Water Heater Repair & Water Heater ReplacementBethesda, MD, Gaithersburg, MD, Sterling, VA, Rockville, MD, Potomac, MD, Chantilly, VA, Leesburg, VA
Hot water is one of life’s basic necessities. A hot water heater is usually taken for granted until it malfunctions. When replacing a faulty water heater, homeowners can now choose between conventional tank-style models and newer on-demand tankless units.
Conventional Water Heaters
Before installing a conventional gas or electric water heater, it is important to understand the key elements that affect convenience and energy costs.
- Capacity: Selecting a water heater with sufficient capacity is necessary to ensure every person in your home has an adequate supply of hot water for bathing and showering. Unit capacity is calculated by the “first hour rating,” which provides a measurement of the tank size and rate the elements can heat the water.
- Efficiency: Conventional water heaters are rated according to the Energy Factor (EF) standard, which can be used to compare the relative efficiency of different brands and models of water heaters. The Energy Factor is a complex formula that calculates the amount of thermal energy produced by the water heater relative to the fuel it consumes. A higher EF rating is indicative of a more efficient unit.
As of April 16, 2015, new requirements of the National Appliance Energy Conservation Act (NAECA) call for higher Water Heater Energy Factors (EF). As a result of these changes, all water heaters will get larger due to the greater amount of insulation now required between the tank and the outer jacket. These changes should help improve your home’s overall energy usage, but are not without their challenges and additional up-front costs.
Standard electric or natural draft gas water heaters over 50 gallons in size will see the most significant changes. Electric water heaters over 50 gallons will be required to have a heat pump or hybrid operation and will require installation in an open space of at least 750 sq. ft. Gas heaters over 50 gallons will need a power vent that uses PVC piping to vent flue gases out of the house, which means we will need to run new PVC flue pipes out a side wall of your house.
Tankless Water Heaters
Tankless water heaters provide the highest level of efficiency among all water heater configurations. Unlike traditional storage tank models that include a thermostat to continuously maintain a set temperature in a standing volume of water, tankless water heaters only consume energy when activated. When choosing a tankless water heater, proper unit sizing is extremely important. The professionals at Mannix Heating and Cooling will ensure your unit has sufficient capacity regardless of the immediate demand.
Water Heater Repair and Maintenance
In electric units, a complete lack of hot water is usually caused by a faulty high-temperature cutoff switch or a bad circuit breaker. Gas models may have a bad thermostat or defective thermocouple. Water heaters that are supplying lukewarm water may have a broken dip tube, which is located inside the tank itself.
If water is actually leaking from the tank, it is important to shut off the power and water supply to the unit and immediately schedule a service call. Mannix Heating & Cooling has the experience and expertise to accurately diagnose your water heater and make the required repairs. Our consultants can evaluate your family’s hot water usage and recommend a water heater model that will meet peak demand requirements with the lowest associated utility costs.
Since newer water heaters are more efficient and more expensive due to the higher EF, it’s more important than ever before to take proper care of your water heater, which will require yearly flushing and maintenance. Mannix Heating & Cooling can help you properly maintain your new water heater with regular water heater maintenance service, which is recommended once a year.
Your Water Heater Maintenance Visit Includes:
- Flush 5 gallons of water from the bottom of the water heater. We will attach a hose to the brass drain valve at the bottom of the heater and drain out about 5 gallons of water, which helps remove sediment from the bottom of the heater.
Exception: if the water heater is over 5 years old and the customer has no proof of prior flushing or if the water heater has a plastic drain valve. Plastic drain valves don’t re-seal and large deposits of sediment (from lack of flushing) will prevent the valve from closing, causing a constant leak.
- On a gas water heater, we will clean the gas burner. On an electric water heater, we will check each element for proper resistance (should be between 12 to 13 ohms).
- On a gas water heater, we will inspect the flue and perform a smoke test to ensure proper draft.
- We will check the water pressure, which should be +- 50 PSI.
- Check the discharge temperature of the water heater and adjust if necessary to 120 degrees.