Do You Need A New Water Heater?

Water heaters are necessary appliances in any home, delivering hot water for showers, hand washing, cooking, and cleaning. But if the only thing coming out of your tap is cold water, you probably have a water heater issue at home. Repairs can quickly address some problems, while others may necessitate a complete water heater replacement. So how can you tell when to get a new water heater? We at General Service Plumbing will help answer that question and resolve all your water heating concerns. We’ll be there on the double when your water heater is in trouble!

Water Heater Repair Vs. Replacement

At General Service Plumbing, we base our water heater services on honest communication and hard work. So if we ever detect issues with your unit that a quick fix can resolve, we won’t ever try to sell you on a replacement. For example, replacement parts for the following are sometimes all we need to get your system running again:

  • Heating elements
  • Valves
  • Thermostats
  • Igniters
  • Motors

But a replacement may be better if your unit is older than ten years old or experiencing more severe problems. If so, call our professionals at 323-855-7911 for help. We’ll inspect your water heater and honestly assess its condition.

Signs You Need A Replacement Water Heater

Water heaters don’t usually break down out of the blue. Instead, they often display early signs of issues, such as:

  • Discolored water – Cloudy, rusty, or brownish-looking water can indicate water heater deterioration or sediment buildup. A corroded unit develops leaks in your water supply, leading to discolored water coming out of your faucets.
  • Water leaks – Water heaters are supposed to be watertight. If your unit leaks water, that indicates something is failing. Leaks can worsen over time and cause severe damage to the team and surrounding area.
  • Strange smells – If your hot water or tank emits strange odors, it could be due to problems like bacterial growth or metallic grits and flakes mixing with your water supply.
  • Loud noises – If your water heater makes strange rattling or rumbling noises, it is likely due to sediment buildup moving around your tank.

Left unaddressed, many of the above problems can lead to water heater inefficiency and failure. Your tank may even rupture and cause extensive water damage in the vicinity. Therefore, scheduling a replacement earlier rather than later is best to avoid expenses and property damage.

The Best Type Of Water Heater

When it’s time for a replacement, our installation experts can supply you with a new, energy-efficient water heater. General Service Plumbing specializes in tankless water heater installation to reduce energy bills and provide near-instantaneous water heating to your home. Although standard water heaters are cheaper to install, tankless heaters cost less.

As a result, they operate more efficiently, leading to energy savings that outweigh the initial purchase cost of standard units. In addition, you can rely on a tankless water heater for up to 20 years compared to the 8-12 years of conventional water heaters. So if you’re interested in a tankless water heater replacement, contact us for more information!

Contact General Service Plumbing For All Your Water Heater Needs

At General Service Plumbing, our experts are available 24/7 for reliable water heater repair and replacement. One call is all it takes to resolve all your water heating concerns. Our technicians undergo extensive training and certification to service all major water heater brands. So the next time you’re dealing with cold water at home, call our plumbers at 323-855-7911 for immediate help!

We offer both tanked and tankless water heater installation services in the following areas:

If you want to leave us a review or learn more about us, click on a service location below:

And, if you’re looking for help with Colorado Springs water heaters, call our friends at Smith Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Electrical today!

Optimize Your Water Heater Temperature

Did you know that you can change and optimize the temperature of your water heater? That’s right. You can change it. However, what you consider the optimal water heater temperature can differ from what others consider optimal.

At General Service Plumbing, people have different opinions on optimal hot water temperatures. In light of that understanding, we decided it would be a great idea to put together a guide on setting your water heater temperature to fit your needs. So, let’s get started!

Different Hot Water Uses Demand Different Water Heater Temperatures

The optimal water temperature varies depending on what tasks you plan to use hot water. For example, if you run a commercial kitchen, you’ll need your water hot enough to sanitize dishes. However, water hot enough to sanitize dishes (around 140 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit) is far too hot for bathing. Additionally, if you have children, you’ll want your water hot enough to kill most bacteria. However, you don’t want to set it so high as to scald yourself or your children. Water heater temperatures closer to 120 degrees Fahrenheit will do just fine for those situations.

When optimizing your water heater temperature, the only hard-set rule is never to set your water heater below 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperatures lower than that provide an ample breeding ground for harmful bacteria, mold, and mildew species. Additionally, for every ten degrees above 120 degrees Fahrenheit, you will increase your overall energy usage by about three to five percent.

Specific Use Cases and Their Appropriate Water Heater Temperature Settings

Besides the examples we described above, several other use cases have water temperature requirements. Let’s break them down.

Dishwashers that don’t pre-heat

Some dishwashers (usually older models or ones in commercial settings) don’t pre-heat water to help sanitize and clean your dishes. If you have a dishwasher that doesn’t pre-heat, set your water heater temperature to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Lower temperatures are far less effective at killing harmful foodborne pathogens and bacteria species.

Small children and the elderly

Suppose your home or business regularly visits or provides housing for small children or the elderly. In that case, the optimal water heater temperature setting is around 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Unfortunately, higher temperatures are much more likely to injure children and the elderly than average-aged adults. In fact, according to the CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission).

“The majority of injuries and deaths involving tap water scalds are to the elderly and children under the age of five. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) urges all users to lower their water heaters to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. ” – CPSC Safety Alert Publication 5098

People with respiratory illnesses or suppressed immune systems

Suppose you or anyone else in your home has a respiratory disease or suppressed immune system. In that case, you should set your water heater temperature to 140 degrees. Doing so will help prevent the sick from contracting other diseases that healthier people may ward off without medical aid.

How to Pick the Right Temperature for You

Let’s assume you’re a healthy adult living in a household with other healthy adults. To optimize the water heater’s temperature for this assumed household, start by setting the temperature to 120 degrees. Then, if you’re not satisfied, increase the temperature in ten-degree increments until you’ve found your optimal water temperature.

What is the Most Environmentally Friendly Water Heater Temperature?

According to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), the optimal water heater setting for a happier planet and safe usage is 120 degrees Fahrenheit. However, water heaters still account for about 17 percent of your home’s energy bill ( Moreover, as mentioned earlier, for every ten degrees over 120, you will increase your energy consumption by three to five percent.

Still, Having Trouble? Contact General Service Plumbing

Suppose you have trouble either figuring out your ideal temperature or with the actual process of changing the heat for your water heater. In that case, you can always contact us at General Service Plumbing. We employ some of the best water heater technicians in the state. So don’t hesitate to contact us! We’re always here to help!
We offer both tanked and tankless water heater installation services in the following areas:

If you want to leave us a review or learn more about us, click on a service location below:

And, if you’re looking for help with Albuquerque water heaters, then give our friends over at Albuquerque Plumbing Heating & Cooling a call today!

How To Flush Your Water Heater

As a homeowner, you may not think about your water heater often, but it is an essential appliance that provides hot water for your household. Unfortunately, mineral deposits and sediment can build up inside your water heater over time, reducing efficiency and even causing damage. Regularly flushing your water heater can help remove these deposits and extend your appliance’s lifespan. So here’s a step-by-step guide on how to flush your water heater from General Service Plumbing.

Step 1: Turn off the Power

Before beginning, turn off the power supply to your water heater. If you own an electric water heater, you can turn off its power at the circuit breaker. But if you own a gas water heater, you’ll turn off the gas supply valve, which you can find near the gas pipe leading to your thermostat.

Step 2: Turn off the Cold Water Supply

Locate the cold water supply valve near the top of your water heater and turn it off. This will prevent new water from entering the tank while flushing it.

Step 3: Turn On The Hot Water

Turn on the hot water at one of your sinks or tubs. Let it run while draining the tank to alleviate pressure in your lines.

Step 4: Drain the Tank

You can find a drain valve near the bottom of your water heater. Attach a garden hose and run the other end to a drain or outside. Next, open the valve and let the water drain from the tank. Be careful, as the water will be hot. You can stop draining the tank once the water appears clear and sediment-free. Tanks with large amounts of sediment may have to be drained completely.

Step 5: Flush the Tank

Once you drain the tank, turn the cold water supply valve back on to allow fresh water to flush any remaining sediment out of the tank. Let the water run until transparent, then turn off the cold water supply.

Step 6: Refill the Tank

Close the drainage valve and remove the garden hose. Turn the cold water supply valve back on and let the tank refill. It would be best to leave the hot water faucet (that you turned on in step 3) running to allow air to escape from the tank.

Step 7: Turn the Power Back On

Once the tank is full, turn the power supply back on at the circuit breaker or gas valve, depending on whether you own an electric or gas water heater. Your hot water should run like usual again after 20-30 minutes.

Need Help? Contact General Service Plumbing Today

Flushing your water heater is a simple task that can help improve its efficiency and extend its lifespan. We recommend flushing out your water heater at least once a year, although this may vary depending on your water hardness and appliance’s age. If you’re uncomfortable doing it yourself, contact a licensed plumber like General Service Plumbing to assist you. We’re happy to answer any questions or concerns and ensure your water heater functions properly.

We offer both tanked and tankless water heater installation services in the following areas:

If you want to leave us a review or learn more about us, click on a service location below:

And, if you’re looking for help with Fort Collins water heaters, then give our friends over at Lion Home Service a call today!

What Type of Water Heater Is Best For You?

Your Ideal Water Heater Is Out There Waiting For You

Chances are, you never think about your water heater until you find the icy water of Antarctica pouring out of your shower head. We’ve all been enjoying a nice, warm, relaxing shower when our water heater runs out of the good stuff. So the only thing left to do is suffer through the icy embrace of tap water.

If your water heater is no longer keeping up with the demand of your household, then it’s time to find one that will. The only problem is, where do you start looking for a new water heater? Unfortunately, the world of water heaters can be exceedingly complicated for a metal tank with a fire that heats it.

Not to worry! The expert plumbers of General Service Plumbers are here to guide you through the nonsense and help you find the water heater that best fits your needs.
With proper care and maintenance, new water heaters can deliver reliable service for a decade or more. Once you have your new one, you’ll be set for years to come.

Never rerun Out Of Hot Water!

When choosing a new water heater, the first thing to consider is its capacity for producing hot water. Suppose you’re only heating water for a single person. In that case, you may be better off using nothing but the sun’s glorious rays to warm your bathwater (no, seriously). However, families of 6 or more will need a water heater to provide copious amounts of on-demand hot water.

To that end, before selecting a water heater, you must determine the hot water your family uses. You can do this by taking the number of people living in your residence and adding 1. Then take that sum and multiply it by 12. The result is the first-hour rating or the amount of hot water in gallons that a water heater should make during the first hour a faucet is open.

A tankless(or on-demand) water heater is rated based on the gallons per minute (GPM) flow from a single faucet. So, first, determine the number of hot water faucets that typically operate simultaneously in your household, and multiply this number by three, the average GPM flow rate of a tap. The result is the heating capacity rating of a tankless unit.

With these few pieces of advice in mind, you should always be able to tell if a water heater can meet the needs of your household.

Water Heaters Are As Unique As People

When it comes to water heaters, there are conventional ones, tankless ones, heaters that use solar energy, heaters that re-purpose your home’s heat to warm water, and even some that draw heat from elsewhere to do their job(more on that later). But, no matter how they do it, all heaters still only have one job, they take water and heat so that you can soak in a bubble bath without catching hypothermia.

Unless you’re in a unique situation, you may want to install a conventional or tankless water heater. The former uses fire or an electric coil to heat a massive water tank. The latter does the same, except it does it without the tank.

Traditional water heaters come with a large tank that stores heated water, which requires ample space. Gas models also need additional space for air to circulate in the burner unit. As a result, these models are reasonably reliable until they inevitably run out of water. Plus, the operating costs of one are much higher than a tankless one.

If you do not have the space to install a traditional model with the correct storage tank, your best bet is a tankless water heater. This appliance requires less space because it does not store water. Tankless heaters warm water only when a hot water faucet is open. Although more expensive than standard water heaters, tankless units are more energy efficient as they do not continually heat and reheat water in a storage tank.

What Is The Best Way To Power Your Water Heater

Whether you select a water heater with a storage tank or a tankless unit, you must decide what energy source it will use to heat the water. Both water heaters can run on electricity, propane, or natural gas. Still, some may be able to run on more, ahem, exotic energy sources.

Solar water heaters, for example, circulate water through pipes warmed by the sun before returning it to your home. On the other hand, specific heat pump models can use the constant heat of geothermal energy to heat your water!

Unfortunately, these more eco-friendly(and much more excellent) power sources are only available to a select few people. The rest of us can only pick from what is known as public utilities.

We Can Help You Pick The Right Replacement

Once you know how much water you use, which water heater best serves your need, and whether or not you can run yours on volcano power, it’s time to choose a heater. If you’re still unsure which make and model is best for you, call General Service Plumbersat 323-855-791, and get the best advice from the professionals.

Suppose you’re looking to replace your water heater in Northern California. In that case, we recommend the service provided by Dependable Rooter & Plumbing. As highly-rated plumbers, they can help you install Whittier water heaters that will meet your needs to a tee.

We offer both tanked and tankless water heater installation services in the following areas:

When Should You Replace Your Water Heater?

When should you replace your water heater with General Service Plumbing?

Don’t Suffer Through Another Cold Shower.

Do you think it may be time to replace your water heater? Knowing your water heater has a problem is easy, but figuring out if it has reached the end of the line is challenging. If you run out of warm water in the middle of a shower, you may even blame yourself for not being more careful with your water usage! Don’t worry; the General Service Plumbing experts are here to help determine if a water heater replacement is your best action.

Sign Of An Aging Water Heater:

  • Cold Water
  • Not Enough Hot Water
  • Water With Flecks Of Rust
  • Exploding Operating Costs

One or more of these problems may be caused enough to replace your water heater.

Cold Water

A water heater that no longer heats any water is practically worthless. First, check your unit’s pilot light to ensure it is still running. If the light has gone out, then relight it. If it continues to turn off or refuses to restart, it may be time to replace your heater. However, it takes a professional to inspect your heater correctly, so schedule one before making plans to replace yours.

Not Enough Hot Water

If the hot water seems to run dry much sooner than it used to, your water heater is likely at fault. A water heater that continually runs dry may be having trouble with its water supply, or it may not be heating its tank. Contact the team at General Service Plumbing, and we will assess whether repairs or replacements are necessary.

Water With Flecks Of Rust

The age of your water heater is one factor that most affect its performance. A water heater’s lifespan is 10-15 years, but most fail before that. If your water heater is in this age range, it is best to replace it. Moreover, if your unit has parts that have begun to rust, your heater has likely experienced a leak. A faulty, leaky water heater is a hazard to your home, and you should replace it.

Exploding Operating Costs

If your utility bills seem to rise, your water heater may be the culprit. Depending on the issue, your water heater may be using an excess of either electricity or gas. Not only is this defect costing you money, but it could also be hazardous to you and your family! However, a quick inspection from one of our service experts will be enough to end that risk. In addition, replacing your existing unit with a newer, energy-efficient one will help mitigate any risk to your home while lowing your bill.

If Your Heater Is Underperforming, Give Us A Call

Now that you know how to identify a faulty water heater, it’s time to decide. Will you replace your unit? If your home needs a new water heater, don’t hesitate to contact our experts. We are prepared to assess your water heater and determine what replacement will best serve you.

For excellent water heater service in Northern California, we recommend Genmor Plumbing Inc. They are known for being trusted and reliable San Jose plumbers by the entire Bay Area. We are proud to help direct you to only the best services!

Why Shouldn’t You Use Chemical Drain Cleaners?

The Chemicals You’re Washing Down Your Drain Are Making Your Pipes and Health, Worse.

Your pipes are clogged, and you want to get rid of them ASAP, so you pour a bottle of chemical cleaner down your drain. Problem solved, right? Wrong! Very, very bad, reader. Those chemical cleaners we use to avoid calls to a plumber are not saving us as much money as we think.

Sometimes we can buy a $10 bottle of drain cleaner and be done with our clog. Sometimes. However, chemical cleaners often fail to do the job, so we buy more until the clog finally clears. Unfortunately, some of us don’t realize that each bottle of cleaner slowly but surely sets us up for disaster.

Not only do chemical cleaners not do as good a job as drain augers or hydro-jetting equipment, but their use damages your pipes! These cleaners are dangerous to your home and family and should never be allowed anywhere near your lines.

Chemical Cleaner Harm Your Pipes

You may feel like chemical cleaners work through magic. You pour them down a drain, wait a half-hour, rinse them with hot water, and clean your gutter. However, it’s not magic but chemistry that tries to clear your pipes.

No matter what form they may come in, chemical cleaners work by reacting with the organic material that most clogs are made of. This reaction creates heat and slowly dissolves the individual components of a clog. Unfortunately, while it does this, it is also heating and dissolving the walls of your pipes.

Newer pipes do a decent job of standing up to this chemical assault but are still worn down by the solution. On the other hand, older or plastic pipes take tremendous damage from these chemicals. In addition, if the lines do not fail outright, they often form pits that allow further clogs to form.

Fumes From Chemical Cleaners Can Harm Your Family

You may wonder if a process that corrodes metal and plastic pipes is safe. It’s not. While you may be willing to sacrifice a line or two, no one wants to hurt their family. Yet, this may be what you do if you use chemical cleaners.

Drain cleaners dissolve organic material(and pipes) and often produce fumes. Unfortunately, no one can truthfully say what these fumes are as they change depending on what you’ve washed down your drain. However, they can range from unpleasant to downright deadly, so it is safe to say they are never good!

Your Septic System Will Be Disrupted

As you may know, septic systems are living ecosystems of bacteria that work to process all of the waste that finds its way to them. The last thing those bacteria need is to be inundated with unknown, caustic chemicals. So while chemical cleaners may clear a minor clog with a drain cleaner, you can be sure your septic system will suffer.

Suppose your septic system can no longer operate correctly. In that case, you look at much more severe problems than a clog. You may, for example, begin to require frequent septic pumping as the dying bacteria will no longer be able to keep up with demands. Worse still, if you don’t realize that your septic tank is in trouble, you may find out when your sewage begins bubbling up your drains.

No one wants that.

Chemical Cleaners Are Bad For The Environment

It goes without saying that if chemical cleaners disrupt septic tanks, they’re terrible for the environment. If your home is on a sewer line, the chemicals you use to clean your drain will eventually enter the public supply.

No matter how well the water is treated, trace amounts of these chemicals are still likely to appear in someone’s drinking water. This, of course, does not include the adverse effects of any cleaners that are not disposed of properly or that end up finding their way into the environment.

It’s Best to Avoid Chemical Cleaners

A cheap bottle of chemical cleaner may seem like a handy solution for an unexpected drain clog, but its hidden cost lies beyond the price tag. These quick-fix bottles may work for the moment. Still, they will inevitably lead to costly repairs or even hospital bills. So instead of risking your wallet or health on one of these bottles, you’re better off having professionals cleaning your drains.

Professional plumbers, like General Service Plumbers, use equipment like drain augers or hydro-jets to effectively and safely clear any clogs in your lines. Plumbers also inspect your home’s pipes before any work is done, ensuring they tackle all severe problems in your system.

Don’t poison your home and family to eliminate a minor clog. Have professionals take care of it instead and save time, money, and the environment, all at the same time.

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