Your Water Heater: What You Should Know

Most people have water heaters in their homes, but know relatively little about them. At Mr. Rooter of San Diego, we think our customers are better served if they are informed about their water heaters. An informed customer knows what he or she can do to help keep the machine working optimally.

Types of Water Heaters

In today’s market, two types of water heaters dominate: Traditional tank water heaters and the new tankless variations. Both come in electric and gas-powered models. Most homes employ the first type, which usually work for over a decade. Tankless water heaters come in two varieties: whole-home and point of use. Finally, you have the option of installing supplemental water heating solutions on your home, such as a solar heating system in the right climate.

How They Work

A water heater works like your stovetop. Water is heated until it reaches a desired temperature and is then delivered to the specified location. A conventional water heater functions similarly to a slow cooker: It heats water gradually to between 120° and 140° F based on input from a thermostat. The electrical heating element is inserted into the bottom of the tank, while a gas burner sits below the bottom of the tank to heat the water. The tank has a thick layer of insulation to help retain heat.

Tankless heaters do not have a tank. The water line runs into the wall-mounted box, where an electric heating element is inserted into the line or a gas-fired element heats the water line. This works like a microwave quickly heating the water for your cup of tea. It provides only the amount of hot water you need.

Water Heater Maintenance

Keep the area around your water heater free, especially gas-powered versions that need good ventilation. Reduce your hot water use in winter and turn down the water heater thermostat to the lowest possible setting to cut down on the energy used to heat water. Visually examine the tanks and schedule regular professional maintenance for your water heaters.

If you want to know more about your water heater or if you think yours is in need of professional service, call Mr. Rooter of San Diego to set up an appointment with our certified plumbers.