Tankless water heaters, or on-demand water heaters, have been around for over a decade now and have proven to be a reliable, and an energy efficient alternative to tank-style water heaters. When problems do arise is often a result of installation issues or a lack of maintenance.
Tankless water heaters are hi-tech appliances that heat water rapidly only when it's need, resulting in less wasted energy and a nearly continuous supply of hot water. When properly maintained they will last around 20 years. Here are some of the most common problems experienced with tankless water heaters.
Hard water can lead to scaly calcium buildup which can increase the maintenance requirements for the unit. The unit should be flushed with vinegar following the manufacturer's instructions to prevent minerals from reducing performance or potentially damaging the unit. If your home has excessively hard water, it's recommended that a water softener be installed to prevent excessive calcium deposits form accumulating in the water lines.
This is related to the above problem. Most tankless water heater manufactuers include a maintenance schedule in the owner's manual. One of these maintenance items is flushing the water lines, usually with vinegar, to prevent the accumulaiton of mineral deposits that can build up over time and reduce burner efficiency and water flow. Check your owner's manual for the correct procedure for your tankless unit. Or, call Anthony's Plumbing, we would be happy to help.
While you're more likely to experience corrosion problems with a conventional tank-style water heater, tankless water heaters can also be damaged by corrosion if condensation drips onto on the gas burner and causes problems with the gas supply.
Before installing a new tankless water heater your plumber will ask about your water usage to calculate which unit will best serve your hot water needs. If you exceed the capacity of the unit by showering, doing laundry and other water-intensive tasks simultaneously, the unit may shut down to prevent damage from over heating. If you use a lot of hot water at the same time in different areas of your home, you may be better off going with a larger tank-style water heater.
When a tankless water heater is installed it's essential that the unit have enough ventilation to allow excess heat to escape, and in the case of gas units, for exhaust gases to vent to the outside of the home. If not properly vented, the unit may overheat and automatically shut down as a safety precaution.
Have questions about tankless water heaters? Call Anthony's Plumbing. We can help answer all your water heating questions.
If you're noticing changes to the water coming out ouf your tap – such as strange colors, tastes or odors – the cause may be your water heater.
To find out if the water heater is the cause, note the following:
• Does the problem only occur first thing in the morning?
• Does it happen after the water has not been used for a while?
• Does the problem clear up after you run the water for a few minutes?
• Is the problem isolated to the hot rather than cold running faucet?
If any of the above cases is true, it could be caused by your water heater.
Bad smells, such as a sulphur odors, are sometimes caused by bacteria growing in the water heater tank. When the water heater goes unused for long periods of time bacteria, while usually harmless, can cause unpleasant odors. A sulphur, or rotten egg odor, is sometimes caused by a corroded anode rod inside the water heater. The rod should be inspected and replaced if needed.
Hard water can also cause sediment to accumulate at the bottom of the tank, causing odors. Installing a water softener should fix the problem.
Brown, red or yellow tinted water can be caused by rust from a corroded water heater tank, or pipes inside the home. The iron present in most water is not a significant health risk, but it can stain clothing and dishes and leave drinking water with a metallic taste. Your plumber can help track down the cause and determine if the water heater is the source of the problem.
White or tan particles in the water are usually a sign of calcium or magnesium. While not generally harmful to ingest, the minerals can clog pipes and drains over time. A water filtration system or water softener can remove the minerals from the water.
Have concerns about water quality in your home? Give Anthony's Plumbing a call. We can help identify the cause of the problem and recommend effective solutions for cleaner, better tasting water!
Knowing how old your water heater is can be helpful when planning for replacement and knowing when you're better off replacing the unit instead of putting money towards repairs. In most cases, if a water heater is more than 10 years old you should consider replacement.As water heaters enter their second decade the risk of developing leaks increases, which can potentially cause damage to your home. Tankless water, or on-demand water heaters, have a life expectancy of around 20 years when properly maintained.
You can find the age of your water heater by looking for the serial number on the manufacturer’s sticker near the top of the water heater. The serial number contains the date that the water heater was manufactured. It will not be in a standard date formt, but will have a date code such as "G062052658".
G is for the month and G is the seventh letter in the alphabet, so it represents the seventh month, July. Next, the first two digits of the serial number are 06, which represents the year, 2006. So this water heater was made in July 2006. Each manufacturer uses a similar date code, but they may vary – so check the manufacturer’s website to learn more.
If your water heater is getting on in years you may begin to notice that it doesn't maintain hot temperatures long enough, or it quickly runs out of hot water after just a few minutes. Sediment build-up at the bottom of the tank can reduce heating efficiency over time. Flushing the tank at least once a year can remove this sediment, improving heating efficiency and extending the lifespan of the unit. Sudden loss of hot water is often a symptom of a broken dip tube. The dip tube sends the cold water supply to the bottom of the tank where the burner is located. If the dip tub breaks, the cold water will enter at the top of the tank, where the hot water exits, leading to a cold shower. Anthony's Plumbing can inspect the dip tub and make sure it is connected and working correctly.
If there are water leaks around the tank, or significant signs of corrosion, it may be time to consider replacing the unit before a major water leak occurs, causing damage to your home. A plumber should inspect the water heater to ensure it is in good working condiiton.
Have questions about your home's water heater? Call Anthony's Plumbing. We can help answer all your plumbing questions.
Keeping your kitchen drain flowing smoothly is simple if you follow a few simple rules.
1. Keep grease out of drains. Grease and fat are among the worse things you can pour down a drain. You may get away with pouring grease for a while without noticing any problems, but over time grease can accumulate inside the drain and slow the flow of water. grease can also cause food waste to cling to the inside of the drain, making a sticky mess. A safe way to dispose of oil and grease is to pour it into an empty plastic container that can be sealed and thrown into the trash. Thicker grease can be wiped off pans with a paper towel and thrown into the garbage.
2. Don't overload the disposal. While garbage disposals are a great convenience, it's important to to rely too heavily on the disposal to get rid of all your food waste. Scrape food waste into the garbage prior to rinsing dishes into the sink.
3. Starchy foods are bad for drains. Food that become sticky and expand when wet, such as pasta, patatos, rice, etc, can cling to the inside of pipes. and create stubborn clogs. Also avoid putting egg shells and banana peels down the disposal.
4. Maintain your drains. When using your disposal always run plenty of water , and let the water run for 30 seconds after turning off the disposal. You can also keep your drains in good condition by spreading a half a cup of baking soda into the drain followed by a cup of vinegar. After the solution stops fizzing, pour a few cups of boiling water.
If you notice that your drains are emptying slowly, give us a call, we can help clear the toughest clogs.
Your home's plumbing system will make a wide range of noises under normal operation. By understanding which noises are normal and which could be the sign of a bigger problem you can often prevent expensive plumbing repair.
If your home's plumbing system is suddenly makes a loud banging sounds, you likely have have a plumbing problem known as "water hammer". When water suddenly changes momentum under pressure, such as when a faucet valve is closed suddenly, a hydraulic shockwave is sent through the pipe, resulting in a bang as the energy is released. If the pressure change is severe enough it can lead to damaged fittings or even burst pipes. A properly installed plumbing system has air compartments that compress to absorb sudden changes in water pressure. In some cases these compartments can fail to work if the water has gradually absorbed air or the compartments have become filled with water.
If you are experiencing water hammer you can restore the plumbing system's air chambers by opening the faucet that caused the noise and allowing the water to completely drain out. Air will then replace the water and restore the shock absorbing capability inside the pipes. If the air compartment is below the fixture, you may have to drain the main supply lines to restore the air in the lines.
If the above steps do not cure the problem, the plumbing system may not have the necessary air chambers installed, or they may have become clogged over time. Your plumber can inspect the system to identify any problems and recommend solutions.
Whistling sounds are often caused by a toilet fill valve that is leaking. You can often stop the sound temporarily by remove the lid of the toilet tank and adjusting the fill valve mechanism until it stops. The fill valve should be replaced to eliminate the leak.
This is another sound often caused by a toilet's fill valve. When the gasket inside the top cap of the fill valve is old and worn, it becomes less flexible. When closed, the poor seal can cause vibrations in wall near the toilet. Check the fill valve by removing the tank lid and activating the fill valve from the arm. If the vibration stops, the fill valve is worn and should be replaced.
Rumbling sounds are often heard when a water heater has excessive sediment build up. When water is trapped in this sediment and starts boiling the heat is not transferred out of the flue as efficiently, causing turbulance and noise.
Carefully draining a few gallons of water from the water heater tank using hose attached to the drain valve can remove much of the sediment that has collected at the bottom of the tank.
Have questions about water hammer or other plumbing problems? Call Anthony's Plumbing, we're here to help.
Plumbing emergencies can range from leaking pipes and clogged drains to a faucets that won't shut off and leaking water heaters. Because plumbing emergencies can happen anytime, it's important that everyone in the household know the location of the shutoff valve for every plumbing fixture and appliance, as well as the home's main shutoff valve.
If a specific plumbing fixture or appliance is leaking or malfunctioning, first look for its shutoff valve and turn it clockwise to turn off the water supply just to the affected system.
The shutoff valve is usually located underneath the toilet or sink. Clothes washers will have two shutoff valves, one each for hot and cold water, often located behind the appliance
If the problem is not with a specific fixture or appliance, or you cannot locate the shutoff valve, locate the main shutoff valve to turn off the water to the entire house. The main shutoff valve will be on the inside where the main water supply pipe enters the house. Turn the valve clockwise to shut it off. If the valve is difficult to turn, keep a wrench near the valve for emergencies.
Have a plumbing emergency? Call Anthony's Plumbing. Our professional plumbers will be there in minutes to help fix the problem.
There are several techniques that are used to clear clogged drains lines. While snaking, rodding and other methods of physically removing obstructions are effective in many situations, the safest and most effective way to clear out stubborn clogs and thoroughly clean out pipes throughout your home's plumbing system is with a technique called hydrojetting. Over time, pipes inside your home can begin to accumulate limescale, grease and other debris that can gradually slow the flow of waste water, eventually causing drains to empty slowly or backup. Rodding and drain snakes can clear the obstruction, but the usually leave residue that will enable future clogs to form more easily. That's where hydrojetting provides an advantage.
How Does Hydrojetting Work?
Hydrojetting is a technique that plumbers use to scour the inside surface of pipes with high-pressure water. The process involves inserting a hose to the plumbing system's cleanout, an access point to the inside of a pipe. The hose is connected to a specialized pressure washer that controls the amount of water that is injected into the pipe.
A plumber must know the right water pressure to use depending on the condition of the pipes, so before beginning a small video camera is used to assess the condition of the interior of the pipe and determine the extent of the buildup so the pressure can be adjusted accordingly. The pressure required to do the job may be 5,000 psi or more, or as much as 20 gallons per minute.
One of the reasons hydrojetting is so effective is that it employs gravity to scour the pipe from the bottom up. The combination of the natural downstream gravity flow of the waste and the upstream pressurized blast of water scours the pipe wall, dislodging debris and flushing it down the pipe. After the pipe has been hydrojetted, the inside of the pipe is again inspected with a camera to ensure that the process was effective.
Even if your drains seem to be working fine right now, hydrojetting of sewer and drain lines is a good way to inspect and maintain your home's plumbing system to ensure that the small problems don't become major sewer and drain clogs down the road.
Have questions about hydrojetting? Call Anthony's Plumbing. We can help with all your home sewer and drain maintenance needs.
If the water pressure in your home doesn't seem strong enough there are a number of possible causes. First, if the water pressure is only low in a few places, such as a shower head or faucet, it could caused by a clogged shower head or faucet aerator. Mineral deposits can build up over time and reduce the flow of water. Soaking the shower head or faucet aerator in vinegar overnight will dissolve the buildup and get the water flowing again.
If low water pressure is a problem with all plumbing fixtures in the home, inside and outside, it's important to consider the age of the home. If the home was built in the 1960 or 1970s it may have galvanized steel pipes. The galvanization was designed to prevent corrosion of the steel pipes. However, when the galvanization wears away rust can build up over time. The result is gradually reduced water pressure. To fix the problem, the pipes will need to be replaced. If the house was built in the 1980s or later, there is likely another issue with the plumbing. Start by checking that the main water shut-off valve is fully open. If the water was turned off recently for plumbing work, it may not have been reopened completely.
Water pressure can be tested using a pressure gauge on an outside water spigot. Water pressure is measured in pounds per square inch (PSI), and normal water pressure is typically between 30 and 80 PSI. If the reading is less than 40 psi, the city may be delivering water at a low pressure. If the city can't boost the pressure, it may be worth installing a water pressure booster system.
Have questions about water pressure in your home? Call Anthony's Plumbing. We can help with all your plumbing needs.
One of the most specialized plumbing services we provide is slab leak repair . For homeowners who aren’t familiar with the term “slab leak,” it’s important to gain an understanding of this type of problem. A slab leak occurs when one or more of the pipes that run through the concrete foundation (or slab) of your home are damaged and spring a leak.
Because you can’t see the pipes that run through the foundation, it’s difficult to detect a slab leak. However, there are some signs that can alert you to the problem:
A slab leak is a serious plumbing emergency, and it’s imperative that you get it fixed as soon as possible.
Slab leak repair is complicated, because the pipes in question aren’t visible. The last thing you want is an inexperienced or unqualified person ripping up your entire foundation in search of the leak. That’s why you need to call a plumbing expert like Anthony’s. We use the very latest detection technology to find out how the pipes run and where the problem is located. This allows us to target the exact spot that needs fixing. And of course, we use cutting edge technology and materials to effectively repair the leak. Trenchless pipe-lining, for example, allows us to construct a new, durable pipe inside the existing one, while PEX piping offers a resilient and long-lasting solution for spot repairs.
So if you notice any of the disturbing signs that indicate you have a slab leak, call Anthony’s Plumbing immediately for a free assessment and estimate!