Water Heater Repair San Francisco Blog

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

Water Heater Scale

Posted by on Apr 9, 2018 in Water Heater Repair San Francisco | 0 comments

There are unfavorable impacts on house appliances, consisting of the water heater, if San Francisco house owners have hard water. Hard water will certainly aid make scale build-up inside the water heater take place much faster. Scale contains mainly calcium and magnesium and resembles white bits. The long-term impacts of scale accumulation will be to lower the life expectancy of the hot water heater. In order to assist regulate this occurring, this is going to review a variety of methods in order to help avoid it from being a trouble.

Hot Water Heater Storage Tank Draining
Flushing the water tank shall get rid of the mineral fragments inside the container. If one understands that a person water is very hard, this procedure needs to be done around two times a year to assist manage scale buildup. We will certainly mention the basic actions associated with doing so below, yet they are suggested for academic purposes only. It would certainly be good to permit us to do a hot water heater flush at your house.water heater scale

First switch off the hot water heater’s gas or electrical power. Shut the cold water supply shutoff so fresh water is not getting in while it is being emptied and replenishing it. In order to make it a quicker procedure, open up a hot water sink faucet that is close in distance to the hot water heater itself. Attach a yard hose to the drain valve, situated at the bottom of the heater, and position the other end of the yard hose either outdoors or in a floor drain for the heater to clear. The water leaving the hot water heater can be hot, so care should be taken. After the storage tank is empty, shut the drain shutoff, open up the cold water supply once more, and turn back on the gas or electrical power.

Hot Water Heater Temperature Level Setting
Heat is one source of scale accumulation happening. The hotter the water in the hot water heater is, the a lot more calcium and magnesium will certainly develop strong deposits on the heating elements in the water tank. If the thermostat is positioned more than it has to be, the much faster the develop will occur. Though there are factors for having a high or reduced temperature level setting that mainly depend upon any kind of health and wellness problems in the residence, however we will not be entering into those information below. Makers generally pre-set and recommend a temperature level setting at 120 degrees Fahrenheit. If it is established more than this, scale will certainly gather much faster. Below are a lot more suggestions that will aid if one water is very hard.

Making use of vinegar may chemically prevent scale also. Vinegar, though a weak acid, is risk-free to make use of. It is nice to utilize vinegar to assist cleanse the tank after draining it. Prior to reconnecting the cold water supply and turning the electrical power back on, shut the drain valve and put a gallon of cider vinegar right into the storage tank. Wait a minimum of 6 hours for it to be. Certainly, pick a time for emptying the hot water heater when no hot water will be required for some time. Later, open up the drain shutoff with the drain garden hose connected and allow some water run through to eliminate the vinegar. Shut the draining pipes shutoff and reconnect the power.

Water Softener
Among one of the most helpful means to assist with hard water problems throughout the residence, not simply with a hot water heater, is to set up a water softening system. In easy terms, it will eliminate the ions dissolved in the water that trigger the calcium and magnesium to develop. Keeping a water softener is simple to do. Sodium is normally the chemical used to substitute the calcium and magnesium ions, they will should be changed once in a while. The advantages to the whole plumbing system with having the ability to manage hard water are big and could save money on requiring unforeseen water heater repairs and plumbing repairs.

Let us know of questions you may have.

Phil Luther Plumbing Content Writer and Curator Phil is a prolific writer of content for plumbing related websites in the United States. Google Profile, Phil on Twitter, Phil on Home Energy Pros

Potential Disadvantages of Solar Water Heating

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

When a solar water heater is discussed, some individuals may picture a hot water tank or swimming pool heating system, but it is actually a way to heat up a house successfully and easily using water and solar energy. As we all know, the increasing expense of house heating by conventional methods has many searching for alternative methods to keep their residences comfy throughout the winter season months. Solar power is just one of numerous alternative energies that is being took a look at by today’s cost conscience property owner that Water Heater Repair San Francisco desires to talk about 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 for Heating Your San Francisco HomeSan Francisco Water Heater Repair

Solar water heaters can work in conjunction with a hydronic home furnace. The essentials are water is warmed by a boiler is run with a series of pipes and valves below the floor of a home. Taking total benefit of glowing heat, this system can keep a house warmer than an air-forced system and up to 40 % in energy expenses can be conserved if it is run with gas or electric. If you decide to run your boiler utilizing solar power, operating costs might effectively be zero.

The concept of have a water heater system that does not cost anything to run sound unbelievable but let us first take a look at some of the downsides to see to it it will be a good fit for your house. San Francisco Water Heater Repair wants you to be familiar with both the advantages and disadvantages prior to deciding.

Disadvantages of Solar Water Heating

One of the primary downsides of solar water heating is the initial installment expenses. Relying on the size of the home, numerous solar collection panels will require to be installed which can get expensive, though the general expenses of panels has dropped considerably over the past several years. However with a life-span of around 20 years, solar panels more than spend for themselves in energy savings. In fact, they can spend for themselves in as little as 3 years. So one requires to ask if the initial investment will worth the future energy conserving expenses. For instance, if one isn’t going to be staying in ones present house for years, it could not be worth the investment, unless by having the system will add to the value of the house in a sale.

An additional concern is the installation of a hydronic system. If one currently has one set up in your home upgrading to a solar system will not be tough. If one is not installed presently, it would best be saved till a remodel or addition to the house is prepared for the sub floor of the house will need to be modified.

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

Since the sun does not shine daily, solar energy, which relies on this sun obviously, can be unforeseeable. Given, your solar water heater will be able to save energy to be used on cloudy days however you could still have to run a backup heating system from time to time. The advances for solar energy storage is still be perfected so homeowners can cheaply store 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…)

Keep in mind that these downsides need to not discourage one from looking for a solar power source to heat the home but are implied only to help in making a smart decision. Heating a house with solar energy is an excellent way to save a great deal of money and Earth’s natural resources.

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

Phil Luther Plumbing Content Writer and Curator Phil is a prolific writer of content for plumbing related websites in the United States. Google Profile, Phil on Twitter, Phil on Home Energy Pros

Save Money on Your Hot Water Bill

Posted by on Jan 4, 2014 in Plumbing Contractors San Francisco, Water Heater Repair San Francisco | 0 comments

This time of year during the winter heating season, most individuals are conscious of trying to conserve cash on heating the house. This makes it a great time for being reliable with ones water heating also, particularly considering that it usually accounts for around 18 percent of the typical energy bill each month.

Water Heater Repair San Francisco’s 4 Ways to Save Hot Water Expenses

The four general methods to lower ones water heating costs in the house are reasonably basic: do not use as much hot water, turn down the thermostat temperature setting on the water heater, add insulation to the hot water tank and pipes, and change an older system with an energy effective one, those with the ENERGY STAR® label. Let’s appearance at these in some more detail now.

Making use of Less Hot WaterWater Heater Repair San Francisco

This could seem overwhelming however many of the methods in which to do so are not that difficult or costly to do. For example, by changing faucets and showerheads with low-flow, aerating designs will minimize the quantity of water used. Another evident suggestion is to repair any faucets that have leakages. It is incredible just how much water is lost from a seemingly simple faucet drip! That water accumulates fast as an additional expenditure even if it is not hot water that is dripping.


There are various insulation kits one can acquire that will cover the whole water heater tank. These work well. For gas or oil systems, just be sure not to cover the top or bottom of the tank, the thermostat as well as the burner compartment in order for the system to function correctly. As for electric models, simply require to have actually the thermostat revealed.

The initial six feet of pipe, both hot and cold, from the water heater ought to be covered 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 already have them built-in. Lots of newer designs do.

Thermostat Settings

A lot of recommend turning the thermostat down to at least 120 degrees. Yes, this will help save energy expenses. There is, nonetheless, debate over germs growing at 120 degrees or less. OSHA recommends 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 best setting for those worried about Legionnaires’ illness, where the organism can grow at temperatures less than 122 degrees. On the various other hand, those with younger kids will not desire the water to be too hot either.

Water Heater Replacements with Energy Efficient Models

This goes not simply for water heaters, but for dishwashers and clothes washing machines too. Many water heaters last 10 to 15 years is preserved well. Though the ones offered today are a lot more energy reliable than those from 10 years back. The most energy efficient ones do cost even more however usually last longer and will save on energy expenses over the life of the unit.  The US Department of Energy has tips on shopping for appliances here.

Tankless water heaters might be a great option depending on the quantity of hot water one uses, or choosing a heat pump water heater too. These use half the power than a standard electric water heater. They can likewise assist dehumidify ones house in the summer season when located in the basement.

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

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

We hope this has been a great starting point for you with taking actions to reduce the hot water made use of in the house.

Phil Luther Plumbing Content Writer and Curator Phil is a prolific writer of content for plumbing related websites in the United States. Google Profile, Phil on Twitter, Phil on Home Energy Pros

Toilet Terminology

Posted by on Dec 28, 2013 in Toilet Repair San Francisco, Water Heater Repair San Francisco | 0 comments

With half of the December holiday season behind us, Water Heater Repair San Francisco chose to have a little fun today and wished to share a brand-new infographic by Phil Luther with you. It is exactly 7 months to the 104th anniversary of John Crapper’s death (July 27), the person to whom the development of the flush toilet is typically related to. Really, in 1596 John Harrington invented the modern flush toilet, though Crapper did further the development of the toilet and held lots of vital plumbing patents that made toilets work much better and in a more hygienic means.

Your toilet might be working a little overtime this holiday period if you have had lots of visitors and family in from out of town. We suggest for everybody to be cautious of exactly what all gets flushed so you won’t need to call us for any toilet repairs. Attempt to keep a trash can in plain sight beside the toilet so visitors will utilize it and not flush items that you would not usually flush yourself … maybe keep a plunger in plain sight too, simply in case.

Delight in the list of associated terms for the word “toilet” below and delight in the remainder of the period!

Toilet Repair San Francisco

Phil Luther Plumbing Content Writer and Curator Phil is a prolific writer of content for plumbing related websites in the United States. Google Profile, Phil on Twitter, Phil on Home Energy Pros

How to Get Rid of Water Heater Odors

Posted by on Dec 10, 2013 in Water Heater Repair San Francisco | 0 comments

If you have foul-smelling water coming from your water heater follow Water Heater Repair San Francisco’s instructions below to get your water smelling and tasting much better.

The Causes of Water Heater Smells in Ones San Francisco Home

According to Soquel Creek Water District, “The smell is the result of four factors that must all be present for the odor to develop. These factors include:

  • A high concentration of sulfate in the raw water
  • Sulfate reducing bacteria, non-toxic to humans (sulfate is reduced to a sulfide state by the bacteria)
  • Little or no dissolved oxygen in the water
  • Hydrogen (a component of water which may be present due to water conditions reacting with the anode)”  Read more:

The most typical reason for hot water smell is microorganisms in the water system.
This is more prevalent in houses that make use of well water and cities that make use of wells as their water source.

Setting your water heater temperature level at 140 degrees or above should help reduce microorganisms development.

How you can eliminate stinky water.

The instructions are for cleaning your water heater with chlorine bleach (clorox).

Turn off the electric or gas supply to the tank.

Turn off the cold water supply to the tank.

Open the hot side of the kitchen faucet to permit air to enter the tank.

Attach a garden hose to the drain valve and drain water heater.

Close the drain valve.

Now you need a way to get the bleach into the tank.
If your water heater has a flexable line where cold water enters the tank, unscrew the line from the tank.
If not, get rid of the pressure relief valve. An aspect could be eliminated from an electric water heater.

Utilize a funnel to pour the bleach into the opening.
Use 5 ounces of bleach for each gallon of the tank capability.
Example – A 50 gallon water heater would need 250 ounces of bleach (about 2 gallons).

Reinstall the water line or relief line.

Refill the tank with water.

Close the hot side of the kitchen faucet as soon as all the air is out of the line.

Run all hot water fixtures (including the dishwasher and clothing washer) until you smell bleach.
The idea is to get rid of the microorganisms in the water lines likewise.

Let the water stand in the water heater tank and water lines undisturbed for 2 to 3 hours.

Drain your tank once more and refill it. Let it set undisturbed for 30 minutes and drain the one more time.

Refill the tank. Open all the hot water fixtures and let them run up until the smell of bleach is gone consisting of the dishwasher and clothing washer.

Gas Water Heaters
Relight the water heater pilot burner.

Electric Water Heaters
Turn the power back on.

If the drain valve congests up when your tring to drain the tank go to the flush hot water heater page to see exactly how to change the drain valve with a ball valve.

You could have to repeat this treatment more than as soon as however typically one time takes care of foul water or water heater odor.

Also, by changing ones anode rods, and even the type used can do the trick as the following video illustrates:

More Resources

Controlling Odors in Hot Water Heaters – City of Fellsmere

Solving rotten-egg odor in water heaters

Your Household Water Quality: Odors in Your Water

Phil Luther Plumbing Content Writer and Curator Phil is a prolific writer of content for plumbing related websites in the United States. Google Profile, Phil on Twitter, Phil on Home Energy Pros

How Thermocouples Work on Ones Water Heater

Posted by on Dec 9, 2013 in Water Heater Repair San Francisco | 0 comments

Okay, not to get too technical with you today, but we want to share some information on a water heater’s thermocouple.

The Family Handyman correctly concluded that “when thermocouples wear out, the pilot light goes out, the burner won’t light, and you don’t get any hot water.”

Conventional style
Likewise called universal water heater thermocouple. It screws into below the gas valve and a probe on the other end slides into a holding bracket near the pilot light. It appears like a piece of copper wire.

Universal thermocouples are available in lengths from 15 to 36 inches. An 18 or 24 inch will be sufficient for all residential water heaters utilizing universal kits. Practically all older waters heaters and numerous of the newer style systems with a sealed burner compartment and a seeing window will use this thermocouple.
If you wish to use an exact replacement length simply eliminate your old one and measure it.

TCO style

Thermal Cut Off design has a re-settable thermal turned off switch integral into the thermocouple. In the event of a flash fire or blow back from the burner the TOC will close down gas flow to the burner and pilot. In case of a closed down the TOC should reset itself after it cools down and enable you to relight the pilot. The TOC switch appears like a watch battery. You will just find the TOC on more recent style water heaters with seal burner compartments.

TOC non-resettable style

These thermocouples have a small TOC build inside television. They look just like a conventional one other than the diameter is bigger about midways of television. When these TOC’s switch off they will not reset and should be changed.

How Thermocouples Work

A pilot thermocouple sends a small electrical current to the gas valve when the probe is heated to a specific temperature. This electrical current tells the gas valve that the pilot is lit and its ok to send out gas to the burner if the thermostat requires it.  There are some great images to illustrate how this works here.

To test a water heater thermocouple push the pilot button down on the water heater gas control valve. Then light the pilot. If after holding the pilot button down 30 to 60 seconds the pilot light doesn’t stay on when you release the button, the thermocouple is most likely the reason on older systems. The TOC or air flow could be the issue on newer systems with a pilot light viewing window.

If the pilot does not light at all the trouble is gas flow, gas control valve, TOC tripped.

Usual Thermocouple Problems

The most common issue is the idea on the thermocouple probe wears away. It can quickly be changed.

Thermocouple Repair

If the probe looks white in color this is carbon build up. It can keep the probe from getting hot enough to send a signal to the gas valve. Try sanding it with emery cloth and relight the pilot. It needs to work for a while but keep a brand-new thermocouple helpful.

  • The thermocouple probe should be in the pilot light flame.
  • The thermocouple has to be screwed into the gas valve firmly.
  • Inspect the pilot thermocouple tube for kinks.

We hope this has actually been a good introduction to a water heater’s thermocouple for you!

Phil Luther Plumbing Content Writer and Curator Phil is a prolific writer of content for plumbing related websites in the United States. Google Profile, Phil on Twitter, Phil on Home Energy Pros

San Francisco Water Heater Safety Precautions

Posted by on Dec 4, 2013 in Plumbing Contractors San Francisco, Water Heater Repair San Francisco | 0 comments

Properly keeping ones water heater is important not simply so it works to its complete capacity and can conserve some energy money, but for security issues too. Yes, it can explode – it does not take place too often for property owners, however clearly this is something that we don’t wish to have occur to you!

Venting can be sort of technical however we will go over the basics right here. The vent must be the same diameter as the draft diverter of the water heater tank. It is supposed to increase and out (for atmospherically vented heaters). Not other directs like up, down, up and out. For direct-vent water heaters, the vent must go out a side wall. As for power-vent heaters, the fan blows the fumes out, so there is some flexibility in the direction they are vented.

Any roof or wall that the vent goes through must be a double wall. The single wall pass throughs should be screwed with 3 screws per section. If these essentials are not followed, the vents can fall apart with time and carbon monoxide gas can cause significant troubles within ones home. Obviously we do not desire that to happen!

The only other concern with venting is that of backdrafting. The fumes can consume the vents with acid condensation. If plenty of this gets on cold piping and the water heater it will not be a great scenario for a correctly working water heater. If the fumes return inside the rather of being effectively vented outside, the fumes can enter the living locations of the house. Soot problems can develop as well.

Dielectric Connectors
The steel water heater is linked to cooper pipes by the dielectric connectors. When 2 these 2 metals are put together in water electrolysis takes place. The procedure wears away one metal away to shield the other. This procedure is important in safeguarding the inside of the water heater. Evaluation for leaks must be done where the connections are made.

Temperature and Pressure Relief Valve
This is kinda of a crucial part of the water heater, for it helps ensure the darn thing does not explode under pressure if the temperature level surpasses the appropriate limits the water heater is designed for. Once a year (at least) the T&P valve ought to be inspected to ensure, it is working correctly, for they can be susceptible to failure. Just lifting up on the handle water ought to flow freely out and stop when the handle is let go of. If it simply runs or drips, or does nothing at all, it will need to be changed.

The drain lines for the T&P line ought to not be directed up, because water does not flow uphill too well. Ensure it goes down and or out please. If water is running out the drain line routinely, it is the indicator of something wrong too. It could be one of a number of different things that we will not enter into below – simply get in touch with a local plumber please.

Earthquake Straps
Yep, even if you don’t reside in an earthquake zone and are required to have these on ones water heater, it is a pretty good concept to do so. It looks like many all new houses in sub-divisions nowadays have the water heater in the garage. Yes, there is normally a concrete curb in front of it so one does not drive a car into it, however things can accidentally knock it over so be safe and strap that thank in.

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

Anode Rods
These usually are made from aluminum and there is absolutely nothing incorrect with that in theory, though we suggest using magnesium ones. Let’s state for whatever reason there is some sort of emergency or disaster where one lives and one needed to utilize the water in the water heater for drinking water (due to the fact that bunches of emergency readiness individuals encourage doing this). 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 compounds, which is not good for the body. It is bad for the stomach, intestines and joints.

The anodes help with rust protection and are vital in extending the life of the water heater. They can likewise assist with smell issues with the water. Overall, magnesium anodes simply work much better for lots of different reasons like the wellness advantages, let construct up of sediment, a quieter water heater, and they often work better with softened water.

Drain Valve
Ok, simply check it a minimum of once a year to ensure the darn thing opens and works. And it is good to drain and flush the tank at least once a year anyway (something you naturally are doing already). If for some reason one needs to make use of the water during a disaster or drain it to quite a loud tank and have actually not drained it routinely, and it does not open, it will take longer to fix the issue you are at first trying to deal with.

Combustion Changer Hatch
Considering that gas and oil water heaters breathe the air drawn in from underneath, combust with it and exhale it, it is very important to keep the location around it, specifically beneath the water heater, clean and swept. If if is not burning appropriately, it can trigger preparing issues (mentioned above), in addition to combustion and fume problems and possibly be a fire threat. Some of analyzing the chamber and exactly how the flame burns is objective so we are not going to go into a great deal of information below. it is important to see if the combustion chamber roof has a great deal of rust or water markings or is black in color. These are not a pretty good indicator at all. One need to see some blue flame at the bottom when it burns and orange and yellow at the top, nevertheless, the yellow must not be very high up. One must see grey metal, some white condensation marks are okay.

We have put together an infographic to highlight the information above:

Water Heater Repair San Francisco

Phil Luther Plumbing Content Writer and Curator Phil is a prolific writer of content for plumbing related websites in the United States. Google Profile, Phil on Twitter, Phil on Home Energy Pros