Frequently Asked Questions about Water Heaters
What is the best water heater for me to purchase?There are many options for water heaters when it comes time for a replacement. The most important factor in choosing a water heater really depends on your household, your future water demands and how long you plan to stay in your current home. With tankless, condensing and storage tank units available these days it’s important to know your options in water heating to make sure you are buying the best water heater to suit your needs.
How to shutdown my water heater?If you have a leaking water heater in the Phoenix area, follow our emergency shut down instructions below to turn off your leaking water heater or call (602) 253-8010 and one of our water heater experts will walk you through turning off your water heater.
Sometimes a simple storage tank water heater replacement is best, but other times spending a little more for a higher efficient water heater is better in the long run.
We suggest you do a little research and check out your options before making a final purchase. Give us a call and we’ll be happy to discuss the different models available today.
1. TURN OFF THE Gas or Electricity:
Gas: Twist the dial on the top of the thermostat from the “on” to the “of
f” position. This will turn off the gas at the water heater. If you ever smell gas – exit the home and contact the gas company immediately.
Electricity: Find your breaker box and flip the breaker for your water heater or if your water heater has a disconnect switch close to the water heater simply turn off the switch to turn off power to the water heater.
2. TURN OFF THE WATER SUPPLY:
Find the cold side water pipe connect to the water heater and follow it back to the source or the wall. If you have an old style turn faucet handle – Twist the handle clockwise until it stops. This should turn of the water.
If you have a newer lever style ball valve pull or push the the handle a quarter turn – this should turn off the water.
3. DRAIN THE WATER HEATER: (optional)
Drain the water heater if necessary to avoid any damage by connecting a garden hose to the bottom drain valve on the water heater. Run the other end of the hose to a lower location where hot or rusty water will not cause damage (hot water can damage grass and plants). Open the hot side faucet in the sink closest to the water heater – this will release the vacuum seal and let the water drain out of the water heater. Allow 10-30 minutes for the water heater to drain.
If you are having trouble completing any of the emergency shut down instructions above call us and we will walk you through shutting down your water heater, (602) 253-8010. If you smell gas leaking at any time contact your local gas provider.
Here is a link to Southwest Gas in case you need their phone number.How long does a water heater take to fully heat up?Generally about 45 mintues. If your water heater has been turned off or if you have just had a new unit installed it will take approximately 45 minutes to heat the water up. Each water heater varies in recovery depending on the gallon capacity and BTU input. If you still have no hot water after about 1 hour then the unit is not working properly. Gas water heaters recover (heat more quickly) quicker than electric water heaters, but either way you should not have to wait more than about 1 hour for a water heater to heat itself and produce hot water.How to turn off the gas and water to your water heater?There are a few things Phoenix homeowners really should know and how to turn off the gas and water to your water heater is one of them. In case you smell gas, there is a water leak, or your water heater isn’t acting as usual, it might be a good idea to be educated in how to turn off the gas and water to your water heater before major problems arise. Some people won’t allow their water heater to be placed inside their home just because they know if it does leak and they don’t know how to stop the water or it leaks when they are away, it can do thousands of dollars of damage to their floors. The water and gas can be shut off from the water heater itself, which shuts off all the gas and water going to it or the gas and water supply can be shut off from the house completely from the meter and stopcock. Knowing both ways to shut off the water can really be helpful and also save you thousands of dollars in damage in case of a leak. Follow the steps below on how to turn off the gas and water to your water heater.
To turn off gas to water heater:
1. Look for a single handle valve that would usually be located at the bottom of the unit about a foot or two out. The valve will usually look like one in the image below.
2. Turn this valve in the clockwise position to turn the gas off.
Shut off main gas:
If you can’t get the gas valve to turn, can’t find the gas valve, or if there are any other problems there is a second option.
Finding the street-side shut off valve is usually pretty simple. It is located right next to the gas meter hat is found on the exterior of the house as shown below. The valve is on when it is parallel to the incoming gas line. When the valve is turned a quarter turn so that it is perpendicular, then the gas line is closed. This valve can only be opened and closed with a wrench.
To turn off the flow of water to water heater:
Every appliance that required water to it has a shut off valve usually within a few feet of the appliance. To find the water heater shut off valve for the water look on top of the heater for a handle that will look closely to the one in the image below.
To turn the water off, turn this handle clockwise until it stops. If for some reason you cant get the handle to turn, cant find the handle, or if you have any other problems, there is a second option which is to turn the water off to the whole house.
To shut off all water to the house:
A stopcock controls the water to the house, which is a valve that can turn off and off the water to the whole house. A stopcock can either be a handle or it will look like a metal valve with a metal flange and they can be in really unusual places especially in Phoenix but most often they are located together with a water meter under a hatch near the street. If you cant find where your stopcock is located, contact your water company for guidance. If the stopcock is a handle it will need to be turned clockwise until it stops or if it is a metal valve with a metal flange in which you will need to use a pipe wrench to turn it a quarter of a turn to turn the water off. The water supply should now be closed off but remember that there will still be water in the pipes that will need to be drained.
If you need additional assistance in Phoenix on how to turn off the gas and water to your water heater Call Water Heaters Only, Inc at (602) 253-8010 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Specializing in water heater, since 1968 allows us to provide superior water heater services no matter what type of water heater problem you have. Let us give you peace of mind when it comes to your water heater.Leaking Water Heater?
Have you come out to a puddle around the bottom of your water heater or noticed a trail of water leading back to your water heater? Water leaking from the bottom of your water heater usually means there is a crack in the internal tank and your water heater will need to be replaced. Sometimes a water heater can develop a leak from the top. This is usually caused by a fitting or a plumbing part that has malfunctioned. In this case the water heater can most often be repaired.No Hot Water?Having no hot water is one of the most common water heater problems we hear about. When your water heater is not producing any hot water, one of the first things to think about it is, do you have a gas or electric water heater? If you are not sure give us a call at (602) 253-8010 and we can walk you through the process of determining what type of water heater you have.
No Hot Water – Gas Water Heaters
If you have a gas water heater and you are not getting any hot water, it usually means the pilot light on your water heater has gone out or your water heater has a malfunctioning part. If you want to try and relight your pilot, see our video and instructions on how to light your pilot below. If you have tried to light your pilot and it still won’t light give us a call and a Water Heaters Only, Inc technician can diagnose the problem and let you know what the solution is, most often we have same day service and parts available to fix your water heater.
No Hot Water – Electric Water Heaters
If you have an electric water heater and you are not getting any hot water, it’s possible that your breaker may have tripped or the water heater has a faulty thermostat. It’s a good idea to check your breaker box to see if the water heater breaker has tripped. If the breaker is in place most often a water heater part has failed. Call us and a Water Heaters Only, Inc technician can diagnose the problem and let you know exactly what the solution is, most often we have same day service and parts available to fix your water heater right away.Not Enough Hot Water?Do you not enough hot water to fill your bath tub anymore or notice your showers are getting shorter? Running out of hot water can be caused by a few different issues. Generally as a water heater ages and nears the end of it’s useful life, it will produce less and less hot water. Most often this is caused by sediment building up inside the tank. Sediment build-up will decrease the amount of hot water your water heater can produce. Usually the water heater will be noisy or tend to make a loud rumbling sound if sediment is the problem. Sometimes the sediment can be flushed out of the water heater to fix the problem, sometimes it can not and replacing the water heater may be the only solution.
A faulty or bad part can also be the source of not having enough hot water. Sometimes a part will wear out and can easily be replaced to get your water heater working at top efficiency again. A Water Heaters Only, Inc. technician can diagnose the problem with your water heater and let you know exactly what the solution is. Most often we have the parts available to fix or replace your water heater right away. Call us at (602) 253-8010 for friendly water heater advise or to schedule an appointment today.My hot water is smelly, Why? Is that dangerous?Usually when a water heater produces smelly water, it relates to the mineral compound in the water supply reacting with the inside of the water heater. Depending on the chemical content of your water sometimes a water heater can produce “smelly water”. The combined presence of hydrogen, sulfur, and bacteria cause foul smelling water, sometimes even that “rotten egg smell”. The magnesium anode rod installed in the tank protects the tank surface but generates enough hydrogen to create an odor when it interacts with sulfur in the water or bacteria in the tank. Replacing the magnesium anode rod with another type of anode may alleviate the problem. The most efficient method of eliminating the hydrogen sulfide odor is to control the bacteria. As a rule, chlorination of public water supplies kills the bacteria, but some private well systems may need to be purified to destroy the bacteria. Most often it is not a dangerous situation, but as a precaution we recommend you contact you water supplier or a water heater professional regarding smelly or discolored water.Do I need a blanket on my water heater?Good question, most of the newly designed gas water heaters draft their combustion air via holes in the side or bottom of the water heater and having a blanket wrapped around the water heater can cause combustion problems and may be a fire hazard. In addition, most gas water heaters have been upgraded with an extra layer of insulation on the inside of the tank, to help elevate the issue of needing to use a blanket. Electric water heaters are the exception, most electric water heaters are already highly efficient, but you may use a water heater blanket on an electric water heater. Saving from a blanket will depend on your climate and where in the home the electric water heater located, a blanket should help save a little on your energy usage.What is the FHR (first hour rating) on a water heater?The first hour rating on a water heater is the total amount of water that a water heater will produce in an hour of usage. This is usually a combination of the tank capacity / gallons plus the amount of water the water heater can reheat in a one hour time period.
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DO you have more water heater frequently asked questions? Visit our main Water Heaters Only, Inc website for additional answers to your water heater questions. Feel free to call anytime and speak with our water heater experts to help solve your water heater needs at (602) 253-8010. If you prefer email, visit our Contact Page.
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–Michele Yellow Pages 11/13/2011
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