Return to the Blog Home Page

Posts Tagged ‘water heater maintenance’

Plumbing Preparation for the Summer Months

Thursday, June 1st, 2017

Most home plumbing systems withstand a heavy workload during the summer months due to more showers, extra laundry and a barbecue or two. All of this water usage can tax the system, especially if you add summer house guests into the mix. Summer plumbing preparation can alleviate this burden with routine maintenance and inspection. This article will show you how a little preparation can prevent the inconvenience associated with unexpected plumbing repairs.

Service the Septic Tank

If you have a home that relies on a private septic tank system, summer plumbing preparation is even more important. The septic tank system is responsible for treating all of the household waste and sewage. If it fails, you may face the difficult prospect of expensive repairs, some of which can turn into thousands of dollars. Annual septic tank maintenance and cleaning is one of the most crucial aspects of maintaining your home’s plumbing system.

Inspect Plumbing

Temperature swings between winter and summer months can wreak havoc on your plumbing system. Fluctuations in temperatures cause your plumbing pipes to contract and expand. This can lead to cracked pipes or minor leaks within the system. A plumbing inspection will identify problems so they can be addressed before causing any major damage.

Service the Water Heater

Don’t forget your water heater during summer plumbing preparation. The water heater should be thoroughly inspected by a licensed plumbing contractor. A typical service call includes flushing the system, adjusting the thermostat, testing the T&P valve and making sure the appliance is operating at peak performance.

Inspect Household Plumbing Fixtures

Check both indoor and outdoor plumbing fixtures for leaks. These include faucets, toilets, bathtubs, sink drains and appliances such as dishwashers, garbage disposals and pool pumps. Ignoring even the smallest of leaks can cost you money in home repairs and other damages. Water damage ruins cabinetry, woodwork, drywall flooring and invites the growth of mold and mildew, a known health hazard. Should the latter occur, you can expect a hefty bill to rid your home of this toxic substance.

Have Your Gutters Cleaned

Remember to have your gutters cleaned. Many people don’t realize that a home’s gutter system is considered part of the plumbing. A gutter system plays a substantial role in protecting your home from water damage. Gutters are designed to channel rainwater away from your home’s foundation. After a long winter, leaves, dirt, roof material and other debris can accumulate inside of the gutter system. When this happens, water is no longer able to flow freely through the system and away from your home. The gutters can also hold water or overflow which can damage roofing, roof structure and facial boards, leading to unnecessary repairs.

For answers to your plumbing questions, contact The Pink Plumber today.

What Is a Anode Rod and Why Is It an Important Component of Your Water Heater?

Thursday, March 23rd, 2017

A water heater is one of the most important appliances in your home. Every day, you depend on hot water to bathe, clean dirty dishes and do your laundry. If you have ever experienced life without hot water, then you know how important maintaining your water heater should be. The following post will detail one of the most important components of your water heater, the anode rod.


An anode rod is often made from aluminum but can also be manufactured using magnesium. While the latter is more expensive, they generally provide better performance. Its primary function is to protect your appliance by attracting the corrosive elements in the water within your water heater tank before they attack the tank itself. Without this sacrificial rod, it would not take long for your water heater tank to corrode. Aside from leading to water heater replacement, should your tank fail, you could also experience costly home repairs, such as damaged flooring, cabinetry and walls, with the potential of mold and mildew growth.

A Corroded Rod Means It Is Working

Anode rods are available in various sizes to fit different types of water heaters. When new, they are approximately 1/2-inch in diameter. However, a used one, once removed from the water heater, may resemble a thin wire. You should not attempt anode rod replacement yourself because it is very difficult to remove. In addition, you run the risk of damaging the water heater tank. If you damage the water heater tank, you could possibly face a complete water heater replacement.

Annual Water Heater Maintenance

You should schedule annual water heater maintenance and inspection with your plumbing contractor to keep your appliance in peak condition and efficiency. Most plumbing contractors will inspect the anode rod during an annual service call; however, not all of them will. That is why it is up to you to ask and verify that they actually checked the rod. The reason some plumbing contractors skip anode rod inspection is because they can often be difficult to remove due to corrosion. If it has been awhile since your last service call, your plumber should inspect the appliance carefully before attempting anode rod removal to assess if it is possible without damaging the tank. In addition, during a water heater service call, your plumbing contractor should also flush the tank, test water temperature and pressure, adjust thermostat settings when applicable, and inspect all connections to verify there are no leaks.

For answers to your plumbing questions, contact The Pink Plumber today.

What is a T & P Valve and Why is it Important?

Tuesday, March 21st, 2017

Most households depend on a water heater to produce hot water when needed for a variety of chores around the home. Chances are you use hot water every, single day to bathe, clean dishes and wash your dirty clothes. Homeowners would be wise to gather a basic understanding of its safety features so they can identify the signs of a serious problem should it occur. The following post will define the primary function of a T & P valve and the signs that point to a pending problem.

What Is the T & P Valve?

A temperature and pressure “T & P” relief valve is a critical safety feature built into your water heater. As water is heated, it expands, which can create excessive pressures within the water heater storage tank. Too much pressure and the tank can explode, which can cause property damage and/or serious injury. The T & P safety valve’s primary function is to release excessive pressure should it exceed 150 PSI or if the temperature rises to 210 degrees F or above. If either of these instances occurs, the valve will open, discharging water to relieve pressure and preventing a mishap.

The T & P valve is often located on the top of the unit but can also be side mounted. The valve screws directly into the tank and should be connected to a discharge line leading to the homes exterior and in an area where if it should open, the hot water will be clearly visible. The discharge line prevents unnecessary water damage and/or scalding should the valve open and discharge water.

If your T & P valve has opened, you should take it as a sign something is malfunctioning with your water heater. Under normal circumstances, the valve should never open and discharge water. The most common reasons your water heater is discharging water are the following:

  • Thermal expansion
  • Increased system pressure
  • Low temperature relief
  • Malfunctioning thermostat
  • Malfunctioning heating elements

If your T&P valve has opened, contact your plumbing contractor immediately.

Annual T & P Inspection

You would be wise to enlist your plumbing contractor to test the safety valve at least once a year. They can trip the valve manually to verify waterways are clear and that the valve seats properly when closed. After tripping the valve, if it continues to leak, it could be a sign of mineral deposit or buildup and is a solid indicator that the valve should be replaced.

For answers to your plumbing questions, contact The Pink Plumber today.

Spring Water Heater Maintenance

Thursday, February 16th, 2017

Due to increased usage during the winter months, homeowners would be wise to schedule spring water heater maintenance with their plumbing contractors. While a water heater is one of the most reliable and hard-working appliances in your home, a neglected system can fail, leaving you without hot water and facing costly repairs or replacement. And since other appliances in your home, like the dishwasher and washing machine, depend on hot water to function properly, your daily life could face a serious interruption should the water heater fail.

Heavier Workload

Most of your home appliances work harder during the winter months. During the holidays, many folks entertain with large family gatherings or endure lengthy visits from family members, which leads to increased showers and more dishes, both of which require plenty of hot water. Neglected or older water heaters can succumb to the additional strain and lose efficiency or fail completely.

Avoid Water Damage

A harsh winter can inflict major damage on your home, especially when it comes to your plumbing. Moreover, since a water heater is an integral part of your home’s plumbing system, it is susceptible to damage during cold weather conditions as well. Often, a water heater resides in an area of your home — like a garage or basement — that is not heated. If the temperature drops below freezing, water can freeze and expand inside the supply lines feeding your water heater. While you may avoid the worst-case scenario of burst pipes, you could suffer a cracked or compromised pipe that develops a leak later. Even a small leak can cause severe water damage in your home should it go unnoticed.

What to Expect from your Plumber

When you schedule spring water heater maintenance, many plumbing contractors will perform the following:

  • Drain and flush the water heater to remove sediment buildup, which can reduce energy efficiency and overall performance
  • Inspect supply lines and check for leaks
  • Inspect the anode rod, a device inside the appliance that reduces tank corrosion
  • Inspect the overall condition of the water heater
  • Refill the water heater
  • Adjust and/or verify proper temperature
  • Insulate the pipes “optional” to increase energy efficiency
  • Insulate the heater “optional” for added energy efficiency

Spring water heater maintenance will prolong the life of your appliance and ensure that it operates at peak efficiency and performance.

For answers to your questions, contact The Pink Plumber today.

Broken Water Heater? Get Expert Help

Saturday, June 27th, 2015

Are you running out of hot water in the shower? Is your dishwasher not performing like it used to? Do you notice that your clothes washer isn’t getting the laundry clean? A broken water heater could be the source of your hot water issues . When the hot water runs out, you need to know how to respond because more serious problems could be at its root. Here are some of the common problems homeowners have with water heaters and what you should do in each scenario.

Help, I don’t have hot water

If you find yourself short on hot water, try these tips:

  • Did the system run out of water? Wait awhile to see if the system needs to reheat the water. If, after waiting about an hour, you have hot water again, you might just need a larger water heater. In some cases, as your family grows, so will your hot water capacity. However, consider having a professional check it out. There could be an issue with the burner or some other failed component.
  • Is the pilot light out? Older water heaters employ a pilot light and it’s possible that it can lose its flame. Call a professional to relight it.
  • Did you check the breaker? If the breaker tripped, the water heater may not have power to function properly.
  • Is the thermostat setting correct? Is it possible that someone fiddled with the thermostat and changed the setting? The water heater should be set to 120 degrees at minimum, 140 degrees maximum.
  • Is it dirty? Water heaters need to be maintained every year or the buildup inside the system can interfere with proper operations. Lack of maintenance can also lead to parts wearing out. During a check-up, a technician will drain the system to remove debris and buildup, check the safety and durability of valves and connections, test the systems’ pressure, and double check that the power supply is functional.
  • Is it old? Water heaters generally last about 10 years. If you maintain it well, it may last longer. Not servicing it at all could result in your system not working the average lifespan.

Get expert help when you run out of hot water. A broken water heater is a dangerous water heater and it can put your household at serious risk for fire hazards, leaking gas lines and more. Make sure you maintain a consistent supply of hot water and enlist a professional to assess your water heater today. For answers to your questions, contact the Pink Plumber today.

Image Source: Flickr