Learn About Water Heaters This Back To School Season

What Are Hot Water Heaters?

A water heater is a piece of plumbing hardware that provides the home with hot water on demand for important tasks like washing hands, cleaning, and bathing. The water heater is one of the most expensive and essential pieces of plumbing equipment found in modern homes. Homeowners can protect their investment in their water heater by educating themselves on the basics of water heater systems.

What Are the Different Types of Water Heaters?

types of water heatersThe main types of water heaters are gas, electric, and tankless water heaters, and there are pros and cons to each. Gas water heaters are the most common type in modern homes, but electric water heaters are also popular. Tankless water heaters are a modern solution to provide hot water with minimal waste of energy by only heating the exact amount of water needed for each task.

Gas water heaters are slightly more expensive to install than electric water heaters but have much lower operating costs. A gas water heater uses a gas burner to heat the water. This means that the water heater needs to be connected to natural gas. Electric water heaters are a more versatile option because almost every home has electricity hooked up, while not every house has a gas connection.

While electric water heaters are easier to install, they have higher operating costs than gas water heaters. Tankless water heaters have the cheapest operating costs because they do not waste energy in the heating process. Installing a tankless water heater is more expensive than the traditional options, but homeowners can expect to get 20+ years of performance compared to gas water heaters 10-15 year lifespan.

How To Do Water Heater Maintenance?

leave it to a professional Plumbers recommend that homeowners drain water heaters annually or twice a year to flush the tank of sediment. Sediments result from natural minerals in the water separating into solids during the heating process. Over time, sediment buildup can corrode the water heater tank and cause valves to age prematurely.

During maintenance appointments, the water heater technician will flush water heater tanks and inspect the system for signs of damage. Most water heaters use a system of valves to control the flow of water. Valves are notorious for wearing out over time, and replacing them can help to promote efficient and long-lasting water heater performance. The anode rod must also be checked and replaced if it is over three to five years old. Anode rods attract corrosive materials in the water to prevent tank corrosion.

Leaving water heater maintenance to a qualified professional is best because working on water heater tanks is extremely dangerous. Up to a hundred gallons of hot water contained within a water heater tank could pose a serious threat to property and people if it bursts. It is a good idea to have a trusted plumber just a phone call away in case of a water heater emergency.

Water Heater Repair or Water Heater Replacement?

Homeowners should look out for signs that their water heater is failing. A broken water heater is not just an inconvenience because of a lack of hot water. If it's malfunctioning, it could pose a safety hazard to the home. Water heaters contain high temperatures and a large amount of water, which could be dangerous if it bursts.

Signs that a homeowner needs to call a plumber for water heater repair include discolored water, foul-smelling water, or a noisy water heater. Other obvious signs of an old or broken water heater include inconsistent temperatures, waiting a long time for water to heat up, or not enough hot water to complete tasks. Water heaters typically only last between 10-15 years, and as water heater repairs become more frequent, homeowners should consider their options for water heater replacement.

About KC's 23 1/2 Hour Plumbing & Air Conditioning

KC's 23 1/2 Hour Plumbing & Air Conditioning has over 40 years of experience serving Palm Springs, CA, and the surrounding areas. They provide upfront pricing, 24/7 emergency service, and financing. Call them today for water heater services in Palm Springs, CA.

Don't Forget About Outdoor Plumbing Blockages

Dealing with Outdoor Plumbing Clogs 

With so many things that can go wrong with indoor plumbing, it is easy to forget that there are plenty of potential problems in outdoor plumbing too. Outdoor plumbing is just as vital to a house as indoor plumbing but in different ways. Often these fixtures are used to add value to a home through aesthetics or function as protection from rainwater damage. 

Outdoor plumbing can suffer from environmental factors. Dealing with plumbing clogs can be stressful, but understanding more about the problem keeps them from getting out of hand. Follow this guide to learn more about outdoor plumbing clogs and how to deal with them when they arise.  

What Does Outdoor Plumbing Do?sprinklers

Outdoor plumbing is even more diverse than indoor plumbing. Indoor plumbing revolves around providing clean water and enabling hygiene, but outdoor plumbing has a lot of different purposes. Outdoor plumbing can include: 

  • Irrigation systems
  • Pool plumbing
  • Outdoor water features
  • Landscape plumbing
  • Draining plumbing 

When considering how diverse outdoor plumbing is, it’s easy to see how problems can be common. Since outdoor plumbing isn’t immediately necessary like hot water for bathing, it can be easily neglected or forgotten about until a clogged pipe demands attention. 

What Causes Clogs in Outdoor Plumbing Fixtures?

The environment is the biggest hazard to outdoor plumbing reliability. Outdoor plumbing is usually located underground, so it always has to deal with the debris. To further complicate matters, outdoor plumbing usually only runs intermittently, like landscape drains removing water during a rainstorm and pool pumps that cycle on and off throughout the year. As debris is allowed to settle in outdoor plumbing, it can form clogs. The more intermittent the use of an outdoor plumbing fixture is, the more common and serious the clog that will form. 

How to Deal with Tough Outdoor Plumbing Clogs 

clogs
Outdoor clogs can be tough to deal with. Usually, outdoor clogs manifest themselves with flooding or mechanical failures in the case of pool pumps and water features. The issue with an outdoor plumbing clog is that piping is almost always below the soil's surface and often below concrete and structures. 

Fortunately, plumbers have had special tools for dealing with underground outdoor clogs for decades, like drain snakes. A more recent invention for clearing an outdoor clog is called the hydro jet. The flexibility and functionality of the hydro jetting process have made it the quick contender for the best way to deal with clogs. 

During the hydro jetting process, a licensed plumber will feed a high-pressure jet down into the clogged pipe. The pressure from the jet cuts through tough clogs and washes away buildup that tends to cling to the inside of pipes. Once the process is done, the homeowner can expect to be problem-free. 

About KC's 23 1/2 Hour Plumbing and Air Conditioning

KC's 23 1/2 Hour Plumbing and Air Conditioning have served Palm Springs and Coachella Valley residents for over 38 years. They provide upfront pricing, 24/7 emergency service, and a membership program that offers many benefits. Call them today for plumbing services in Palm Springs, CA.