Learning About Your Water Heater

Shawer head with flow of water spilling out on blue background

It’s there, it heats your water (most of the time), what else do you need to know about your gas water heater?  Don’t be left without any hot water and learn the basics on all utilities and appliances in your home.  This way you will know the warning signs of malfunction in your water heater, and will be more prepared should you require water heater repair or even a brand new water heater.

Water heater basics:

conventional-water-heaterMost Calgary homes have a standard “tank” water heater.  In most cases, keeping up with minor water heater repair and maintenance is enough to keep your water heater running without any problems.  Unlike a tankless water heater, a regular tank type water heater heats up water and stores it in its tank until you need to use it.

Here’s how it works:  Cold water runs into the tank though the cold water supply pipe or tube.  This pipe comes in at the top of the tank but runs all the way to the bottom.  The cold water that is more dense stays near the bottom of the water heater tank and is heated up by a gas burner.  As the water heats up, it naturally rises and is drawn away by a hot water discharge pipe that is usually located at the top of your hot water heater tank.  The hot water discharge pipe is much shorter than the cold water supply pipe, so it only removes the hot water that is at the top of the tank.

The water supply shut off valve is located on the cold water supply pipe on the outside of the water heater tank.  It’s important to locate your water supply shut off valve so you can shut it off in case of an emergency.

The gas is supplied into your water heater through a pipe that has its own shut off valve.  It’s a good idea to locate your gas line shut off valve in case you ever need to turn it off.  The gas line feeds into a control module that acts kind of like a thermostat for the water heater.

The gas burner assembly itself includes the pilot light and the gas burner.  Your gas flame should be about ½ inch high and have blue tips.  It is important to adjust your pilot light and gas burner to optimize the energy efficiency of your water heater.

Problems with your water heater:

You’ve noticed a few strange things about your hot water.  Perhaps it is time for a water heater repair technician to visit your home.  You might have a problem if:

– You don’t have any hot water (obviously)
– There never seems to be ENOUGH hot water
– Your water smells weird
– There is a rust colour coming out with your water
– Your water heater is making a weird noise like popping or low rumbling, or even a high pitched whistle sound.
– Your water heater is leaking all over the floor in your utility room.

First things first, check if your pilot light is on.  Learn how to light the pilot light on your water heater.  Other than that you might have a problem with your gas thermocouple or control valve.

If you are always running out of hot water you could have a water heater that is too small for your water heating needs.  There could also be a damaged intake pipe allowing cold water to mix with the hot, faulty plumbing and fixtures, or gas supply problems.

If your water is rusty you could have corrosion happening inside your water heater tank.  If you are noticing weird smells in your water, like rotten eggs, you could have bacteria in your water heater tank and parts that keep corrosion and decay could be faulty.

If you hear a low rumbling sound you might be hearing boiling water in your tank.  That might mean there is a build up of sediment in the bottom of your water heater tank and it is overheating.

There are lots of reasons why you might have a leaky water heater.  Leaks can come from different valves, an overhead plumbing connection, or a severely corroded water heater tank.

Water Heater Replacement in Calgary

From continuous supply tankless water heaters, to traditional electric tanks from the best brands, Reliance Home Comfort will make sure you have hot water for all your family’s needs! They offer:

-On Demand Water Heaters
– Tankless Water Heaters
– Tank Water Heaters
– Electric Water Heaters
– Gas Water Heaters
– Power Vent Water Heaters
– Direct Vent Water Heaters
– Conventional Water Heaters
– EnergyStar Water Heaters
– High Efficiency Water Heaters
– Water Heaters Rental

Contact Reliance Home Comfort today!

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