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  • Why Water Heater Replacement is Best Left to the Professionals

    Water heater repairIt's never a good sign when the hot water goes out. In general, a tank-type water heater will last somewhere between eight and 10 years, but it's a good idea to perform routine maintenance and make sure you check for signs that it's not working properly – you can nip a hot water emergency in the bud. Some signs that your water heater is about to bite the dust include:

    • Corroded tank: Most hot water tanks are steel, so they will eventually rust. If your tank is rusted, you may notice that your water has a brownish tinge.

    • Clogged drain valve: Sediment collects at the bottom of the tank over the years, which can block the drain valve and cause issues.

    • Leaking tank: Leaks are usually an indication that there is an internal problem with your tank, which can rarely be fixed.

    No matter what the diagnosis is, it's important that you leave replacing your water heater to the professionals, and here's why:

    Regulatory requirements

    In 2015, the National Appliance Energy Conservation Act mandated that water heaters manufactured after April 16 had to meet updated requirements for energy consumption. While this move will no doubt save homeowners and the government a lot of money on their energy bills, homeowners now have to be doubly careful when selecting their hot water heaters – you'll need to specify that you want a unit compliant with the new energy-efficient standards. A plumbing professional can help you find the right one – whether it's a tankless water heater, a hybrid heat fixture or one that works via solar power.

    Expertise on hand

    Water heaters are bulky, and there is a protocol for disposal of these fixtures. A certified plumbing expert like the ones at Roto-Rooter can help you make sure you're following all the proper guidelines for disposing of your unit and provides handy assistance for carrying it out of your home. In addition, plumbers have access to all the tools you'll need for extraction of the old unit and installation of the new.

    When it's time to replace your water heater, give the professionals at Roto-Rooter a call. We'll be able to help you choose the right tank, replace the unit and dispose of your old one properly – so you don't have to. Get in touch today.

  • How to Maintain a Water Heater | Roto-Rooter

    Your water heater is one of the most important parts of your home. It is the power behind hot showers, fresh laundry and clean dishes, so there would be some big issues if it were ever to break down. The average water heater lifespan is about 11 years, but without proper maintenance it might not make it that long. Here's what you can do to keep it ticking for at least 11 years:

    1) Check the temperature
    Pay close attention to the thermostat on your water heater. Some manufacturers set the temperature to 140 degrees Fahrenheit by default, which is hotter than most households really need. Elevated temperatures can cause scalding, as well as accelerated mineral buildup and corrosion in the pipes. A recommended setting for water heater maintenance is 120 F, which prevents tank damage and helps you save big on losses of standby and demand heat.  

    2) Drain the tank regularly
    A few times each year, it is a good idea to flush out about one-quarter of the tank in your water heater. You can do this easily by turning off the cold water supply, hooking up a garden hose to the drain valve and then running the water until it looks clear. Draining will help clear away sediment and preserve the heating efficiency of the water heater.

    3) Test the pressure relief valve
    A working pressure relief valve should release a burst of hot water into the drainpipe after you raise and then lower the test lever. Do this regularly to check the pressure and to clear out debris. If the valve is not letting out a big burst each time, call a professional plumber to get a new one installed.

    Water heaters are complex contraptions that require regular attention and maintenance. If you run into a problem you can't solve yourself, be sure to call a professional plumbing services company to take care of it.

  • 3 Things You Didn't Know About Your Water Heater | Roto-Rooter

    Water heater

    When you buy a home, one of the first things you should do is check your water heater and see how long ago it was installed. Beyond that, what are some things you may not realize about this important appliance right when you move in?

    Here are three things you should know about your water heater:

    When should you replace it?

    Typically speaking, homeowners should replace their water heaters every 10 to 13 years. There may be some hidden costs associated with replacing your water heater, including the mount, venting system, drain pan beneath the heater and the supply pipes themselves. Installation also comes with a price tag. Depending on what kind of unit you're installing, you may be able to do it yourself, but be extra careful and don't forget to call a plumber if you find yourself in over your head.

    Look out for signs of failure

    When your water heater is getting ready to fail, you may experience rust in your water or hear rumbling noises coming from inside the fixture. The rumbling or knocking sound is created by layers of sediment that have coagulated and hardened in the water heater. This sediment can make your water heater less efficient and cause more wear to the tank, eventually leading to system failure. If you notice any leaks, sediment could be the culprit.

    Be more efficient

    It's important to make sure your water heater is using electricity and water in an efficient manner, and not just for your bills' sake. The easiest way to do this is to invest in a newer appliance, which could operate about 20 percent more efficiently and save $700 more over the life of the unit than older models. However, replacement is not always an option. One way to improve efficiency is to check some of the working parts of your water heater, like the TPR valve and anode rod. In addition, you can drain the aforementioned sediment out of the tank in order to strengthen the longevity of the appliance.

    There's still so much to learn about your water heater. If you think your appliance may be experiencing some difficulties, give the plumbing professionals at your local St. Paul Roto-Rooter a call today for more information and to schedule an assessment.

  • 3 Plumbing Tips That Can Help You Save Money | Roto-Rooter

    Water heaterManchester's arid climate provides those who live there with hundreds of beautiful sunny days a year, which locals take full advantage of. However, as summer comes to a close in Manchester means one other thing, too: It's time to do some cleaning. As you're giving your home a thorough scrub down, it's a good idea to consider changes you can make and steps you can take to upgrade and maintain the plumbing fixtures in your home. Maintaining your plumbing will extend its lifespan, but it can also save you money! Take a look at these three tips for saving money with plumbing maintenance:

    Insulate your water heater

    The first step to saving money with your plumbing? Take a look at your water heater. Just like with your thermostat, lowering your water heater by just a few degrees can help you save a little bit of money each month. Make sure it's set no higher than 120 degrees Fahrenheit. You can also buy a water-heater blanket - this will insulate the water, which means the machine won't have to spend so much energy reheating the water every time you turn on a shower or faucet.

    Replace fixtures with low-flow versions

    From your toilet to your showerhead to your faucets, replacing old fixtures with up-to-date, low-flow versions can help you save an enormous amount of water and, in turn, a great deal of money. The best part? Showerheads and faucets are relatively inexpensive and easy to replace yourself, so switching them out is a lot simpler and cheaper than you may think. To replace an old toilet (which can save thousands of gallons a month), you'll want to call in a Manchester Roto-Rooter professional to get some assistance.

    Routinely check your drains and sump pumps

    Manchester's springs and summers are usually pretty dry, but when it does rain, it can come down hard. If any part of your home floods, this can lead to terrible water damage that's extremely costly to repair. So, this tip is about prevention: Routinely inspect your drains and basement sump pump to make sure they're clear and working properly. Just pour a couple of buckets of water into the sump pump, and see if it turns on and discharges the water - if it does, it's working.

  • What is a Smart Water Heater?

    Save moneyWhen it comes to maintaining your water heater and making sure you're getting your money's worth out of your appliances, there are a few things to keep in mind. A smart water heater can make a difference for your monthly bill, but you still have to make sure you're taking proper care of it.

    What is a smart water heater?

    Let's take a step back. These days are are multiple different types of water heaters, each with their own enticing amenities. A smart water heater is one that uses technology to cut back on your energy consumption. Water heaters have been recorded to use almost 18 percent of the energy people utilized in their homes. To help the public reduce the amount of electricity it's using on this seemingly mundane task, smart water heaters are becoming popular items on the plumbing market.

    Appliances and objects that are considered "smart" technologies incorporate monitoring with data generation tools that allow homeowners to control disparate parts of their homes remotely via tablet or phone app. For instance, there are refrigerators that let you know when you're out of eggs or provide temperature updates Smart water heaters are no different. It's because of this monitoring technology that this appliance is so useful.

    How can it help you conserve energy?

    Arguably one of the biggest draws of the smart water heater is the fact that it can save you energy. Using the aforementioned monitoring tools, the appliance is equipped to give by-the-minute updates on the water temperature within your home. Users can customize and reset the settings on their heater from anywhere, as long as they have access to the internet. This allows them to see if a particular area is being troublesome to heat, or whether the heater is necessary or not – for instance, when no one is at home.

    Contact an expert

    If you have any issues with your smart water heater or have a traditional fixture and are looking at buying a high-tech appliance, you can contact your local plumber at Roto-Rooter for an assessment. It's important to perform an analysis of your current plumbing situation in order to see if your home would be compatible with smart water heater technology. Get in touch today!

  • When to Replace A Water Heater in Denver

    Old water heaterIf you've ever taken a steamy shower, a water heater was involved with ensuring that you have warm water. It's also likely that you've shaken your fist at your siblings, parents or roommates for using the last of the heater's reserves. Because this machine is so critical to our everyday comfort, it's important to understand when it needs to be repaired or when a new one should be installed. Let's take a look at a few reasons to replace your water heater:


    How old is your water heater? Has it been in place since the home was built, or has it been replaced over the years? This information will be integral to determining if a new appliance is necessary. While there is no specific time frame of what age of when to replace your water heater be sure to use your best judgment to identify if your aging water heater needs to be retired sooner rather than later.

    Not warm enough

    When you first moved into your home, your water heater worked like a charm. However, if your family grew, your water needs changed from those simpler times. As the demand for hot water increases, your tank may not be able to meet these expectations, meaning that it may be time to purchase a larger water heater. If your household has expanded, or you're expecting it to do so in the near future, you may want to take a look at your heater's capacity.


    Water heaters in many homes are in the basement or locked away in an inconspicuous closet, but these appliances can make a considerable amount of noise when something is wrong. If you hear a hissing or sizzling noise, that means that sediment may have collected in the tank, and is burning away. Traditionally, flushing out your tank will solve this issue, but if the problem persists, you may need to replace the heating element. Consulting a plumbing expert on these situations can identify the issue from the start and prescribe the right method to resolve it.

    Water heaters are an essential, and fairly pricey piece of equipment, so you want to ensure that you maintain yours properly and only replace it when necessary. Call your local Roto-Rooter plumbing professional to perform a full inspection and routine maintenance including checking connections as well as looking for any signs of corrosion or leakage.

  • Common Water Heater Problems in Everett, WA and How to Fix Them

    Water HeaterWhen your water heater isn't working, the world is a little more glum than it should be. After all, one of the best parts about waking up in the morning or about coming home from work is being able to take a nice hot shower – especially during those cold Washington winter days. If your hot water heater isn't working properly, it may be exhibiting a few easy-to-pinpoint symptoms.

    Common problems

    A few readily identifiable issues that could arise with your hot water heater include:

    • Lack of hot water or not enough hot water.

    • Noises in the pipes.

    • Something "off" about the water – i.e., water that smells like rotten eggs or is discolored.

    If you think your appliance is exhibiting any of these symptoms, it may be time to get out the tool belt. First, however: Shut off the water supply to the device, turn off the power flowing to an electric heater and turn a gas appliance's pilot control valve to the "pilot" setting.

    Gas water heaters

    When you're not getting any hot water – or not enough – out of your gas heater, the first thing you should do is check the pilot and the control valve. If there is a problem with the thermocouple, it may be a bigger concern. Just make sure when you're working with these kinds of appliances that gas isn't escaping – because this could lead to an explosion. Be certain the pilot is lit and the burner is working before you leave the area to negate that particular danger.

    Electric water heaters

    Let's say your hot water heater is slow to work or doesn't work at all, you may only need to replace the heating elements in order to fix it for good. Replacement elements are relatively inexpensive and can be found at your local hardware store. However, if that doesn't work, you may need to delve deeper – the problem could be with the thermostat or the cutoff switch. In this scenario, it may be best to consult a professional before testing these things.

    These are some common water heater problems and a few solutions to get you started, but if you run into any further issues or simply want a professional assessment, get in touch with your local plumbing professional at Roto-Rooter today.

  • How to Maintain Your Tankless Water Heater in Lawrenceville, GA

    Running WaterTankless water heaters are one way homeowners in Lawrenceville, GA, can save energy.

    Instead of heating tanks of water in batches, a tankless water heater, or on-demand water heater, warms up water as it's needed. Depending on how many gallons of hot water your home uses per day, a tankless water heater can be 20 to 30 percent more efficient than a normal hot water heater.

    Like any other new piece of equipment in your household, it's important that you understand how to best take care of it. Neglecting basic maintenance won't allow your tankless water heater to operate at its full potential, and won't allow you to achieve the energy savings you likely were looking forward to when you chose it.

    Flush to remove hard water deposits

    Your tankless water heater should be flushed at least annually. This is to remove mineral deposits, such as calcium. If you've had hard water problems in your home in Lawrenceville, you might consider flushing out your heater more than once per year to counter mineral deposits.

    To flush your heater, first you must check your owner's manual to see if your unit needs to have the power shut off. If your heater is electric, turn off the power from the breaker panel, and if it's gas, rotate the gas cutoff until fuel is no longer going to the heater.

    Next you will want to turn off the water supply bringing cold water to the heater, as well as the valve sending hot water out.

    Fasten a six-foot garden hose to a sump pump, and the other end to the cold-water valve. A second garden hose will have to be connected to the hot-water valve, with the opposite end submerged in a five-gallon bucket of distilled white vinegar. Place the pump line in the bucket as well.

    Use the pump to circulate the vinegar through the heater. The vinegar will break down mineral deposits and buildup. Let the pump run for about 1.5 hours. Then replace the vinegar with cold water. Use this to rinse out your heater.

    Once the heater is clean, you'll have to clean the inlet filter screen. To do this, simply rinse it and take away any sediment stuck to it.

    Once the screen is clean and the heater is all flushed out and rinsed, you can replace everything back to working order. Test the faucets throughout your home to make sure there isn't any air trapped in them. Let the water run for a few minutes to remove any air pockets.

    Again, refer to your owner’s manual for some procedures may vary.

    If you have problems with your tankless water heater, you may want to call in the experts. Contact your local Roto-Rooter to make sure everything is in working order.

  • Tips for Maintaining Your Water Heater in Arvada

    Water Heater

    Homeowners know that there's a lot of work that goes into keeping your home clean, safe, and up-to-date. In fact, taking care of the property itself can sometimes seem like a full-time job. From the basement to the attic and everything in between, all of the systems within your home need to be well-maintained - and that includes the plumbing. And in Arvada - where hot showers are at a premium during cold winters - maintaining the water heater is extra important. Here are a few tips for taking care of this fixture:

    Set the right temperature

    The industry rule of thumb for the right water-heater temperature is 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Why is this the sweet spot? Set it any higher, and you run the risk of your water being scalding, but at this temperature, it will still provide comfortably hot water. However, if you'd rather save a few bucks and use cooler water for bathing, washing clothes and doing the dishes, you can lower the temperature by 5-10 degrees.

    Cover it up

    If you have an older water heater, adding some insulation to the fixture and the pipes surrounding it can also provide a couple of benefits. First, insulating your heater will help you save some money - you won't be expending as much energy to reheat the water and keep it warm. Second, because it won't go through as many drastic temperature changes, your fixture may stay in better shape for longer.

    Schedule an annual flush and inspection

    There are certain regular maintenance routines that your water heater needs to stay in good working condition. Schedule annual water-heater services with your local Arvada Roto-Rooter plumber - he or she will be able to inspect the fixture, flush out any sediment that's built up over the year and make sure the anode rod hasn't eroded or become damaged.

    Utilize the vacation setting

    Water heater’s enjoy vacations too. Many water heaters have a vacation setting - if yours does, utilize it whenever you'll be away from your home for more than a couple of days. This will save you money and keep your machine in a low-energy mode until you're ready to use it again.

    If you suspect something is wrong with your water heater, don't wait until the annual service you scheduled - call Roto-Rooter to have a plumber inspect the fixture right away. Hot water is crucial for daily living, so your Roto-Rooter professional will be happy to fix the issue immediately.

  • 5 Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Water Heater | Roto-Rooter

    5 Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Water Heater

    What’s worse than hopping in the shower and realizing your water is as chilly the record breaking frosty Missouri temperature outside? Not much.  

    As with most home appliances, your water heater will start to deteriorate and eventually break down over years of use. No one likes a cold shower or dirty dishes, so ideally, you should be replacing your water heater before it completely stops working. Should you wait too long, you'll be left with much bigger problems - aside from a frigid shower - like a leak, which leads to major water damage throughout your home.

    Here are five clues that it's time to replace your water heater:

    Rust and corrosion

    Keep an eye on your tank and occasionally check for any rust or corrosion that might have built up over the years. There are two specific areas that you should keep an extra eye on: around the temperature and pressure relief valves, and the inlet and outlet connections.

    Water discoloration around the heater

    If you spot rusty water coming from the heater, this is usually a clear indication that the inside of your tank is rusting. This will eventually turn into a leak, so you should have your water heater replaced as soon as possible.

    Pooling around the heater

    Take a walk around the unit and look for any pooling. If you notice a little moisture, there's most likely a leak or fracture inside the tank. The reason your tank might be leaking is because as the metal heats, it expands and then cracks, forcing water out through the lesions.

    Cold or lukewarm water

    A tell tale sign of you being in need of a new water heater is if you crank the faucets up in your shower, but still experience cold or lukewarm water as opposed to your desired bathing temperature. In most cases this is a strong indication that your water heater might be beyond repair and must be replaced.

    Questionable noises

    If it sounds like there might be a thunderstorm in your basement or a stampede of safari animals, chances are something is going on with your water heater. As your tank ages, residue starts to build on the bottom. When the sediment heats up, it eventually hardens and will bang against the heater - that's where the loud rumbling noise is coming from. With the banging noises comes leaking, so it's best to replace your heater as soon as you start to hear unusual sounds.

    To extend the lifetime of your water heater, it is strongly recommended that you perform regular maintenance checkups on your system. For more information, contact your local Jefferson City Roto-Rooter professional today.

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