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Do you take your hot water heater for granted? Whether it is sitting in the corner of your garage or tucked away in a closet/attic, it is far too easy to ignore this vital appliance. Your water heater quietly does its job sending hot water to all the taps in your San Francisco home whenever you need it and doesn’t ask for much in return. But when the hot water doesn’t work, it quickly becomes apparent just how important a water heater is. Without it, many of the other appliances in your home can’t do their jobs. The hot water heater keeps your house (and body) clean, and most of us can’t imagine living without one.
Family life can come to a grinding halt without hot water, which is precisely why maintaining your water heater is so essential. With just a little bit of effort, you can keep the hot water flowing. Preventive care also keeps your water heater working well for as long as possible. Paying for a water heater replacement isn’t something most homeowners want to have to consider. The great news is that keeping your hot water heater running year after year only requires a tiny bit of annual maintenance.
So what exactly does the average Cole Valley, CA homeowner need to do to ensure that their hot water heater has a long healthy life and works as efficiently as possible? Here are a few things every homeowner should be doing to protect their hot water heater.
Someone should inspect all of the appliances in your San Francisco home once or twice a year. Your water heater is no exception. Don’t allow your hot water heater being out of sight to make it slip your mind. Instead, take the time to inspect the unit annually. Annual inspections can help you catch potential problems while they are still minor, meaning they can be addressed before they become big problems.
So what should you inspect? First, take a few minutes to look at the water pipes to ensure nothing is leaking and check for visible signs of corrosion or hard water build-up. Also, inspect any wiring and check all of the electrical connections. Most homeowners can handle this themselves, but if you worry you might overlook something, you can have a professional handle your annual inspections.
Since water heaters are often kept in uninsulated garages, they can easily be affected by seasonal temperatures. During the cooler months of the year in California, this can cause your hot water heater to work less efficiently. Insulating the body of the water heater and the water pipes can help protect them both. By insulating the tank’s exterior, you can reduce your energy costs and give your water heater a little bit of extra help. In addition, pipes should be protected from freezing. Inspect the insulation regularly to ensure that everything is where it should be and that none of the insulation poses a fire hazard.
Most hot water heaters are set to a higher temperature than necessary. On average, homeowners typically set their water heaters to 140 degrees (or even higher). However, in most homes, 120 degrees is the highest temperature you will need. Why is the temperature setting so important? The higher you set the temperature, the harder your unit has to work. The higher temperature settings can also be a massive waste of energy. Naturally, it takes more gas or electricity to keep the water at a higher temperature. Over the course of the year, the price of all this extra energy usage can add up. A higher water temperature can also prove dangerous as children and even adults are burned every day by the water pouring into their bathtubs. Set the temperature at the lowest setting you can handle. Ideally, this should be no higher than 120 degrees.
Even the most energy-efficient hot water heaters can start to slow down after working hard year after year, day in and day out. The most common reason for this slowdown is sediment build-up in the tank. Unfortunately, there is no way to avoid sediment build-up completely. Over the long term, a little bit of sediment in your tank won’t damage your water heater. But a little routine maintenance can clean it out and keep your water heater running better and longer. All you have to do is drain and flush the tank once a year. Whether you decide to do this yourself or contact a pro, don’t skip this vital step in annual maintenance.
By doing a little bit of preventative work every year, you can protect your investment and keep your water heater running for longer. Unfortunately, eventually, every appliance will need replacing. When you use something every single day for years and years, it’s only natural. It can be tough to tell when it’s time for a new hot water heater. It is important to know when to replace your hot water heater. On average, your hot water heater should last 10-15 years. If it is leaking, making strange noises, or your water looks rusty, it is likely time to buy a new one. It might also be time to replace it if your hot water isn’t lasting as long as it used to or isn’t getting hot enough.
Unfortunately, many San Francisco homeowners wait until they find themselves suddenly without hot water to start thinking about water heater replacement. However, waiting until the unit fails means that you could be paying thousands of dollars in higher electric or gas bills. Also, faulty appliances can cause extensive damage to your Cole Valley, CA home. Never be afraid to reach out to the pros for help if you are unsure.
Whether you need a water heater replacement Cole Valley or just looking for an experienced pro to help you with routine maintenance, Sugar Bear Plumbing can help. Our team of licensed plumbers can help you with all of your home’s needs, from emergency repairs to regular maintenance. Visit our website at https://www.sugarbearplumbinginc.com for a complete list of our residential and commercial services, or call us at 415-858-1840 to discuss your project with our Cole Valley, CA customer service experts.