Your Water Heater Questions Answered by Plumbing Experts

You Have Questions, We Have Answers

What do you know about water heaters? Probably just the gist – that they heat your water so you don’t have to shower or wash dishes with cold water.

But do you know what to do if you smell rotten eggs coming from your tank? Or how to choose what size water heater you need before purchasing? If not, keep reading.

We’re here to answer some frequently asked questions surrounding water heaters because we want you to be experts, too.

  1. Are all water heater companies the same? This is an important question to ask when considering renting a water heater. You need to be aware of who your service provider is and what exactly you’re signing up for. Here are questions you should ask a company before signing a contract – How long is the contract for? Will I get charged an exit fee if I decide to switch because I’m unhappy with the service? What is the size and experience level of your technician staff? How long have you been in the water heater business?
  2. What is a tankless water heater? You can learn more about the benefits of tankless water heaters here, but, in short, it is an “on-demand” type of water heater. This means that water is only heated on an as-needed basis so you save money on energy bills.
  3. What size water heater should I choose? There are a number of factors that go into this, including how many fixtures you have in your home where you’ll need hot water. The one we want to focus on is your family size. If you have multiple people in your home that all need to use the shower in the morning, you are probably going to want a larger tank that stores more hot water. However, if you only have a couple of people in the home, you won’t need as big of a tank.
  4. Should I purchase a gas or an electric water heater? We can’t answer that directly for you, because it really depends on the specific needs you have. But, we can give you the conveniences of both. Natural gas water heaters are less expensive to operate and they tend to last longer. Electric water heaters are cleaner and can be installed in more enclosed areas.
  5. Is there a way to lower my water temperature without calling a professional? Yes. Some showerheads and faucets offer a feature that helps prevent scalding by shutting off the water if the temperature exceeds 120 degrees Fahrenheit. You could also install a master mixing valve at the hot water line coming out of your water heater that will allow your water to stay at 140 degrees, but deliver water at less than 122.
  6. Is it beneficial to drain my water heater? Yes – manufacturers suggest you do it every six months to rid your tank of sediment.
  7. How hot is the water in my heater? Most factory presets are at 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
  8. Why do I smell rotten eggs coming from my water heater? This is caused by bacteria forming on the anode rod. At that point, it would be best to replace the rod out.
  9. Why do water heaters make so much noise? They shouldn’t. If you hear loud noises, humming, or buzzing, that probably means you have a lime buildup inside of the tank and need to have a professional take a look at it.
  10. How do I know if it’s time to replace my water heater?  Rust-colored water, moisture around the base of the tank, and insufficient hot water are a few things you should look out for.
  11. What is the purpose of the red reset button on my electric water heater? That is the temperature safety button. It pops out when the water heater controls have failed and the water temperature has gone up to an unsafe level. Pushing the reset button is only a temporary solution, and for a permanent fix you’ll need to replace the failed part.

If you still have more questions about water heaters, don’t hesitate to call Roy’s Plumbing, Heating, & Cooling. We’re here to help in any way we can!

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