Water Heater Repair Birmingham Blog

Our blog is designed to give homeowners as much information on general plumbing repair tips, not just Birmingham water heater repair advice.  Many home plumbing maintenance tasks homeowners can be well equipped  to take care of themselves.  Enjoy!

Optimal Water Heater Temperature Setting

Posted by on Mar 1, 2014 in Water Heater Repair Birmingham | 0 comments

Much has been discussed over exactly what is an optimal water heater temperature level setting. Lots of sources, consisting of ENERGY STAR, offer the energy saving factors of temperature levels of 120 degrees or lower. And yes, there are cost savings to be had, but reasonably for those whose current setting is closer to the standard factory preset temperature of 140 degrees.

Conversely, not as many share details about the possibility of contracting Legionella bacteria with a lower setting, specifically with a temperature lower than 120 degrees. OSHA mentions some outstanding precautions for preventing this.

Our conclusions are that it is something that each household should weigh in terms of possible health concerns largely. For those with youngsters or with elderly people in the home, a higher setting can be a water scalding concern. Conversely, those vulnerable to contracting respiratory infections, a higher setting ought to be used.

Here is an infographic highlighting the various temperature growth ranges of Legionella.

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Birmingham Water Heater Maintenance in 10 Minutes

Posted by on Feb 25, 2014 in Water Heater Repair Birmingham | 0 comments

We are going to put you to work today, but only for about 10 minutes. Yep, that’s all it will take for these two important water heater upkeep jobs; however, Water Heater Repair Birmingham understands they will do an exceptional task of helping with 3 things:
Having your water heater last as long as possible (that will conserve you cash).
Making sure the water heater runs securely (we do not want it to blow up).
Having it run as energy efficiently as possible (also saving you cash).

So with that in mind, are you prepared to invest ten minutes once or two times a year to assist in saving some money? Water Heater Repair Birmingham AL thought so.

Testing the T&P Relief Valve

Typically called the T&P Valve, or the temperature and pressure relief valve, has a crucial job. It helps make sure excess pressure does not build up inside the water storage tank, or in even more easy terms, it makes sure the water heater does not explode. As the photo shows, it has a lever or little deal with on it. All you need to do is lift it part means then let go of it. Hopefully, it snapped back to its shut position rapidly. If it is working effectively, a little water can be heard going into the drain pipe below the lever you just lifted and you possibly heard some pressure being released. If none of these things have actually occurred throughout the test, the valve will have to be replaced.

Carry out a Mimi Water Heater Tank Flush

By nature, rust and corrosion will occur inside the water storage tank thanks to the chemical reactions taking place with all the elements inside that are needed to heat up the water. We will not get overly technical here, but it is easy to assist prevent this process by doing a flush or draining of all or some of the water in the tank.

For simply a small flush, position a container under the drain valve below the tank. Open the drain valve and fill up the pail with water. Drain a minimum of a few gallons of water in all. Let the water sit in the pail for a couple of minutes to settle and examine if there is much that settles to the bottom of the container. If there is, if the water heater has not been drained for a very long time (or ever), it would be best to do a complete flush of the tank to get as much of the sediment out as possible. You will wish to turn the temperature dial down and could wish to let the water cool off for about an hour first so it is not too hot while draining it. Also, it would be simpler to attach a hose to the drain valve and let the water go outside instead of utilizing containers.

If the water looks fairly clean and clear from the mini test you should be all set. When the water heater has a large amount of sediment inside of it, it can make loud popping sounds and it reduces its efficiency too.

Though water heaters are fairly upkeep free and easy to operate, any time you feel the tiniest awkward or are not sure of exactly what to do, it is always best to have a plumbing professional help with the situation.

Water Heater Repair Birmingham

Potential Disadvantages of Birmingham Solar Water Heating

Posted by on Jan 11, 2014 in Alternative Water Heating, Water Heater Repair Birmingham | 0 comments

When a solar water heater is pointed out, some individuals might imagine a hot water tank or swimming pool furnace, but it is really a method to heat a home effectively and conveniently using water and solar energy. As we all understand, the rising expense of house heating by conventional approaches has numerous searching for alternative means to keep their houses comfortable throughout the winter season months. Solar energy is just among several alternative energies that is being looked at by today’s cost conscience property owner that Water Heater Repair Birmingham wishes to discuss today.  The ideas here are for heating a home and is the first of a series of posts we will have on using solar for home heating as well as water heating.

Using Solar Hot Water to Heat Your Birmingham HomeBirmingham Water Heater Repair

Solar water heaters can work in conjunction with a hydronic house heating system. The essentials are water is heated by a boiler is run through a series of pipes and valves below the floor of a home. Taking total advantage of radiant heat, this system can keep a house warmer than an air-forced system and around 40 % in energy expenses can be saved if it is run with gas or electric. If you opt to operate your boiler making use of solar power, operating costs might really well be absolutely no.

The concept of have a water heater system that does not cost anything to run sound unbelievable but let us initially have a look at some of the downsides to see to it it will be a great suitable for your house. Birmingham Water Heater Repair desires you to be knowledgeable about both the benefits and drawbacks prior to deciding.

Disadvantages of Solar Water Heating

One of the main downsides of solar water heating is the preliminary installation expenses. Depending on the size of the house, numerous solar collection panels will should be set up which can get costly, though the general costs of panels has dropped considerably over the previous numerous years. However with a life-span of as much as 20 years, solar panels more than spend for themselves in energy cost savings. In truth, they can spend for themselves in as little as 3 years. So one needs to ask if the initial financial investment will worth the future energy saving costs. For example, if one isn’t going to be living in ones present home for lots of years, it could not be worth the financial investment, unless by having the system will include to the value of the house in a sale.

An additional concern is the installment of a hydronic system. If one currently has actually one set up in your home updating to a solar system will not be tough. If one is not installed currently, it would best be conserved until a remodel or addition to the home is prepared for the sub floor of the house will should be modified.

The City of Palo Alto has a nice chart of the advantages and disadvantages here.

Since the sun does not shine everyday, solar energy, which depends on this sun obviously, can be unforeseeable. Given, your solar water heater will be able to keep energy to be used on cloudy days however you may still have to run a backup heating system from time to time. The technology of solar energy storage is still be researched so homeowners can cheaply save the energy produced.

Some mention solar power’s inefficiency as a dis advantage too, but it might just be a trade off:

“Solar inefficiency is an interesting argument, as efficiency is relative. One could ask “inefficient compared to what?” And “What determines efficiency?” Solar panels currently only have a radiation efficiency of up to 22%, however they don’t create the carbon by-product that coal produces and doesn’t require constant extraction, refinement, and transportation – all of which surely carry weight on efficiency scales.Since the sun doesn’t shine daily, solar energy, which counts on this sun obviously, can be unpredictable. Granted, your solar water heater will be able to save energy to be made use of on cloudy days however you could still need to run a backup heater from time to time. The technology of solar energy storage is still be worked on so homeowners can cheaply save the energy produced.”  (read more…)

Remember that these downsides ought to not prevent one from seeking a solar energy source to heat up the house however are indicated just to help in making a clever decision. Heating a home with solar energy is a wonderful method to save a great deal of cash and Earth’s natural resources.

We will be adding an article on the advantages of solar water heating soon!

Save Money on Your Birmingham Hot Water Bill

Posted by on Jan 4, 2014 in Plumbing Repair Birmingham, Water Heater Repair Birmingham | 0 comments

This time of year during the winter heating period, a lot of people are aware of trying to save cash on heating the house. This makes it a great time for being reliable with ones water heating too, specifically since it usually accounts for around 18 percent of the average utility bill each month.

Water Heater Repair Birmingham’s 4 Ways to Save Hot Water Expenses

The 4 general methods to decrease ones water heating costs in your home are relatively basic: do not use as much hot water, turn down the thermostat temperature setting on the water heater, include insulation to the hot water tank and pipes, and replace an older device with an energy efficient one, those with the ENERGY STAR® label. Let’s appearance at these in some even more detail now.

Making use of Less Hot WaterWater Heater Repair Birmingham

This could sound difficult however many of the ways in which to do so are not that difficult or costly to do. As an example, by replacing faucets and showerheads with low-flow, aerating models will reduce the amount of water utilized. An additional evident idea is to repair any faucets that have leaks. It is amazing just how much water is squandered from a seemingly simple faucet drip! That water builds up quickly as an additional expenditure even if it is not hot water that is dripping.


There are different insulation kits one can acquire that will cover the whole water heater tank. These work well. For gas or oil devices, just make sure not to cover the top or bottom of the unit, the thermostat as well as the burner compartment in order for the system to operate effectively. As for electric models, just have to have actually the thermostat discovered.

The initial six feet of pipe, both hot and cold, from the water heater need to be wrapped in insulation too. One can likewise install heat traps on the hot and cold pipes at the water heater if ones existing water heater does not currently have them built-in. Many more recent designs do.

Thermostat Settings

Many suggest turning the thermostat down to at least 120 degrees. Yes, this will assist save energy expenses. There is, nevertheless, debate over germs growing at 120 degrees or less. OSHA suggests a setting of 140 degrees. With this setting at the water heater itself, the actual tap temperature will be more like 122 degrees. This is the very best setting for those concerned about Legionnaires’ disease, where the organism can grow at temperature levels less than 122 degrees. On the various other hand, those with younger kids will not want the water to be too hot either.

Water Heater Replacements with Energy Efficient Models

This goes not simply for water heaters, however for dishwashers and clothes washing machines too. The majority of water heaters last 10 to 15 years is maintained well. Though the ones offered today are much more energy reliable than those from 10 years back. The most energy reliable ones do cost more however typically last longer and will minimize energy costs over the life of the device.  The US Department of Energy has tips on shopping for appliances here.

Tankless water heaters could be an excellent option relying on the amount of hot water one uses, or choosing a heat pump water heater too. These use half the electricity than a conventional electric water heater. They can likewise assist dehumidify ones house in the summertime months when located in the basement.

Solar water heaters can be an outstanding alternative is one has the appropriate amount of sunlight on a south-facing roof, specifically if going electric is what one should utilize. The following video is on a solar water heater installation in Canada:

There are different tax savings and state rewards that are available too. Look into the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency for assistance.  Here is also a nice energy calculator by the Home Energy Saver as well.

We hope this has been an excellent starting point for you with taking steps to save money on the hot water utilized at house.

Birmingham Water Heater Safety Precautions

Posted by on Dec 4, 2013 in Plumbing Repair Birmingham, Water Heater Repair Birmingham | 0 comments

Effectively maintaining ones water heater is important not so it works to its full potential and can conserve some energy money, but for security concerns too. Yes, it can blow up – it does not happen too typically for property owners, however certainly this is something that Water Heater Repair Birmingham doesn’t wish to have occur to you!

Venting can be type of technical however we will review the basics below. The vent need to be the same diameter as the draft diverter of the water heater tank. It is expected to increase and out (for atmospherically vented heaters). Not other directs like up, down, up and out. For direct-vent water heaters, the vent should go out a side wall. When it comes to power-vent heaters, the fan blows the fumes out, so there is some flexibility in the instructions they are vented.

Any roofing system or wall that the vent goes through ought to be a double wall. The single wall pass throughs need to be screwed with three screws per section. If these basics are not stuck to, the vents can break down gradually and carbon monoxide can cause significant troubles within ones house. Obviously we do not want that to take place!

The only other interested in venting is that of backdrafting. The fumes can eat the vents with acid condensation. If plenty of this gets on cold piping and the water heater it will not be a good scenario for a correctly working water heater. If the fumes return inside the rather of being appropriately vented outside, the fumes can get in the living locations of the house. Soot problems can occur too.

Dielectric Connectors
The steel water heater is connected to cooper pipes by the dielectric connectors. When 2 these 2 metals are assembled in water electrolysis occurs. The process corrodes one metal away to protect the other. This process is vital in securing the inside of the water heater. Examination for leaks must be done where the connections are made.

Temperature and Pressure Relief Valve
This is kinda of an essential part of the water heater, for it assists to make certain the darn thing does not blow up under pressure if the temperature surpasses the proper limitations the water heater is created for. Once a year (a minimum of) the T&P valve ought to be inspected to ensure, it is working appropriately, for they can be susceptible to failure. Simply pulling up on the handle water should stream easily out and stop when the handle is released. If it just runs or drips, or does absolutely nothing at all, it will should be replaced.

The drain lines for the T&P line ought to not be directed up, because water doesn’t flow uphill too well. Make sure it goes down and or out please. If water is running out the drain line frequently, it is the indicator of something wrong too. It can be one of several various things that we will not enter below – simply speak to a regional plumbing professional please.

Earthquake Straps
Yep, even if you don’t reside in an earthquake zone and are needed to have these on ones water heater, it is a great idea to do so. It appears like many all new houses in sub-divisions these days have the water heater in the garage. Yes, there is generally a concrete curb in front of it so one does not drive a car into it, however things can mistakenly knock it over so be safe and strap that say thanks to in.

Temperature Setting
It appears most residential water heater tanks have settings of warm – hot – very hot … and not degree markings. Some “ideas” on saving energy in your home specifically in the winter season time, state to lower the setting on the tank to 120 degrees. That’s great for saving energy however legionella microorganisms, which triggers Legionnaire’s condition can grow at 120 degrees. By inhaling the mist from the water in the shower, one can inhale the germs. Attempt to find a medium between 130 and 120 degrees. Above 130 degrees is technically a scalding temperature so beware.

Anode Rods
These generally are made from aluminum and there is nothing incorrect with that in theory, though we recommend using magnesium ones. Let’s state for whatever reason there is some sort of emergency or catastrophe where one lives and one had to utilize the water in the water heater for drinking water (because lots of emergency readiness individuals suggest doing so). The water that comes out of the drain valve is the water at the bottom of the tank. If one has aluminum anodes, that water will be packed with aluminum substances, which is not great for the human body. It is bad for the stomach, intestines and joints.

The anodes aid with rust security and are essential in lengthening the life of the water heater. They can also aid with odor troubles with the water. Generally, magnesium anodes simply work better for a great deal of different reasons like the wellness advantages, let develop up of sediment, a quieter water heater, and they have the tendency to work better with softened water.

Drain Valve
Ok, just check it at least once a year to make sure the darn thing opens and works. And it is good to drain and purge the tank a minimum of once a year anyway (something you naturally are doing already). If for some reason one has to use the water throughout a catastrophe or drain it to rather a loud tank and have actually not drained it routinely, and it does not open, it will take longer to remedy the problem you are initially attempting to take care of.

Combustion Changer Hatch
Considering that gas and oil water heaters breathe the air sucked in from underneath, combust with it and exhale it, it is essential to keep the area around it, specially below the water heater, clean and swept. If if is not burning appropriately, it can trigger composing problems (mentioned above), as well as combustion and fume problems and potentially be a fire hazard. A few of analyzing the chamber and how the flame burns is objective so we are not going to enter into a great deal of information right here. it is very important to see if the combustion chamber roof has a lot of rust or water markings or is black in color. These are not a great indicator at all. One should see some blue flame at the bottom when it burns and orange and yellow at the top, however, the yellow must not be super high up. One ought to see grey metal, some white condensation marks are ok.

Water Heater Repair Birmingham has put together an infographic to highlight the information above:

Water Heater Repair Birmingham