This time on the ACE Home Services blog we wanted to take a look at one of the most crucial pieces in a healthy plumbing system in your home right now: the water heater. So many of the fixtures and appliances in your home rely on a steady, reliable flow of hot water. But have you considered how long your water heater has left? Do you know how to drain a water heater as a part of it’s standard upkeep? Read! We answer some of the most common, most pressing water heater questions we see.
Water Heater FAQ and You
How to Drain a Water Heater
Since we mentioned it, let’s hit this one first! Draining a water heater is surprisingly simple and doesn’t require much in the way of tools. You simply turn off the power, open some valves and allow the water in the tank to flush out the drain. We have a whole blog on this when it comes to Spring Cleaning Your Water Heater so take a look for more info and step by step instructions!
How long do water heaters last?
The lifespan of a water heater depends in large part on what kind of heater it is and the way it is maintained. They can range from 10 up to even 20 years.
Well then, what kind of water heater are there?
Glad you asked! There are a few different kinds of water heaters.
The conventional storage tank water heater that most are familiar with sits in a closet, in the garage or outside. The tank is filled with water which is warmed and it sits there waiting for use. These have a lifespan of about 10 to 15 years.
The tankless, instantaneous water heater is a more compact appliance that heats water as it’s needed overing some energy-saving benefits. They also have a lifespan of up to 20 years. Not bad!
Solar-powered water heaters are another option! This type of heaters are positioned outdoors, the water is pumped through the solar collectors which warm the water or through other high tech means.
Heat pump water heaters use the ambient heat in the environment to support the heating of water in the tank. Because it relies on the environmental heat these are best for areas with high temperatures.
Note: There are other types of water heaters out there, some sources might say there’s five or even seven. For us at ACE Home Services, the kinds we’re interested in are gas, electric, and tankless water heaters.
What is the downside of a tankless water heater?
You like the sound of a tankless water heater huh? We don’t blame you! They’re a good option for some, the energy savings of only heating what you need is an attractive option for those looking to be more energy efficient. Keep in mind, that because they only heat as needed, they also have a low flow rate – meaning trying to do two different things in your home that need hot water can be more difficult than it needs to be. They also, unfortunately, tend to cost about double the price of a standard water heater.
What is the average cost to replace a hot water heater?
This can range widely based on a number of factors! According to the folks over at Home Advisor, The national average runs about $1300. But that’s just an average. Depending on the current situation, the type of water heater you’re looking to replace it with, any varying installation costs.
If you’d like to get a more accurate quote, reach out to ACE today!
What brand of water heater is the most reliable?
This is another one of those you might get some varying answers. In our experience, we prefer the Rinnai tankless water heater systems but we offer all the top brands you may be looking for.
What size water heater do I need?
There are a number of factors to consider when it comes to figuring out how much hot water you may need. The average American household uses about 60 gallons of hot water a day. The average shower alone makes up for about 16 gallons of that. So think about how many people are in your home using showers and hot water each day. If you only have two people and they each shower once a day, you can probably get by with a 40-gallon tank, but don’t expect to both shower and do a load of dishes at the same time.
What are the signs your hot water heater is going out?
Not sure if you need a new hot water heater yet? Look for any of these tell tale signs:
- Age of unit (12+ yrs)
- Red water
- Low water volume
- Bills increasing
Learn more about how these signs tell you your water heater is in need of repair or replacement.
Why did my pilot light go out?
If your water heater is gas-powered, it relies on a flame to warm the water. There’s a few reasons the pilot light could have gone out. It’s possible your water heater is in a space where there’s not enough combustible air, or on the opposite side of the spectrum it could have a strong draft that blew the light out. Another possible cause is a faulty thermocouple. This part of the unit detects when the light is on and burning and shuts off the gas when there’s no fire. It’s a great safety feature but if it’s faulty it could shut off the gas prematurely.
How do I relight it?
If your pilot light goes out you can probably relight it yourself.
- Turn the thermostat to the lowest setting
- Turn the on/off pilot switch to the “pilot” position
- Remove the panels to get access your pilot light
- Hold down the pilot button, using a long lighter or match to ignite the flame
- After the flame is lit, continue holding down the pilot button for roughly a minute to ensure the flame stays lit.
- Place the access panels back on and set the thermostat back to the desired temperature.
We’ll wrap up this session of ACE Home Services FAQ Q & A right there for the time being, we hope you’ve found answers to your pressing water heater questions. Didn’t find what you were looking for? Wondering if ACE can take a look at your water heater and diagnose a problem? Already know what you need and just need to hire a professional crew to get it done? ACE Home Services is the team for you.