Category Archives: water heater

water-heater-101

Water Heater 101: Maintenance, replacement time and more

You may not look at your water heater very much, but you rely on it every day. When it malfunctions, it’s noticeable, and it can be expensive to repair.

If you feel completely lost when it comes to water heater maintenance, this blog post will give you the basics and let you know when it’s time for replacement.

Welcome to Water Heater 101!

What maintenance should I perform on my water heater to keep it running smoothly?

Before performing any maintenance on your water heater, first shut off the power and read your owner’s manual.

  • Check for signs of thermal expansion (Twice per year)Thermal expansion is the greatest contributor to early water heater failure. If your home has a closed water supply system (one that has a one-way valve to keep water from expanding back into the city’s water supply), your water heater may be at risk. Check for signs of thermal expansion by watching for bulging in the top or bottom surfaces of your tank and signs of deformity in the relief line or connection nipples at the top of your tank. If you have a closed water supply system or you’ve already experienced water heater failure due to thermal expansion, you probably need a thermal expansion tank.
  • On gas units, check your water heater burner (Twice per year) – The burner should appear blue with yellow tips. If it’s mostly yellow or if it’s sooty under there, your flue may be clogged. This is a dangerous situation, and you should call a technician to inspect the appliance.
  • Flush the water to remove built-up sediment (Twice per year) – By removing built-up sediment, you’ll improve your unit’s efficiency and avoid harmful corrosion. This process is especially important for Hoosiers living with Indiana’s hard water! Learn the steps to flush your water heater.
  • Test the pressure-relief valve (Twice per year) – If your water is over 80psi, we recommend a pressure-reducing valve on the system. To test an existing pressure-relief valve, lift the valve’s handle, and let it snap back. This should release a burst of water into the overflow drainpipe. If it doesn’t, your valve needs replaced.
  • Have your water heater serviced by a technician (Every 2 years) – A leaking water heater can cause expensive property damage. Having a qualified professional inspect your water heater on a regular basis will help you avoid costly repairs in the future and extend the life of your appliance.

How long does a water heater typically last?
The average life expectancy of a water heater is 12 to 15 years.

How do I find out how old my water heater is?
Installation dates can typically be found on the “rating plate” or manufacturer’s label attached to the side of your water heater. If you don’t see a specific date, write down the serial number and contact your manufacturer to find out how to decode the age of your water heater from the serial number. You may also be able to find out your manufacturer’s serial number decoding process with a Google search.

How do people know when it’s time to replace their water heater?
If your water heater is more than 12 years old, has a leak around the base of the tank or is not working as efficiently, it’s probably time to replace it. Replacing the unit can improve your energy usage and lower your monthly utility bill. However, before committing to replacing the unit, be sure to check that you haven’t blown a fuse or tripped a breaker, causing your unit’s malfunction.

FACEBOOK CONTEST! Enter by Aug. 19 to win a brand-new water heater!

oldest water heater contest

** PLEASE NOTE – Contest has now ended. See winner announcement below. **

It’s contest time!

Do you have the oldest water heater? We’re giving away a brand-new water heater to the person who can prove theirs is the oldest!

Prize details (valued up to $1,500!)

The winner of this contest will win a Bradford White gas or electric water heater, holding up to 50 gallons, depending on the client’s space and needs. This prize is worth up to $1,500!

Entry guidelines:

  • The participant must be the legal homeowner of the property, not a tenant.
  • Must reside within a 50-mile radius of Danville, Ind.
  • The water heater age must be validated via a free inspection by Justin Dorsey Plumbing before the new water heater will be installed. Once a winner has been chosen, we will work with you to schedule the inspection and subsequent installation.

Contest entry instructions:

  1. Visit our Justin Dorsey Plumbing Facebook page.
  2. Like and follow our page.
  3. Find the post pinned to the top of our page, detailing the contest instructions.
  4. Comment on the post with:
    A picture of you standing next to your old water heater, holding a paper with the install month and year clearly written on it.
  5. Deadline for entry is Sunday, Aug. 19!

How do I find out how old my water heater is?

Installation dates can typically be found on the “rating plate” or manufacturer’s label attached to the side of your water heater. If you don’t see a specific date, write down the serial number and contact your manufacturer to find out how to decode the age of your water heater from the serial number. You may also be able to find out your manufacturer’s serial number decoding process with a Google search.

The winner will be announced Tuesday, Aug. 21! Good luck!

Learn more about malfunctioning water heaters in our post, featuring “4 common plumbing problems and how to avoid them!”

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UPDATE: WINNER ANNOUNCED!

Congratulations to Leeann Hobbs Abbott, the winner of our Oldest Water Heater Contest! Her 41-year-old water heater earned her a BRAND-NEW Bradford White water heater! Congratulations! And thank you to all the people who entered or shared this opportunity! We appreciate you!

Why we don’t give phone quotes

Many people call our office and ask what a particular “fix” will cost. They get annoyed when we can’t answer the question. Here’s why the dispatcher cannot answer your question.

Service techs are paid more than dispatchers. Dispatchers are not plumbers. Even our service techs are hesitant to give phone quotes for these reasons.

Scope of the problem – Without correctly diagnosing the problem, service techs cannot give an accurate quote. Once the tech has seen the problem and determined the correct solution or solution possibilities, then a accurate quote can be assessed. At Justin Dorsey Plumbing, we offer “up-front pricing.” This means that you will know what it will cost before we start the work. You may think the well pump has given up, when it could be a simple problem with the electrical box.

Location of the problem – Some problems require digging or need to have a water heater replaced in the basement or access to a tiny crawlspace. All these factors affect the price. Phone quotes unfortunately lock us into a price that customers will hold us to. We need to see where the problem is and how best to repair it taking into account the particulars of the environment.

Equipment or materials – In order for us to repair the problem correctly, our technicians must be able to see what materials were there before. For instance, if your home uses copper piping, you will likely be disappointed if we quote you a price for pex, which in most cases is less expensive.

In order to best fix your plumbing problem, please allow us to send a service tech to your home or business and get a correct diagnosis. In the end, we know you will be highly satisfied with our service and you will get our limited guarantee on our repairs.

Get peace of mind.

Call Justin Dorsey Plumbing at 888-242-2937 and let us handle your plumbing problem.

Why you need a service plan

Seems like everyone and their brother wants to sell you an extended warranty. Most consumer websites advise against this. But what about service plans? What are the benefits to getting a service plan for the largest financial investment of your life?
Here are a few things to consider.ID-100228284
Maintenance is a key component in taking care of your home. Consider that you take your car to regularly get the oil changed and a rare tune-up. Your home mechanical systems need the same level of care. Regular checking can extend the life of your plumbing system.
Having a Justin Dorsey Plumbing professional check out your system, they can spot problems i.e. a leak that can result in costly repairs and/or higher energy bills.
During our annual inspection plan, our friendly technicians will

  • Check all supply connections to each fixture
  • Inspect and set water heater temperature
  • Examine flue gas expulsion
  • Check and clean burner box of the gas water heater
  • Basement sump pump test
  • Inspect toilets for leakage, flapper, and fill pump
  • Check inside faucets for leakage, lime build up, aerators
  • Outside faucet inspection, freeze, hose hook ups
  • Inspect drainage system
  • Inspect water filtration or conditioner
  • Plus much more

Plus, if you become one of our preferred customers, you can earn a 12 percent discount on all labor for any future repairs. Then you can be moved to the front of the line when an emergency occurs.

Talk to your technician, today about the Justin Dorsey Plumbing Service Plan and becoming a preferred customer and enjoy the peace of mind when it comes to your whole house mechanical systems.

Vacation: Water on or off? These tips can help

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From a customer:

I am a long time customer with a question; When leaving for vacation should I turn off electric power supply for the well water pump, electric water heater, and turn off the valve for the main house water supply?

Thank you in advance.

Regards,

Jerry

 

Justin Dorsey reply:

Those are good questions.

There is no standard answer on this, as often, it depends on how long you are going to be gone, as well as possible weather conditions while gone.

Here is a way to look at it:

If you are going to be out less than a month, do not do anything, leave everything in normal service.  The reason is that when going through the shut down procedures and restart,  component failure can occur.  That would cost more to repair than the cost of operation for a month.  Simply turn the thermostat down on the water heater and the water conditioner into a vacation mode.

If gone more than a month, you might consider, turning power to the water heater off

If there is no vacation mode on water conditioning, unplug it and adjust to bypass. Turn power off to the pump and drain pressure to 0#psi.

Of course, when returning home you will have to remember everything needs to be put back into service. When you do, please remember this:

Do not turn water heater power on without first filling with water or you will burn out elements. 

This is not a exhaustive list, but just some ideas.  Hopefully this will help.

Thanks,

Justin Dorsey