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Water Heaters
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Arizona Water Heater Plumbing Services

What maintenance should I do on my water heater?

The list of things that go wrong with water heaters is long, but we’ve included common issues above. Because it’s also an electrical appliance (even natural gas water heaters) you can also run into problems that require electricians. With proper care and maintenance, a water heater can last upwards of 15 years, but neglecting such maintenance usually leads to catastrophic failure in around 10 years. Replacing a water heater can range from $400 to $1,000, and in some cases more. If you choose to install a tankless system, it ranges from $1,500 to $2,000. Whatever issue arises, Ground Zero has expert plumbers to help.

What is the Most Common Water Heater?

Do I need a new water heater?

Conventional water heaters are, by far, the most common type of water heaters in AZ. They heat water using natural gas, propane, or electricity, and then store the hot water in a tank for later use. Tanked water heaters come in a variety of makes, models, sizes, and efficiency ratings, so they’re perfect for any home or business. Typically, we recommend tanked heaters for those that use more than 40 gallons of hot water every day. If you’re experiencing any of the issues described below, you might need to consider repairing or replacing your water heater.

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What does it sound like when a water heater goes bad?

Living without hot water isn’t preferred for the majority of people, and hot water heaters are complicated without the correct plumbing know-how. So what are the signs of a bad water heater? What are the common problems water heaters face? Our expert plumbers put together an abbreviated list for our customers in the Arizona area and beyond, so you can understand a little more about the forgotten appliance tucked away in your home.

  • No hot water when you turn on the tap. The most obvious issue with your water heater is when it stops heating water. This is a clear sign that will be noticed quickly in your home. The lack of hot water can be caused by many things, and it doesn’t mean the water heater needs to be replaced in every scenario. It’s best to have a plumber investigate the issue.
  • Cloudy or rusty hot water. Discolored water is most commonly rust from corrosion in galvanized pipes or water tanks, but coloring in water can also come from bacteria and mineral deposits in your water. This might not be an issue with your water heater, but the plumbing before or after your water heater.
  • Strange-tasting or smelling hot water. The most common causes of strange smelling water is hydrogen sulfide, which is caused by bacteria growing in your water heater. Strange tastes can differ depending on the issue. A metallic taste means the water heater’s metals are breaking down internally and transferring to your water. This is a serious health risk and water heater replacement should be prioritized immediately. If hot water has a salty taste, it could be due to an abundance of sodium or salt intrusion from your water supply.
  • You find a leak in the tank or lines leading to the heater. Leaks around a water heater are common wear and tear issues. When hot water travels through pipes, it heats the pipe and when the hot water isn’t used anymore, the pipe cools. This causes constant expanding and contracting for the pipes, and over time, it can cause small leaks. You should be visually inspecting your water heater area for drips, pools of water, or small wet areas. If your water heater is in a closet, you might even notice that the closet air feels moist. These are clear indicators that something is wrong with your water heater.
  • There are strange and loud noises coming from your water heater. Rumbling, crackling, or popping are common noises from a water heater that has major sediment buildup. As sediment settles on the bottom of the water heater, heated water will begin to rise through and cause popping noises, eventually breaking up the sediment layer. The rumbling or bumping sound can be caused by free pieces of sediment knocking around in the water heater. It’s recommended to drain your water heater once per year to prevent this buildup. If your water heater is over ten years old, and it’s making these noises, it’s best to consider replacing it soon, as draining it can cause more issues.

Are Tanked Water Heaters Obsolete?

Tanked versus tankless water heaters

In 1889 Edwin Ruud, a mechanical engineer invented his first iteration of the hot water heater, heated by gas and providing residents with nearly instantaneous hot water. Technology has certainly improved since then, but the concept is, largely, the same. Tanked water heaters are a proven method that is here to stay for now. As tankless technology continues to improve, it will hold a larger portion of the hot water market, but most households still get their hot water from a tank has a capacity to hold between 30-50 gallons and is kept hot and replenished when necessary. While the clear efficiency benefits exist for a tankless water heater, the tanked water heater is more affordable for most. Tanked water heaters are here to stay for the foreseeable future, at least until tankless becomes more accessible.

To Tank or not to Tank

Comparing tanked and tankless water heaters

In comparison, tanked water heaters are limited to their gallon capacity. When the tank is depleted of hot water, fresh water flows into the tank and is heated by the heating elements. Those elements are either powered by electricity or natural gas. The tank less water heater heats the water as you need it, making it, virtually, limitless because there’s no tank to deplete. If you use water within the limits provided by a tank, though, your upfront costs to install and use your water heater are well within a manageable realm, whereas tank-less has a larger upfront cost, making it inaccessible for most homeowners. Additionally, tank-less water heaters can take longer to deliver hot water, where tanked water heaters have the water on hand, and it just needs to travel through pipes. Tank less heaters also deal with cold water sandwich and a difficulty to achieve a lukewarm temperature. Cold water sandwich is the term that refers to what happens when hot water is used in abrupt spurts. The heater heats the water based on demand, then when the hot water is off, cold water continues down the same pipes as the demand has changed. Then turning on the hot tap again will serve hot, cold, and then hot water again. While this isn’t a problem, it does take getting used to, where a tanked water heater just serves hot water based on demand and is limited only by the distance traveled in your pipes.

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Areas We Serve

Ground Zero Plumbing & AC is proud to serve Gilbert, Arizona and other surrounding areas.

  • Ahwatukee
  • Apache Junction
  • Buckeye
  • Cave Creek
  • Chandler
  • Fountain Hills
  • Gilbert
  • Glendale
  • Laveen
  • Mesa
  • Paradise Valley
  • Peoria
  • Phoenix
  • Queen Creek
  • San Tan Valley
  • Scottsdale
  • Tempe

Is There a Downside to Tankless Water Heaters?

What is the cost of a tankless water heater?

Tankless water heaters are the second-most common type of water heaters in Arizona. Like their tanked counterparts, tankless water heaters also heat water using natural gas, propane, or electricity. However, they don’t store hot water in a tank for later use. Instead, they heat water on an on-demand basis. Unfortunately, due to their on-demand nature, we typically only recommend tankless water heaters in homes and businesses that use fewer than 40 gallons of hot water every day. If your home or business uses less than 40 gallons of hot water per day, though, tankless water heaters are an estimated 34% more energy efficient, according to the EPA. The largest cost of a tankless water heater is the upfront cost of the unit and installation.

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