Los Altos Hills Water Heater Repair

How to Decide Between Water Heater Repair or Replacement

If your water heater is leaking or not heating up, you may be able to repair the existing unit. Learn the signs of needing a full water heater replacement when the time comes.

How Long Do Water Heaters Last?

Based on the manufacturer’s prescribed service life, the life span of a water heater is roughly eight to 12 years. That differs with the placement and design of the device, quality of installation, maintenance schedule and water quality. If your water heater is greater than 10 years old, seepage around the base of the tank or if it works inconsistently, it’s likely time for a replacement. You may also want to upgrade to a more efficient model to reduce your energy expenses.

In some instances, repairs and troubleshooting can preserve your current water heater. Before you look for a replacement, make certain that an electrical issue, such as a blown fuse or tripped breaker, isn’t the reason for the unit’s failure. Regular water heater maintenance will extend the life of your unit, and some repairs — such as replacing a pressure relief valve or heating element — are pretty simple.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Perhaps the most frequent issue associated with a water heater is water that isn’t as hot as you want it to be. This is often caused by a defective thermostat or a malfunctioning heating element. Check the following when your water isn’t hot enough.

Electric Water Heater

  • Make sure the power is connected and reset the thermostat
  • Flush the heater to dislodge sediment from the tank
  • Insulate the hot water pipes
  • Replace the heating element or thermostat
  • Raise the temperature setting on the thermostat

Gas Water Heater

  • Make sure the gas is connected and the pilot light is lit
  • Flush the heater to remove sediment from the tank
  • Insulate the hot water pipes
  • Clean the gas burner and replace the thermocoupler (a safety device that shuts off the gas automatically if the pilot flame goes out)
  • Raise the temperature setting on the thermostat

Other Common Problems and Possible Solutions

  • Hissing or Sizzling Noises: Sediment may have accumulated in the tank. Drain the tank until the water clears. Remove and soak the elements in a pan filled with white vinegar for up to an hour and scrape off the collected scale
  • Leaking Pressure Relief Valve: Replace the valve
  • Leaking Water Supply Pipes: Tighten the fittings. If that doesn’t work, shut off the water and replace the fittings

Water Heater Maintenance

Today’s water heaters are manufactured to involve little or no maintenance, but these maintenance suggestions could prolong the life of your water heater.

  • Drain the water heater twice a year to rid it of accumulated sedimentation that causes corroding. This also increases efficiency
  • Test the pressure relief valve by lifting the valve’s handle and letting it snap back. This should release a burst of water into the overflow drainpipe. If it doesn’t, install a new valve
  • Lower the temperature setting on the thermostat to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. This reduces damage to the tank caused by overheating

If you need water heater repair service in Los Altos Hills, we can help you. Email us today for more information.

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