Plumbing Tips

Tips to Hot Water Heater Repair and Maintenance

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A water heater’s energy efficiency is measured by the correspondence between electrical input, and the production of hot water. To maximize this energy efficiency, it's critical to have your water heating system installed by a water heater specialist. Trying to install your water heater on your own will affect its efficiency, costing you more in both the short and long run.

A lot of people try to take on water heater installation as a DIY project to save money and possibly pick up a new skill in the process. Most often, they do this without understanding how they might do things incorrectly and damage the entire system. Your water heater is delicate equipment that needs meticulous handling, otherwise you’ll end up with an ineffective — or even nonfunctional — water heating system.

This is why when you get a new water heater tank, you need the help of licensed local plumbing specialists to install your device accordingly. Proper installation guarantees that your water heater will run at maximum efficiency and give you a sufficient amount of hot water for your household.

In This Article, We Will Be Covering:

  • The signs of hot water tank problems
  • Water heater troubleshooting
  • When you should replace your water heater
  • Tank-type vs tankless water heaters
  • Where to get reliable hot water heater service

Water heater Repairs

What Are The Signs Of Hot Water Tank Problems?

Most people take their hot water heater for granted. It’s out of sight and out of mind, so as long as it’s working, we tend not to think about it.  

And generally, it is working. Hot water tanks can be dependable for years and rarely experience trouble. But there are times and signs that you may need a repair, so worry no more because we're here to help!

Warning signs that something may be wrong with your hot water tank:

  • A popping noise from the tank, like the sound of boiling water
  • A strange or bad smell around the tank, often like rotten eggs
  • Water leaking from your hot water tank
  • Faucets and appliances no longer producing hot water
  • Water is no longer hot enough, even though you haven't changed any temperature settings
  • Rust-coloured water

If you experience these issues, the most likely cause is a faulty part or faulty installation. Call us for any repair or maintenance services you may need.

water heater temperature

Water Heater Troubleshooting: Why Is My Hot Water Not Working?

Before you start encountering issues with your water heater, there are certain things you can know and do to avoid having to call for a professional in the first place, or to know what to ask of your technician if you do experience problems.

The most common water heater problems are usually insufficient hot water temperature, burner malfunction, and corrosion. For you to avoid these problems, you must first know how these can be prevented.

Hot Water Tank Corrosion

Corrosion in a water heater is often caused by a mismatch of materials. The easiest way to prevent this is by ensuring that when you hire your plumber, he or she knows the proper dielectric nipples or dielectric unions used by your water heater.

If your technician isn't properly informed, they might hook a copper connector to a steel water heater and possibly create an electrolysis problem, which will corrode the metal over time.

Drop In Hot Water Temperature

Hot water tanks usually contain a device called a dip tube, which introduces cold water at the bottom of the tank. If the dip tube becomes corroded, it can break off and will instead introduce cold water at the top of the tank. When this happens, the cold water bypasses the water tank's burner functions and is not sufficiently heated before being fed into your plumbing, resulting in cooler hot water.

Electric Water Heater Stopped Working

If you have an electric water heater, common electrical problems such as tripped breaker or a blown fuse are usually the reason for the water heater's failure.

High-Efficiency Water Heater Stopped Working

If you have a newer high-efficiency water heater, the most common problem you could face is a result of not regularly cleaning the water heater's screen. Debris can clog up the screen and cause the water heater to shut itself down due to lack of proper air flow.

Dangerous Pressure Buildup

If you're wondering how often you should check on your water heater, the answer is that you should check on it once in a while, and look for signs that may indicate a need for repair.

You particularly want to ensure that your temperature and pressure valves are functioning properly. If they malfunction and your water heater starts to pressurize or overheat, it can result in dangerously scalding hot water or even an explosion.

Other Common Water Heater Issues

There can be many reasons why your water heater isn't working properly. Here are a few other problems you may experience:

  • Noisy or worn out heating element
  • Thermostat problems
  • Tripped circuit breaker
  • Power issues
  • Pressure valve failure/leaks
  • Water Heater Sediment
  • Foul odour caused by bacteria in tank
  • Rusty coloured water
  • Takes too long to reheat


Signs You Need To Replace Your Water Heater

Are you unsure whether your water heater is in need of repair or has burned out altogether? If you notice a problem with your water heater, here are a few ways in which you can troubleshoot a solution, as well as identify and understand signs that it's time to replace your water heater.

Water heaters are available in three types: electric, oil, and gas water heaters. Electric water heaters can be used almost anywhere. However, gas and oil water heaters are mostly installed in houses that already receive a gas or oil supply.

Unlike other household appliances, water heaters are given a maximum workout. Because of this, most water heaters available on the market have a lifespan of no more than 8-12 years. However, this can vary according to factors such as the severity of the prevailing temperature, quality of the installation, the unit design, and the overall water heater maintenance your unit has received.

Sign 1: Your Water Heater Is Too Old

The age of your water heater can be the primary reason behind faults occurring in your system. Hence, it's crucial to know the age of the machine.

To find the age of your water heater, look at the serial number printed on the manufacturer's sticker, usually pasted on the upper surface of your water heater. You can often search for this number online and find a production date.

If your water heater is already ten years old and has started leaking from the base of the tank, or functions erratically, it is probably the time to get it replaced.

Sign 2: Your Water Heater Is Emitting Rusty Water

If you notice rusty water coming out of your water heater, especially from the hot side pipe fittings in your home, you should understand that it's time to get it replaced.

However, if you have galvanized piping, the rusting may have occurred in the pipes. One way to avoid replacing a water heater that is functioning correctly is to drain at least five gallons of water from your water heater and see if you notice a difference.

Sign 3: Your Water Heater Is Making A Rumbling Noise

Sediments start depositing on the bottom of the water tank as your heater starts aging. These sediments get heated and reheated, and subsequently harden. When this occurs, you often hear a rumbling noise. This is again a sign that your water heater has reached the end of its life.

Sign 4: You Notice Moisture Around Your Water Heater

If you notice moisture forming around your water tank, or you notice a fracture or a small leak in the tank, it means that your water heater has reached its limit and it is finally the time to replace it.

hot water heater repairs

The instances mentioned above are the most common signs indicating the need to replace your water heater. Check yours for these signs today, so you can budget the replacement cost and be prepared to replace it rather than have it give out on you suddenly.

Remember that installation greatly affects the service life of your water heater, as it can create several issues when handled inaccurately. Leaks, plumbing connection problems, and electrical issues can appear right after a defective installation. Water heater installation can only be effectively done by local and certified plumbers in your area.

To set up your new water heater effectively, contact our local trained and insured plumbers in BC or Alberta. We’re available 24 hours a day, and 7 days a week.

water heater maintenance

Pros & Cons of Tank-Type vs. Tankless Water Heaters

There are a few factors to consider when choosing which type of electric water heating system would work best for you and your home. 

We're spoiled for choice when it comes to manufacturers and design, but not all electric water heaters are the same. Many have to choose between the two primary types of electric water heaters available on the markets: Tank-type systems and tankless systems.

Tank-Type or Storage Water Heaters

These are the usual electric water heating systems found in homes across the country.  Water is stored within the storage tank, where it is constantly heated.  Hot water comes from the top of the tank when a faucet is switched on in the home, which is then replaced by cold water that runs through the bottom of the tank to also be heated.

  • These units are inexpensive and are widely available in a variety of sizes suited to your water heating requirements.  Installation costs range from $200-$400 and up.
  • But these units reportedly waste 10-15% of energy through radiant heat loss because of the tank.
  • Tank-type units run out of hot water when used for extended amounts of time,  cutting your shower short with an ice cold blast of water!
  • The life expectancy for a tank-type unit is between 10-15 years.
  • The typical EF (Energy Factor) rating for an electric tank-type water heating system is only 0.67.

Tankless Water Heater Systems

tankless hot water heater

Tankless hot water heaters are a newer form of electric water heating. Electricity heats the water as it flows through the complex unit, so no tank is needed.

  • Tankless units take up little space, and can be mounted inside a wall or on the outside of a home.
  • There is little to no standby energy loss with these units.
  • They are energy efficient, and use between 20-30% less energy than tank-type units.
  • The drawback is that they can be costly to install.
  • But the life expectancy of tankless units far surpasses that of tank-type units — by 20 years or more!
  • The average EF rating for a tankless unit starts at 0.75.
  • The installation of a tankless system costs between $600-$1000 and up.

Long-Term Cost Effectiveness

There is more to consider than just the initial cost of a unit when you replace an electric water heating system.  Long term costs need to be calculated as well, and since energy prices can vary, it's important to get a feel for the long-term cost with a cost calculator. 

There are a few websites that allow you to calculate your energy costs based on the amount of hot water you use. These are typically only guides, but they should give you an indication of what to expect from your energy bill after installing a new electric water heating system.

There are a few advantages and disadvantages to any type of electric hot water heating system. While both systems offer a range of benefits for a homeowner, you need to consider which is right for your home. Some of the main factors to take into consideration include the price of the system you're investing in, and installation of the unit. 

Consider what the long-term cost of running a specific unit will be, and how readily available the energy sources needed to run the unit are. There's also the Energy Factor rating used to measure how efficient the electric water heating system will be.  Electric heat pump models should start at 2.0, and the higher the EF count, the more efficient the heater will be.

Where Can I Get Reliable Hot Water Heater Service?

water heater problems

When getting a new water heater, it has to be coordinated with several factors that will affect its productivity. A unit that is too small will not produce the right amount of water on demand, while a unit that is too large will consume more energy which will cost you more both initially and on your monthly bills.

Also, as setting up a new water heater involves some complicated calculations regarding the flow rate and temperature needed to supply your home. Attempting to do this yourself can result in some costly errors.

Our team has the skills and knowledge to precisely calculate the load size based on peak hour demands, and the number of people who will use the system at a given time. This way, your water heating system will generate hot water as intended.

A system installed by our specialists will also ensure the longevity of your system. It can be a deciding factor whether you will get the most out of your water heater investment in the coming years. If you want your water heater to last for a long time, having it installed by our experts will guarantee its durability.

With our specialists, you can expect to receive top-notch service. We carefully screen each of our techs to ensure you are serviced by an experienced professional with a clear background.

All Of Our Canadian Plumbers:

  • Have completed over 10,000 hours of training
  • Have passed extensive background checks
  • Continue their education
  • Are available 24/7 for emergencies
  • Are licensed and insured
  • Operate clean and organized vans
  • Wear professional uniforms

Our Technicians Can Help You With:

  • No hot water
  • Not enough hot water
  • Pilot light will not stay lit
  • Water is too hot
  • Rusty or black water
  • Slow hot water recovery time
  • Leaking tanks

In addition to basic services, Plumbers 911 licensed professionals assess your existing space and install all parts in accordance with local building codes. Your hot water heater will be up and running in no time, and you can rest assured that every safety precaution has been taken.

Our highly efficient local plumbers possess the skills and know-how to systematically install your water heater, eliminating the disorganization often associated with an amateur setup. It guarantees that your heating system will work flawlessly and provide you with the right temperature-controlled water.

If you're worried about the cost, let us put your mind at ease. We research the local market and know the rates offered by our competitors, and offer you an even better rate. Our quotes are accurate, and you will never be charged for something you did not agree on beforehand.   

Call us immediately to fix your water heater today and to help you with all your water heater problems!