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Around the Home Blog
Tuesday, 18 July 2017 08:51

3 Signs It's Time For a New Water Heater

A tank-style water heaters has a lifespan of around 10 years. Depending on the amount of use, the level of minerals in your water, and whether or not it has been regularly maintained, it could last significantly longer, or need replacement much sooner. So how do you know when it's time to replace the water heater instead of repairing it?

The Water Heater Is Leaking

Some water heater leaks may are the result of a faulty valve or leaking pipe. In this case, it could just need a simple repair to keep it operating. If the water heater is leaking because of corrosion, it may be time to replace the unit. Maitz can help determine the cause of the leak and recommend solutions to fix the leak.

The Water Heater Is Slow to Heat

First, check that the thermostat on the water heater is set high enough. If demand for hot water has increased, you may just need a larger capacity tank. If there are multiple sources that need water at the same time, considers a tankless water heater that heats water on demand. Slow heating can also be caused by a build-up up rust and sediment. Flushing the tank will remove the sediment. If the water heater is still not heating fast enough after flushing the unit, it may be time for a new water heater.

Malfunctioning Water Heater

In some cases the water heater may be have broken parts that need replacement. A plumber can check the heating element (electric water heaters) thermostat, gas burner and thermocoupler to make sure they are functioning. Consider the age of the unit against the cost of repairs when deciding whether to repair the unit.

Have water heater questions? Give Maitz a call. We are here to help.
Published in Plumbing
Tuesday, 11 July 2017 08:40

What Is Water Hammer?

If you have ever experienced a loud banging sound from your plumbing system, you likely have have what is known as "water hammer". When water suddenly changes momentum under pressure, such as when a faucet valve is closed suddenly, a hydraulic shockwave is sent through the pipe, resulting in bang as the energy is released. If the pressure change is severe enough it can lead to damaged fittings or even burst pipes.

Preventing Water Hammer

A properly installed plumbing system has air compartments that compress to absorb sudden changes in water pressure. In some cases these compartments can fail to work if the water has gradually absorbed air or the compartments have become filled with water.

If you are experiencing water hammer you can restore the plumbing system's air chambers by opening the faucet that caused the noise and allowing the water to completely drain out. Air will then replace the water and restore the shock absorbing capability inside the pipes. If the air compartment is below the fixture, you may have to drain the main supply lines to restore the air in the lines.

If the above steps do not cure the problem, the plumbing system may not have the necessary air chambers installed, or they may have become clogged over time. Your plumber can inspect the system to identify any problems and recommend solutions.

Have questions about water hammer or other plumbing problems? Call Maitz Home Services, we can help.

Published in Plumbing
Tuesday, 27 June 2017 19:49

5 Tips to Conserve Water Around the Home

During the summer month's water use around the home increases with lawn watering, car washing and other water entensive activities. By using water more wisely and ensuring that your home's plumbing system is in good shape, you can help conserve water, while aslo saving on your water bill.

1. Fix leaking faucets and pipes

That small drip from a leaking faucet washer can waste as much as 20 gallons of water per day. Leaking outdoor faucets and pipes can waste hundreds of gallons.

2. Don't use the toilet as garbage disposal

Flushing paper waste like facial tissue and other items that could go into a wastebasket can save up to 7 gallons per flush.

3. Repair leaking toilets

To see if your toilets are leaking, put a few drops of food coloring in the toilet tank. If the color begins to appear in the bowl within 30 minutes without flushing, have the toilet fixed.

4. Install low-flow shower heads and faucet aerators

These inexpensive devices are simple to install and will result in significant water savings with hardly any noticable difference in water pressure.

5. Check for hidden leaks

After you have repaired all detectible water leaks in faucets, toilets, show heads, etc., it's a good idea to check for hidden water leaks. Simply read your water meter then wait for a two-hour period during which no water is being used. If the water meter has changed, you have a leak.
Published in Plumbing
Tuesday, 11 April 2017 02:07

Why Isn't My Water Heater Hot Enough?

If your water heater is not getting hot enough or not staying hot for long, there are a number of possible causes.

1. The Dip Tube Is Broken
Cold water enters the water heater through the dip tube where it is forced to the bottom of the tank for quick heating. When the tube is broken the water remains at the top of the tank, where the hot water outlet is, causing it to return cold water with the heated water.

2. Sediment Has Built Up at the Bottom of the Tank
Over time, minerals in the water can build up at the bottom of the water heater tank where the burner is located. This causes a gradual reduction in heating efficiency that will make the water heater work harder and eventually resulting in less hot water. Flushing the tank annually will prevent sediment build up.

3. The Heating System Is Malfunctioning
Most water heater problems occur with these systems:
  • Thermal switch
  • Thermostat
  • Heating element
A licensed plumber should inspect the water heater and repair the pasts as needed.

4. Hot Water Heater Is Too Far From Where It's Needed

If the water eventually heats up, the problem is sometime a hot water tank that is too far from where it's needed. In the cold months in particular, pipes will cool the hot water before it reaches the faucet where it's needed. Insulating the pipes can help reduce heat loss.

5. The Water Heater Tank Is Undersized

If you have recently noticed that your water heater suddenly seems to supply less hot water, or runs out suddenly, it could be that your water heater tank is too small to keep up with demand. Installing a larger tank or tankless water heater will ensure that you have all the water your household needs.
Published in Plumbing
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