Why is Regular Water Heater Maintenance Important?

Many people take a reliable, non-stop supply of hot water for granted until the water heater fails from a lack of preventive care. But you can avoid the potential discomfort & inconvenience of failure by calling our professionals to perform regular water heater maintenance.

Water heater maintenance is important. Period! You know that being without hot water isn’t fun, especially in the winter. A family can indeed heat their water when necessary the way they used to back in the day, but who wants to do that? A modern home needs a ready supply of hot water, and a water heater doesn’t burn a hole into your pockets, it’s easy to maintain, and has replaceable parts. A well-cared-for hot water tank should last at least ten years.

For most of us, our water heaters can be in an “out of sight, out of mind” condition. Mostly, they live in our garages and run according to our needs. It only receives our attention when it sends us cold water or when it begins leaking onto the floor. When you realize that you need an expensive repair or replacement, that will change your short-term financial outlook quickly.

This scenario is common, and the cause ranges from old age to lack of maintenance, or both. A water heater that dies prematurely suffers from its owner’s misunderstanding or complacency about the importance of preventative maintenance. But you can rest easy as Lone Star Water Services is here for you.

Signs Your Water Heater Isn’t Working Properly

 

If you think that a lack of hot water is the only sign of a failed water heater, you are not entirely correct. It’s the most prominent symptom, but if you notice a noticeable drop in hot water production or longer times before hot water reaches the faucet, the likely cause might require a professional from Lone Star Water Services to diagnose the reason.

Common signs your water heater needs repair:

  • Lack of hot water: If you notice a dramatic dip in hot water production & your water takes a long time to heat up, you likely need to have your water heater serviced or replaced.
  • Funny sounds: Sounds are yet another part of a faulty water heater. When you hear crackling sounds once it turns on, it’s just sediment being popped; it should be flushed out once a while. Listen to your water heater sometimes, and get to know the sounds it regularly makes. It’s when the sounds are far different from what you usually hear is when you should be concerned.
  • Strange odors: There shouldn’t be any funny smells in your water. The sediment buildup can be contributing to smells coming from your water. It should be flushed out with regular maintenance.
  • Leaking water: Definitely call us, if your water heater is leaking or gushing water. Don’t ignore leaks, if you see any, a slow drip can turn into an extensive repair at any time.

When we visit you for a maintenance check, we check:

  • Heating element
  • The system’s drain
  • The shut-off valves
  • Your anode rod
  • The thermostat
  • Safety valves and supply pipes

How to Care for a Hot Water Heater?

One of the most important things you can do to care for your water heater when it is new is to flush the tank every week or so for the first three months after the water heater installation. This way, the sediment is washed, and it is necessary to practice as the sediment clogs freshwater lines & shortens the life of the heater.

For gas or electric water heaters, turn off the electrical power to the heater or turn off the pilot light if it’s a gas water heater. Then, shut off the cold water to the heater & connect an old garden hose to the drain valve. Place the drain end of the hose in a bucket then open the pressure release valve and the drain valve simultaneously. Let the tank drain until it’s empty. Then, immediately close the valve, disconnect the hose & shut the pressure relief valve.

Go back into the house, and open up the hot water spigots and let cold water supply into the tank by turning on the inlet. When hot water starts to come out from the spigots, shut them down one by one. Turn the heater’s power on after that or relight the pilot light. Also, flush the tank every six months or so.

Here are some basic steps or some signs or tips for all homeowners to follow if they’re interested in getting the most from their home appliances, especially water heaters. And to answer the question inscribed in the title of the blog, YES. Water heater maintenance is necessary!

  • Don’t Switch on the Power Before the Tank is Full

Switching on an electric water heater tank before it’s full is a huge mistake. It leads to the burning of the top of the heating element. When the electric heater is installed, open a hot water spigot, and let the water run for three minutes to make sure that the air in the tank is empty, and it’s topped up with water. If you’re still not getting enough heat after a couple of hours, check to see if the water heater is getting the right voltage. If it’s not, call one of our professionals at Lone Star Water Services.

  • Replace or Have Regular Checks of The Anode Rod

The anode rod hangs inside the tank and prevents corrosion by drawing minerals to it. It should be checked for the first time about a year after installation and every three years after that. We check it by draining a couple of gallons of water from the heater then unscrewing the anode rod with a socket wrench. Pull it out, and if it looks very thin or is corroded, it’s time to buy a new one.

The primary purpose of your water heater’s sacrificial anode rod is to protect the metal tank from rusting out & failing prematurely. When performing a yearly tank flush, check the anode rod’s condition & replace it before it becomes severely corroded.

  • Flush Out The Tank Annually

Calcium and other minerals present in the water form into solids at high temperatures. These sediment particles eventually accumulate at the bottom of the tank and form an insulating layer that inhibits heat transfer. Now, this sediment not only erodes energy efficiency but if it builds up in a large quantity, it can also reduce the tank capacity and eventually ruin the gas burner or electric heating element. Before following the manufacturer’s instructions on how to flush the tank, remember to turn off the circuit breaker or put the gas burner on the “pilot” setting.

  • Test The Temperature and Pressure Valve

If the pressure relief valve is not functioning due to a mineral scale or corrosion buildup, it will not protect you from an explosion if the pressure inside the tank gets dangerously high. Test the temperature and pressure valve once a year by raising & lowering the handle a few times to check that water flows out the drain line. If your water heater is more than five years old and you’ve never actually used the valve, don’t risk testing it. Call our licensed professional to replace it, and then test it annually.

  • Dial Back The Heater’s Thermostat to 120 degrees

Most thermostats in our water heaters are set at a manufacturer’s default of 140 degrees. But, get this, by reducing the temperature by 20 degrees; you can cut the appliance’s energy consumption by as much as 10 percent. The lower temperature setting also helps in slowing down the sediment formation.

Benefits of Regular Water Heater Maintenance

While some appliances in your home rarely require major repairs, all of them require preventative maintenance. An annual check-up takes into consideration a repair history of like models, and the inspection targets these areas first. And do not be mistaken, your water heater does need regular, preventative maintenance to uncover minor problems that you may miss.

Trust only a reputable company like ours to maintain your water heater and all other plumbing-related items. Lone Star Water Services specializes in all aspects of plumbing, and their professionals stand ready to serve you if you’re looking for reliable and robust service. Also, if you’re looking for a new unit, they will guide you every step of the way, and of course, install it for you.

Don’t Hesitate to Call Our Professionals

Don’t hesitate to call our professionals at Lone Star Water Services if you live in Austin, TX or the surrounding areas. If you are nervous about troubleshooting your water heater or if you want to give it a thorough, professional check-up or find something that you can’t fix, you can call us anytime.

At Lone Star Water Services, our inspection and plumbing services are completely accurate, so you can easily plan your next steps. One of our experts will inspect each part of your water heater and secure a long life for your unit.

Water Softeners and why they need Preventive Maintenance

You might already know the importance of water purifiers as most of us don’t want to drink city water that’s sometimes contaminated with lead, plastic & other substances.

Water purifiers or clean drinking water is a necessity for every home. But what about water softeners, in the most basic sense, water softening is the filtering & removal of calcium, magnesium, and other metals or it’s a process which involves turning hard water into soft water.

When groundwater flows through the pipes of your home, the dissolved minerals combine with heat to leave scale buildup, which damages your appliances, pipes & other fixtures.

Further, when water falls as rain, it’s soft water; it’s pure and void of minerals. As it flows through the ground, it collects minerals like calcium & magnesium along the way. Water that has amassed a large number of minerals is classified as hard water. And as you might expect, living in a house with hard water can be a huge problem.

Hard water can be harmful to your health, but it is certainly harmful to your home. So, you see, there are many benefits of having a water softener system, and these systems make an excellent investment.

This blog only scratches the surface of things when it comes to water softening and filtration. But for the sake of your health and your home, read on to learn more about water softeners, how a water softener saves you money, and why Preventive Maintenance is important for your water softener.

What Is A Water Softener?

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Water softening is the removal of hard minerals and metals from your water. An excess of minerals such as calcium and magnesium, for instance, can make your water “hard.” That way, you use more water to clean or bathe than “softer” water.

Hard water also causes scale buildup in your household plumbing system as it sticks to the walls of your pipes & fittings. But your water softener will work to treat hard water by removing the minerals responsible through a process called ion-exchange. Mineral ions with sodium ions make the water hard and cause damage to your home, but they are trapped by resin within the system and exchanged with sodium & potassium ions.

How Does It Work?

Water softeners consist of two distinct components. The first is a brine tank that stores all the salt and the second a resin tank to store all the resin. There are single units available that act as a combination of the two components, but it is best to consult us. We at Lone Star Water Services will help you find a water softener suited to your needs and budget.

How A Water Softener Saves You Money?

Appliances: Using a water softener system can prevent the adverse effect of hard water on your dishwasher & laundry machines. Not only does scale buildup lower the quality & efficiency due to hard water composition, but scale inside your appliances might result in a shorter lifespan for your tankless water heaters, coffee machines, ice makers, and other appliances.

Plumbing: When minerals in hard water travel through your pipes, they stick together, forming a scale buildup that eventually clogs the pipes. Places where hard water composition is quite high, the buildup causes irreversible damage to plumbing, meaning a costly & time-consuming repair job. The best way to treat problems related to hard water is by softening your water before it has a chance to build up.

Gas or electric bills: Installing a water softener can considerably lower your gas or electric bill by preventing pipe damage. When scale builds inside a pipe, there is not enough space available for water to pass through.

Consequently, the water pressure must increase for water to push through. Also, the pipe narrowing causes a failure to transfer heat, forcing you to run your water heater more to compensate efficiently, and both these issues result in an expensive gas or electric bill.

Soap and detergents: Soft water dissolves better with soap, meaning more suds and a deeper lather for your clothes, body, and dishes. Hard water uses almost double the amount of cleaning solution to achieve the same amount of suds, as soft water.

Moreover, hot water is often used to remove mineral deposits and better dissolve detergents. But with a house water softener system, washing with cold water will also keep your clothes from shrinking.

Common Problems with Water Softeners

A water softener is first a piece of equipment, and like all types of equipment, it too needs regular maintenance to avoid major trouble with the device.

  • Blockages are a common problem in water softeners as the minerals in water tend to create deposits that accumulate and block the system over time.
  • If you possess a salt-based water softener, there can be a salt buildup within the tank, which means that your device will not soften the water.
  • Motor issues can also happen, but with regular preventative maintenance, your water softener will run for a long time.

Remember that you may be tempted to clean or fix your water purifiers yourself; it’s always in your best interest to enlist the services of licensed and professional plumbers like us. And remember we are just a phone call away, so don’t hesitate, call us now.

Protect Your Water Softener With Preventive Maintenance

Installing a water softener in your home will immediately take care of hard water issues like water stains on dishes, scaling in your shower, and less effectiveness of your soap. Fixing these issues will give your family better quality water; it can even save you money. But what can you do to ensure that your water remains problem-free all the time?

With any mechanical equipment, regular maintenance helps ensure that equipment is working correctly. For instance, you might get a regularly scheduled oil change for your car, or you might opt for an annual service on your home’s furnace and central air systems to change filters and ensure everything is heating & cooling efficiently. Quite obviously, the same concept is applied to your water softener & other water treatment equipment.

Preventive Maintenance for Your Water Softener

Our water treatment professionals offer preventive maintenance to help protect the investment you have made in your home’s water quality.

Even if your water softener or any other water filtration system is relatively new, regular maintenance is still highly beneficial. For instance, power outages & daylight savings time can alter the regeneration process on your unit, and it has an effect on its functions. Apart from that, an issue with other water-related equipment in your home, such as RO purifiers or water heaters, can impact how well your water softener works. For instance, a water softener can have issues if it cannot receive the amount of water it needs because a well system’s pressure tank isn’t working properly.

If left undetected, both your water softener and the pressure tank might need repair or replacement. Thus, regular checkups & maintenance on water treatment equipment are essential, especially for well owners. If you don’t pay enough attention, it could mean unexpected expenses and the return of impure problematic water.

Water softeners can often get out of sight and out of mind, and you probably don’t give them too much attention until there is an issue. However, the cost of repairs is usually considerably more if you wait for your water softener to have a problem than the price of a preventive maintenance plan. And we don’t need to tell you that there’s never a good time to receive a large, unexpected bill for major repairs or total equipment replacement.

What is included with a Preventive Maintenance Plan?

The services that we offer at Lone Star Water Services are comprehensive. Still, there are a few critical components of your water softener or other water filters that see the most wear & tear and should be checked regularly. Our standard maintenance plans include services like:

  • Clean the equipment
  • Clean the brine tank
  • Change all filters and pre-filters
  • Check for salt bridging or any other issues in the brine tank
  • Validate your equipment’s regeneration schedule
  • Ensure that all of the meters are working
  • Test raw & treated water to confirm your water softener is working
  • Verify that your water conditions have not changed since the last time we checked
  • Check & change common wear parts like pistons, injectors, screens, and seals
  • Check your water’s flow rate to make sure enough water is being delivered to the system and provide the proper salt for your water softener
  • Replenish the media inside an acid-neutralizing filter if it is low (this is an integral part of the water treatment process and must be refilled regularly)

While all these services are a vital part of preventive maintenance plans, we customize the checklist based on the water treatment equipment you have, including water filters, reverse osmosis systems, among others.

Peace of Mind and Healthy Water

The most significant benefit of a preventive maintenance plan has our water treatment professionals regularly review and validate that your water softener is programmed correctly and working perfectly. Through on-site visits, water softeners and other equipment are monitored and maintained so that they remain in peak working condition.

Perhaps the water pressure in your home has slowed down, or your water softener has started regenerating at different times of the day. You might not consider calling us as long as your water seems ok. Yet, these could be signs that need to be addressed.

Investing in water treatment equipment provides your family with high-quality water, plus you’ll have peace of mind in knowing that everything is working as it should, which is priceless.

Protect Your Investment

Preventive maintenance of your water filtration or purifying systems is the ultimate way to protect the investment that you’ve made to provide the best water for yourself, your family & your home. We at Lone Star Water Services have everything included in our preventive maintenance plan. But, if you have any further questions or would like to have a water filtration expert come out to inspect your water filtration systems and the hardness of your water, don’t hesitate to call us. One of our professionals will be right there to serve you.