Homeowners seldom think about their hot water supply, until something happens which makes it unavailable for a period of time. While it might seem a bit mysterious, the functionality of a hot water heater is pretty normal and very understandable. Here are some of the basic things you should know about your hot water heater, and some of these facts may help you avoid interruptions in your hot water service.
Tank or tankless?
You may have heard of a tankless water heater before, without knowing exactly what it’s comprised of. Water heaters which do have tanks are probably a lot more common than tankless water heaters, and chances are that’s what you have installed your home. You can’t miss the huge cylinder which serves as a tank for the hot water, and which is quickly depleted of hot water after as few as two showers.
A tankless water heater doesn’t have one of these huge cylinders with a reservoir of hot water, but it operates instead by heating a small amount of water extremely quickly. Even with no tank to supply hot water, a tankless system will generally be able to provide limitless hot water, simply by heating it up on-demand very quickly. As long as the unit is sized correctly for the household, and installed by an expert, a tankless water heater can seem like a dream come true in supplying unending hot water to the household.
The generally accepted duration for a normal tank-based water heater is somewhere between 10 and 15 years, whereas a tankless system can be expected to last between 15 and 20 years. While there are several factors which have an impact on life expectancy for your water heater, by far the most important one is the quality of the water being processed by your water heater.
As it relates to water heaters, water quality means how much sediment and minerals are contained in your water supply. The more of these which are contained in the water, the worse it will be for your hot water heater, because they all have to be processed by the unit. As a matter fact, most manufacturers recommend that you place a guardian on your hot water heater, so as to limit the minerals and sediment which flow into the appliance.
Minerals and sediments
Minerals such as magnesium and calcium are commonly introduced into a hot water heater by your water supply, and when these minerals build up in the system, it’s a lot like plaque buildup on your teeth – you can expect serious issues shortly. This amounts to a crusty material which degrades the heating process and restricts water flow. If this crusty buildup can be removed, your hot water heater will once again be restored to full functionality, and will be just as effective as it was when it was new.
No one really enjoys doing maintenance on a hot water heater, but it can save you a lot of money and prevent a disaster down the road. The single most common point of failure in a hot water heater is a malfunction on the drain valve. You can avoid most problems with this drain valve by exercising it through the normal process of flushing. If you can completely drain the water heater, this will reduce the sediment contained in the system itself, and will help the appliance to function as it was intended to. Do this annually, and a water heater will probably enjoy a longer life and provide better service throughout its lifetime.
Got a water heater problem?
If your Boise, Idaho water heater is more than a few years old, or if you’ve started to notice issues with your hot water supply, it may be time to contact the professionals, before you end up with a floor full of water by your heater. Call us at (208) 939-4475 or visit our website at www.rightnowheatcool.com, so we can provide fast and professional service for your water heater before it completely gives out on you. Our technicians at Right Now Heating and Air Conditioning are well-qualified to handle any kind of water heater issue, and if complete replacement is necessary, we can have that done quickly and efficiently.