Repairing or Replacing Water Heaters
If you’re not getting enough hot water to shower with, or your water is not coming through hot enough, chances are that you need water heater repair. The water that comes into your home through the piping is generally cool to cold, depending on the season. To get that water heated to a point that you can comfortably shower or bathe and wash clothing or dishes, you need a water heater.
Most homes have water heaters. They are usually found in basements or laundry rooms and generally look like tall metal drums. The water heater is a relatively simple device, but one that, none-the-less, may require water heater repair at one point or another. A water heater is basically a cylindrical vessel that holds water while a heating element on the bottom or inside heats the water to a specified degree. They use the principal of heat rising to deliver hot water through the pipes and out your faucets.
The thermostat on a water heater controls the temperature on the water that is held inside the water heater. Most models allow the owner to set the temperature between 120 and 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Although for general use, the recommended setting is between 120 and 140 degrees. Keeping your water heater set towards the lower end of the acceptable temperature range can help prevent scalding as well as save you money on your bills by using less energy. If you need water heater repair, many times it is because the thermostat is damaged and needs repair. When the thermostat is broken water may not become hot at all, or it may even become too hot, and that can be dangerous, especially if there are small children in the home.
If water heater repair is not an option and you need to replace your existing water heater it is important to make sure that your new water heater is compatible. Make sure it has the same volume of water and wattage as your old water heater. You can generally find this information on the label of your old water heater. You should also purchase and install a new relief valve, as they should be replaced whenever you replace your water heater. The relief valve should be piped with Â¾ inch piping to a point approximately 6 inches above the finished floor.
Also, if you are replacing your water heater you should check the local codes with the building department; in some states the plumbing code requires a plumbing permit to replace a water heater, regardless of who is doing the installation. This is for your own protection, since an improperly installed water heater could become a projectile under certain conditions and cause damage to your home. And an insurance company is not going to want to pay up for the damages if the water heater was not installed by a professional. Generally speaking, if you need water heater repair or replacement, your best bet is to use a professional plumber.