Water Heaters

A water heater is a must in your home.

A water heater is a necessary appliance for your home and as technology advances, the efficiency of these systems will increase, making hot water even more affordable than before. Though some systems can be installed yourself, it’s best to call a professional to be sure the job is done right. The safety of your family is important.

7 Signs You Might Need a New Water Heater

  • 1.Your water is coming out rusty or some other non-clear color.
  • 2.Your water isn’t getting hot enough.
  • 3.The water isn’t getting hot at all. While this could indicate the pilot light is out or the circuit breaker has been tripped, it can also indicate a failure of the whole heating system.
  • 4.If the water has a strange odor or metallic taste, it’s a sign that the water heater is breaking down.
  • 5.While a water heater normally makes sounds as it operates, loud pops and cracks indicate that the heating element is failing.
  • 6.Leaks around the water heater are a significant sign of trouble. This indicates major failure going on internally. Shut-off the electricity or gas to the system and let it cool down before replacing it.
  • 7.If your water heater is over 10 years old, it’s nearing the end of its life expectancy.

When it’s time to replace your water heater, contact At Your Service Plumbing. You’ll have peace of mind knowing everything has been done safely and to code. Just click below to get started.

Shutting Down Water Heaters

Step-by-Step Instructions

Gas: Twist the dial on top of the thermostat from the ON to the OFF position.
Electric: Turn the power supply off to the water heater at the circuit breaker.

Step 2: TURN THE WATER SUPPLY OFF – Twist the handle on the water valve above the water heater clockwise until it stops. (If the water does not stop, turn off the main water valve.)

Step 3: DRAIN WATER HEATER, IF NECESSARY, TO AVOID WATER DAMAGE – Attach a garden hose to the drain faucet connection at the bottom of the water heater. Run the other end of the hose to a lower location where hot or rusty water won’t cause damage.

Step 4: TURN HOT HANDLE OF ANY FAUCET ON to allow air to enter the heater and help facilitate draining of tank.

Step 5: THIS HEATER MAY HAVE AN EXTENDED WARRANTY AND GUARANTEE – Repairs or maintenance of any type performed by an unauthorized technician may void coverage. For authorization or immediate assistance call, At Your Service Plumbing 24/7 for Emergency Service! 253.448.8178

For instructions on relighting gas water heaters watch our video “Relighting a Gas Water Heater” video #9 in our DIY Series. You can also subscribe to our channel for more helpful videos.

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Choosing Your Water Heater Size

What size of a water heater do I need?

To determine what size water heater you need, keep in mind that bigger isn’t always better. A conventional water heater is running all the time, so it will waste you money to heat water you’re never going to use. Fortunately, calculating what size water heater to choose is easy!

First you need to figure out your First Hour Rating (FHR). This is the amount of water you’ll use during your home’s peak time of water usage. This is usually first thing in the morning when everyone is taking showers, brushing their teeth, filling the coffee pot, etc.

To do this, count the number of people in your household (if the house is currently unoccupied, count the number of bedrooms) and add 1. For example, a four-bedroom house would come out to 5. Multiply that number by 12, the estimated gallons of hot water each person will use. For this example, the total is 60. (4+1=5, 5×12=60).

Now that you know your home’s FHR, you’ll want to get a water heater with the highest energy factor (EF) that you can afford. All of this information should be on the water heater’s yellow label.

The average water heater for a family of 5+ is around 50 gallons. The average FHR for these units ranges from 67 on the low end to 81 on the high end. You can also use this chart to see what the average tank size is per family size.

Average Tank Size per Household Size

Household SizeTank Size
1-226 - 36 Gallons
2-436 - 46 Gallons
3-546 - 56 Gallons
5+56 Gallons or More

Tank or Tankless Water Heaters

What’s the difference & which is for me?

Since tankless water heaters are known for being smaller and more efficient, many people think they are better, however each person’s home and needs are unique. Use this information to help you decide which is best for your needs:

TANK WATER HEATERSInstallation – They are relatively easy to install. It should only take us a few hours.
Lifespan – between 10 to 15 years
How They Work – They typically hold between 20 and 75 gallons of hot water (around 120˚F) in a storage tank. They are fairly large and require a bit of space within your home. If you manage to deplete what is in the tank, you have to wait until your water heater produces more hot water.
Benefits – 
• More affordable up-front cost
• Easy installation
• Tried and true system
• In an emergency, you have a fresh water supply
• You can often install an electric tank water heater without making major changes to your home’s electrical system or purchasing expensive additional equipment
Drawbacks – 
• Energy waste from “standby loss.” That is, the energy you waste on keeping a tank full of hot water at all times.
• Shorter lifespan
• If the heater malfunctions, gallons of water could leak or escape from the tank
• If you empty the tank you have to wait for more hot water

Installation – They can be more difficult to install than a tank water heater, as you may need to upgrade your home’s electrical system or you may need to run a dedicated gas line to your gas-powered unit. Additionally, you may also need to intall supporting equipment.
Lifespan – 20 years or more
How They Work – Tankless systems heat your water on demand using gas or electric coils. Even though they heat water on demand, there are output limits. Meaning, if you’re running the dishwasher, doing the laundry and taking a shower simultaneously, your heater may not be able to produce hot water fast enough. The flow rate for tankless water heaters is measured in gallons per minute of hot water the machine can produce. Gas units typically heat water faster than electric ones.
Benefits – 
• Efficiency (you don’t have to pay to constantly keep a tank full of water hot)
• Longer lifespan
• Space saving
• Tankless heaters typically offer longer warranties
Drawbacks – 
• More expensive up-front equipment and installation costs
• May need to make major changes to your home to accommodate a tankless unit
• In some cases, the increased up-front cost may be larger than your long-term savings

DID YOU KNOW? All our installed tank water heaters come earthquake strapped.

At Your Service Plumbing – Expert Water Heater Installation
When it’s time to replace your water heater, contact At Your Service Plumbing. You’ll have peace of mind knowing everything has been done safely and to code.
Just click below to get started.