly stopped in the pipes, it can cause a hammering sound, also known as water hammer. This can happen when the water heater is turned off, or when a valve is closed.
- High water pressure: High water pressure can cause the water heater to make noise, as the water is forced through the pipes and into the tank with more force than normal.
- Leaking or clogged T&P valve: This can cause hissing or whistling noises as the pressure inside the tank builds up.
- Pipes: The sound might be coming from the pipes rather than the water heater.
If you have a noisy water heater, it’s a good idea to have it inspected by a professional to determine the cause of the problem and make any necessary repairs.
Why Do Water Heaters Fail?
- Age: Over time, the tank and other components of a water heater can become worn out, leading to failure.
- Lack of maintenance: Water heaters require regular maintenance, such as flushing the tank and checking the temperature and pressure relief valve. Neglecting to perform this maintenance can lead to failure.
- Corrosion or rust: As the water heater gets old, corrosion can build up on the interior of the tank and eventually cause it to fail.
- Sediment build-up: Our Utah hard water can leave mineral deposits in the tank, which can lead to sediment build-up. This can cause the heater to work less efficiently and can eventually cause it to fail.
- Leaking: Leaks can cause damage to the tank and other components, leading to failure.
- Overheating: If the temperature and pressure relief valve is not working properly, it can cause the water heater to overheat and fail.
- Electrical or gas issues: Electric water heaters can fail due to faulty heating elements or thermostats, while gas water heaters can fail due to faulty valves or burners.
Regular maintenance and early detection of problems can help prolong the lifespan of your water heater and prevent unexpected failure.
Can Water Heaters Be Repaired?
Water heaters can often be repaired, but whether or not a repair is feasible will depend on the specific problem and the age of the water heater. In some cases, it may be more cost-effective to replace the water heater rather than repair it.
Common repairs that can be done on water heaters include:
- Replacing a faulty thermostat or heating element.
- Replacing a malfunctioning pressure-relief valve.
- Replacing a leaking drain valve.
- Flushing the tank to remove sediment buildup.
- Tightening or replacing loose or corroded connections.
In the case of an old water heater or the tank is corroded or damaged, it may be more cost-effective to replace it. A professional plumber will be able to determine if a repair is feasible or if a replacement is needed. Those who plan on a DIY repair, I’ll recommend picking up supplies at Standard Plumbing Supply.
Are Water Heaters Recyclable?
Many water heaters are recyclable, but the specific recycling options will depend on the type of water heater and the materials it is made of. The disposal of water heaters is regulated by the local and federal laws and regulations, so it’s important to follow the proper procedures to dispose of the water heater.
- Tank-style water heaters are generally made of steel and can be recycled at metal scrap yards. However, some of the components like insulation, heating element, and the control unit may not be recyclable and may need to be disposed of separately.
- Tankless water heaters are usually made of metal and can also be recycled at metal scrap yards.
- It’s important to check with your local recycling facilities and see what they accept, and also check with the manufacturer of the water heater to see if they have any recycling programs in place. In some cases, they may offer to take back the old unit and recycle it for you.
- The easiest way to dispose of your old water heater is to give it to your plumber to take care of it which is a service they offer with the installation.
Is Sunset Plumbing Company the Best Plumbers in Utah County?
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About The Author
Hello, My name is Alma Bradshaw. I’m a licensed plumber with over 20 years of experience in the industry. It’s important to stay informed and up-to-date on the latest plumbing techniques, innovations, codes, and regulations. Learn more about plumbing here and feel free to comment below with any questions.
776 N 470 E
Genola City, Utah 84655
Utah License # 6161467-5501