What Everyone Should Know About Their Water Heaters, Orange County
Your water heater is one of the most important appliances in your household. After all, it is wintertime, and no one wants to be surprised with a cold shower. If something seems off with your water heater, you may want to prepare to call a plumber, but sometimes knowing just a few things about your water heater can save you some time and a few bucks. Here are a few things that you should know about your water heaters in Orange County:
Know If It’s Gas Or Electric
- Take off the access panel on the side of your water heater and look for a blue flame (the pilot light.) If there is a pilot light, then you have a gas water heater, if not, it is electric.
- Search for a vent pipe on the top of the water heater. This pipe is a 3-inch PVC pipe that has to vent the exhaust created by the gas water heater. Electric water heaters do not have this vent pipe.
- If the top of the water heater has an electrical supply cord, then you have an electric water heater.
There are many benefits to each type of water heater and a few key operational differences between gas and electric water heaters.
- A gas water heater uses the heat from burning natural gas fuel to heat up water whereas electric water heaters use other sources of domestic power like coal, wind power, etc.
- An electric water heater, since it’s run by electricity, will not work during a power outage. A gas water heater, however, will function to its full capacity during a power outage.
- Both types of water heaters have a life expectancy of around 13 years.
- Electric water heaters are more energy efficient than gas water heaters, but the cost of running an electric water heater surpasses that of a gas water heater because of the electricity being used.
Know How to Turn It Off
Before doing any work or inspection on your water heater, the first thing you need to know, is how to turn it off. If you have a gas water heater twist the dial on the top of the thermostat from ON to OFF. If your water heater is electric, find the circuit breaker box that is connected to your water heater and turn off the breaker.
Know If It’s Leaking
One very common issue that will most likely come up with your water heater at some point, is a . While this sounds simple, there are a few things you should know about how to identify a water heater leak, or if the issue is with something else. Before starting your inspection, the first thing you want to do is turn off the water supply at the cold water shut-off valve and be sure to be cautious when coming in contact with the water heater because it is very hot! There are a few different places that your water heater leak may come from and locating the leak may help your plumber come up with a solution more quickly.
- Cold Water Inlet– Is the leak coming from where the inlet and outlet pipes connect to the top of the water heater unit? If so, the solution may be as simple as tightening a loose connection with a pipe wrench.
- Bottom of the Hot Water Tank– If the water heater is leaking from the inside, then it will most likely appear from the bottom of the tank. If this is the case, then the solution will most likely be to replace the entire water heater.
- Temperature and Pressure Relief Valve– This valve is located on the side of the tank with a pipe running down to the floor. If there is a leak coming from this valve, it is either because of a faulty valve or there is excess pressure from inside of the tank.
- Heater Drain Valve– This valve is located on the bottom of the tank, and if it is leaking there is an easy fix solution.
Know If It Needs to Be Replaced
Your water heater may need to be replaced if…
- It is over 13 years old
- There is a serious leak that can not be fixed by valve or pipe replacement
- If there is no longer any hot water being generated
- Your water has a metallic taste
- Strange noises are coming from your water heater