Though many people think of water and energy systems as separate from each other, the two are closely connected, and damage to one impacts the efficiency of both. This is especially evident with water heaters, which rely on your building’s gas or electric system to keep water warm throughout the year. Gas and water line issues may cause the water heater to work less efficiently, but the heater itself may also be the source of the problem. A faulty water heater wastes both water and energy, damaging the environment and driving up your bills. It is thus imperative that you watch for signs of heater damage and respond quickly.
Signs Of Damage
Problems with your water heater may cause a variety of issues throughout your home, including:
- Pressure Problems– If water pressure is down and you cannot identify any other leaks, the heater itself may be leaking.
- Slow Heating– A broken or outdated heater may not warm your water as quickly as it did when you first installed it.
- Higher Energy Use– Even if your water heater doesn’t take longer to warm the water, it may consume more energy to do so. Pay attention to any unexplained changes in your gas or power bill, especially during colder months.
- Noise– If sediment has gotten inside the tank or pipe, the particles will often make a banging or clanging sound.
You may be able to resolve minor water heater problems with a few simple steps. Check your heater to make sure that it is insulated properly, that it isn’t leaking, and that the temperature is set to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. If you have an electric heater, make sure you have not blown a fuse or circuit breaker. For gas units, make sure that the pilot light is on, that the burner is clean, and that all pipes and fixtures are properly connected. If you have heard a clanging sound, drain the tank until all sediment and water are gone. These steps should be enough to restore your heater, but if they don’t work or you don’t know how to perform them, professional services are in order.
Professional Inspections, Repairs, & Replacements
RotoRooter inspects and repairs water heaters with the same care we use for pipes, sewer lines, and gas lines. Based on your reports and an in-depth inspection, we will quickly identify the source of the problem and develop a plan to fix it. For new heaters with minor issues, we can usually make the necessary repairs with minimal effort or expense. For older heaters, seriously damaged heaters, or heaters that repeatedly need to be repaired, we recommend installing a more efficient unit in their place.
A new, efficient water heater will quickly pay for itself through lower electricity and water bills. The most advanced conventional heaters, which keep water warm in a tank, will lower water heating costs by 7%, while tankless heaters that warm water directly for use can lower costs by up to 30%. Hybrid heaters, which supplement gas or electric energy with heat from the surrounding air, are the most efficient, driving down heating costs by as much as 60%. New heaters can also lower long-term repair and replacement costs; whereas conventional heaters have to be replaced every 11 years, tankless units may last as long as two decades. Replacing an old or faulty water heater is thus well worth the initial installation cost.
For home and business owners looking to reduce their energy use even further, Roto-Rooter offers passive and active solar water heaters. These forgo gas and grid electricity entirely, instead warming water with the sun’s abundant heat and light. Solar heaters do need a backup system for cloudy or rainy days, but this is rarely a problem in sunny Denton County. Contact Roto-Rooter to learn more about what solar heating can do for your home.