High-Efficiency Water Heaters Save Energy and Money
In recent years, energy standards for water heaters have become more stringent. That’s good news for consumers who want to save money on utility bills.
Vancouver and Camas WA homeowners who buy a high-efficiency water heater may be eligible for a tax rebate.
Newer water heaters are much more efficient than older ones. Even if your current appliance is working well, you can potentially save energy by replacing it with a high-efficiency unit. Traditional tank water heaters have a lifespan of about 8 to 12 years. Tankless water heaters can last as long as 20 years.
Choose the Right Water Heater for your Southwest Washington Home
Choose a water heater based on your hot water usage, preference of power source, and budget. Simpson Plumbing can help you find the best unit for your needs. We install tank (both conventional and hybrid models) and tankless water heaters.
Contact us, and we’ll recommend a unit that makes sense for you.
Here are the main types of heaters:
Conventional: Newer-model tank water heaters have better insulation than older ones. They retain heat longer and use less energy. These familiar appliances come in various sizes.
Hybrid: These tank water heaters use heat-pump technology. They’re more energy efficient than conventional models.
Tankless: Energy-efficient and compact, tankless water heaters produce hot water on demand. Some models come with a small auxiliary tank to ensure the fast delivery of hot water.
Signs Your Water Heater Is Failing
- Discolored water: Brown hot water indicates the tank may be rusting. If you suspect a problem with rust, call Simpson Plumbing before the heater develops a leak. We’ll check the tank and suggest a remedy.
- Rumbling noises: Sediment in a water heater tank causes the unit to rumble and may eventually damage the heating element or tank lining. A buildup of sediment is caused when naturally occurring minerals in the water solidify and settle.
- Puddle near the heater: Check around the heater to determine if the unit is leaking or if the water is coming from elsewhere. A cracked tank generally isn’t worth repairing. Call a plumber to recommend a new water heater or to repair the leak if it’s coming from another source.
The above signs could indicate an appliance that has run its course. For other types of problems, use our troubleshooting guide to diagnose water heater problems. Some of the items in our guide are best left to a plumber, electrician or your gas company.
Troubleshoot Your Electric Water Heater
A number of problems can plague conventional water heaters and force the household into a standstill until repaired. Use this guide to help figure out what’s going wrong with your unit. If your electric water heater has:
An inadequate amount of hot water
- Turn the thermostat up a degree. Use caution and make only gradual increases in temperature. Hot water scalds.
- Confirm the water heater is large enough for your needs. If not, get a bigger one.
- Turn off the power at the circuit breaker or fuse box and check for loose wiring and bad connections.
- Check the elements.
- Check the fill tube and dip.
Hot water at first, but it quickly runs out
- Check for a buildup of sediment.
- Turn off the power at the circuit or fuse box and check the wire connections.
- Check the elements, thermostats, and beginning temperature. If the temperature reading is incorrect, then your heater will malfunction.
No hot water
- Check the circuit breaker or fuse box.
- Check the water heater power.
- Find the reset button and push it.
- Confirm that the upper element and thermostat are working.
Water that’s too hot
- Turn down the thermostat.
- Inspect the thermostat function and look for grounded elements.
- Check that the thermostat fits tightly to the water heater.
Troubleshooting Gas Water Heater
Both electric and gas water heaters can present similar symptoms when something is going wrong. However, depending on the problem, there are different ways to remedy the situation. When your gas water heater has:
An inadequate amount of hot water
- Turn the thermostat up a degree. Be careful not to increase the heat too much. Hot water will scald.
- Get a bigger or more powerful water heater. If you often run out of hot water, you may need a new and larger unit.
- Clean the burner orifice if it’s clogged.
- Check the gas pressure. Call the gas company to help you with a gas pressure problem.
No hot water
- Check to see if the pilot light is on. If the pilot is out, you or a professional will need to relight it.
- Read the gas meter and check the gas cutoff valve. If the gas isn’t on, contact your gas company.
A pilot light that keeps going out
- Check that the thermocouple probe tip is inside the pilot flame. Also, make sure the thermocouple is wound tightly at the control valve. Check for twists. If everything seems in working order, but the light won’t stay on, you may need to replace the thermocouple.
- Check the gas control valve. There’s no repairing a gas control valve. If it malfunctions, it has to be replaced.
- Check the main burner. You might need to clean or unclog it.
- Check the weather. Pilot lights can go out when wind gusts create downdrafts from the flue.
A pilot light that won’t ignite even though the gas is on
- The pilot orifice may be clogged. Clean it.
- The pilot supply line could be blocked or bent. It may need to be replaced.
- The gas line might contain air. Remove air from the line by holding down the pilot button. Try re-igniting the pilot light. The first attempt at relighting might fail. Try at least twice.
Vancouver & Camas Area Plumber for Water Heater Repair
Simpson Plumbing provides water heater service for Vancouver, WA. We repair and install conventional, hybrid and tankless water heaters. Call us today for more information: (360) 834-5311.