Water Heater Repair FAQ: Should I Flush My Tank?

Wednesday, March 4th, 2015

You may have heard before that you’re supposed to flush your water heater tank every year or so. This is partially true. Your water heater does need regular flushing, although how often the tank is drained depends on a couple of factors. However, this is not a job for average homeowners to take on by themselves. Flushing a tank is a job for professionals only if you want to make sure that everything goes as smoothly as possible.

Talk to the people at Cool Air Mechanical for information about water heaters in Marietta. We can recommend professional services for prevention or to resolve any potential issues.

Many technicians advise that you service your water heater every year. This includes draining the tank to eliminate any sediment buildup. Sediment builds up in the tank as a result of minerals commonly found in the water supply. Over time, these minerals can increase the pressure in the tank to dangerous levels or they may block the pipes. Flushing the tank from time to time gets rid of these minerals and helps keep your tank in good working condition.

However, if you attempt to handle this service on your own, there are a couple of ways it can go wrong. Electrical trouble is perhaps the most jarring of possibilities. You’ll need to make sure that the power is off to the water heater unit before servicing it and that the water is shut off while draining the tank.

There are a few other things that may go wrong with a D-I-Y tank flushing. Flooding is always a possibility. And if you don’t open and shut all of the right valves, you may create a vacuum in the pipes that leads to noisy operation the next time you turn on the hot water. Besides, when you call professionals for the job, you’ll get comprehensive maintenance service for many of the different parts of your unit as well.

Call Cool Air Mechanical today to ask a professional to flush your water heater tank in Marietta. Our technicians will also go over all of the most important components of your system to keep everything running in top shape and can recommend services to improve the quality of your water heater.

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Why Is the Water from My Water Heater Not Warm Enough?

Monday, April 7th, 2014

You depend on your hot water heater in Atlanta, GA every day: for cooking, washing, and cleaning. If something goes wrong with your heater and you find that the water flowing from the tap is only lukewarm, you’ll need to contact professionals to inspect the unit, discover the problem, and find how to fix it.

Cool Air Mechanical has skilled technicians who can solve your water heater malfunctions fast and right the first time. They’re standing by 24/7, so don’t hesitate to call whenever you start losing your hot water.

Reasons for a loss of heat in your hot water supply

  • Thermostat malfunction: Your water heater has its own thermostat to maintain the temperature inside the tank. If the thermostat develops a flaw, it can permit the temperature in the water to begin to drop. (Conversely, a malfunctioning thermostat can cause the hot water heater to overheat, which is also a serious situation.)
  • Broken dip tube: The dip tube brings in cold, fresh water from the water supply and carries it down through the tank of the water heater to the heat source at the bottom. When the water heats up, it rises toward the top of the tank. If the dip tube breaks, cold water will gather at the top of the tank and mix with the hot water, lowering the temperature of the water the pump draws from the tank and then sends to your faucets. A repair technician will need to replace a broken dip tube.
  • Burnt-out heating element: This applies to electric water heaters, which use two heating elements inside the tank to warm up the water. If one of these heating elements fails, it will halve the water’s temperature. This is an easy fix for technicians: they will drain the tank and replace the broken heating element.
  • Gas flow failure: This applies to natural gas-powered heaters, the most common type. If the burner below the tank fails to light because of insufficient gas flow, or if only a few gas jets on the burner ignite, it will adversely affect the water temperature. It’s vital that you never attempt to fix gas line trouble on your own; let professionals safely handle this issue.

Rely on a trusted name in repairs

Please don’t “tolerate” lukewarm water coming from your faucets and showerheads, hoping that the problem will go away. It most likely won’t. Get on the phone instead and call Cool Air Mechanical for skilled repair technicians. We can repair your water heater in Atlanta, GA.

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Gas vs. Electric: Different Water Heater Models

Friday, March 7th, 2014

A water heater is an essential part of your daily routine, from showering to cooking to cleaning. Since no water heater can last forever, you’ll eventually need to have a replacement model installed in your home. Or perhaps you have a new home and need to install its first water heater. You have a number of different models from which to pick, but the first choice you’ll encounter is whether you should install a gas or electric heater.

There is no single answer to the question, “Which is better, gas power or electric power?” Each has advantages and disadvantages, and your home’s individual needs and your budget will affect the decision. If you want advice as well as excellent installation for a water heater in Atlanta, GA, contact Cool Air Mechanical and schedule an appointment with our water heater specialists.

Natural gas water heaters: pros and cons

Water heaters that use the power of the natural gas piped into your house work similar to boilers. A burner beneath the water tank ignites to heat the water. Natural gas is a less expensive fuel than electricity, so gas heaters can save you up to 30% in operating costs over electric. They also heat the water faster, sometimes more than twice as fast as an electric heater.

However, you must have a gas line into your home in order to use a gas water heater. A gas heater must have proper ventilation through a flue, and if your basement or utility room does not already use a gas appliance, adding in ventilation will increase installation expense.

Electric water heaters: the pros and the cons

Electric water heaters generally cost less to purchase and install than gas heaters, although they will cost more to operate. They also take up less space and have longer lifetime expectancies, and they pose no risk from carbon monoxide leaks. If you don’t have a gas line, electric-power is really your only option.

But electrical power is much less efficient, so it will cost you more to run an electric water heater and it takes much longer for one to heat up sufficient water.

Which one is right for you?

The answer to this question depends on your energy source and your long-term savings plans. On the surface, gas power seems like the better option because of its efficient performance. But fast heating and an economical fuel source aren’t the only factors for making this decision, and sometimes an electric model may end up at the top of your list.

Call Cool Air Mechanical and let our specialists help you decide on your Atlanta, GA water heater. We’ll assist you with making the choice, and we’ll handle the installation.

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3 Common Water Heater Repairs

Friday, February 7th, 2014

Similar to boilers, hot water heaters can function for many years without needing major repair work. As long as you schedule regular maintenance on your water heater (we recommend an annual visit from a technician), you should get many years of trouble-free performance from it.

But there is no way to prevent every potential problem that can cause a water heater to start losing its effectiveness. At some point, you may have to call for water heater repair in Atlanta, GA, and when that time comes, make sure that your phone call goes to Cool Air Mechanical. You don’t have to worry about when your water heater breaks down, because we have 24-hour emergency service to help you get your precious hot water supply back.

Water heater repairs we often perform

  1. Replacing the anode rod – Attached to the top of you water heater’s tank and running down into it is a metal rod known as the anode rod or the “sacrificial rod.” The purpose of this component is to draw away the oxidation that will cause corrosion and rust inside the water tank. The anode rod corrodes first, before the corrosion reaches the tank, essentially sacrificing itself for the tank. Since the anode rod will eventually rust all the way through, it needs regular replacement. If rust begins to appear on the tank, repair technicians will replace the anode rod along with removing the rust.
  2. Leak sealing – With any hydronic system—one that uses water circulation—leaks pose the major threat. Leaks in water heaters usually occur because of a spike in the water pressure. Leaks will spread rapidly if the pressure isn’t relieved, springing up at connectors and eventually along the tank itself. Repair technicians must both seal the leaks and locate the cause of the high pressure within the tank.
  3. Replacing broken heating elements – For electric water heaters, this is the most common reason for the loss of hot water. Two electrical heating elements within the tank are responsible for raising the water temperature. If one of these malfunctions and stops working, it will cause a drop in the level of hot water throughout the house. A specialist must replace the broken element.

Don’t jeopardize your hot water supply

Take a moment to think about how often you use hot water during the course of a day. It’s more important to you than your probably realize. Don’t let a cold water surprise make your life difficult: schedule routine maintenance for your hot water heater. When you notice anything amiss, such as rusty water or a drop in water temperature, call for repairs right away.

Cool Air Mechanical is ready to help with the water heater repair in Atlanta, GA that you need—any time of the day or night.

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Weighing Your Water Heater Options in Atlanta

Monday, December 3rd, 2012

When it comes to the appliances in your home in Atlanta, there might not be one that you rely on more than your water heater. You use your water heater probably every day to shower, wash dishes and do your laundry. With such a huge roll in your home, it might make sense to consider the options available to you when you start to think about replacing it. At Cool Air Mechanical, we’ve been working with our customers throughout the Atlanta area to help them choose the right water heating system for their home. We decided that it would be helpful if we put together some of the available options to our customers.

Gas vs. Electric Water Heaters

When it comes to the fuel type that you use to heat your water, there are many options. We decided to focus on two of the most popular: gas and electricity. Here are some of the pros and cons with each one.

  • Electric water heaters – Electric water heaters are a great idea if you don’t already have a gas line running into your house. Since your home already has electricity, this type of water heater is usually easy to install.
  • Gas water heaters – Many homes in the Atlanta area have a gas line running into their home for one or more of their appliances. If you have an electric water heater and already have a gas line, it might make a lot of sense to switch to natural gas. In many cases, gas is less expensive than electricity. However, unlike an electric water heater, a gas water heater will need an exhaust flue to let out the combustion fumes.

Tank vs. Tankless Water Heaters

This has become a popular debate for some homeowners in the Atlanta area. Here is a comparison between tank and tankless water heaters.

  • Tankless water heaters are wall mounted units that only heat water when it is needed. It uses an intense amount of heat to heat the water as it passes through it. In this way, it uses less energy because it doesn’t have to constantly heat a large tank of water even when the hot water is not in demand. However, installation costs tend to be more with tankless models. Additionally, if you have a large household, multiple water heaters may be required to keep up with the high demand.
  • Tank water heaters, on the other hand, can be sized to your home and provide sufficient hot water. However, they normally require more energy to run over time because they have to always heat the water that is in the tank.

If you have any questions about the water heater in your home or if you’re interested in replacing it, call the experts at Cool Air Mechanical. Our technicians are highly knowledgeable and can help you determine which system is right for your home in Atlanta. Call us today!

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Decatur Water Heater Guide: Why Replace Your Water Heater?

Monday, November 12th, 2012

Can you name a component in your home in Decatur that you use every day? Your water heater is probably one of those appliances. You use it to shower, shave, laundry, wash dishes and more. With so many important jobs, replacing your water heater is a huge decision. But how do you know it’s time to replace your water heater. We’ve assembled a small collection of reasons why you might need to replace your water heater.

Rust Colored Water

Rust colored hot water is normally a very bad sign for your water heater. It typically means that the inside of your water heater has started to rust. This problem cannot be repaired and you will most likely need to replace the whole water heater. While rust in your water could be caused by corrosion in your pipes, if you notice rust-colored hot water only there’s a good chance it’s from your water heater.

Leaking Water

If you start to notice water collecting underneath your water heater, you may want to start considering replacing your water heater. This can sometimes mean that the inside of your water heater has rusted through and is now starting to leak. Make sure you call a professional to inspect your water heater. This could also be from a small hole in a pipe near your water.

Improved Efficiency

If you have an older water heater, there’s a good chance that it’s using a lot of energy to heat your water. Newer water heaters typically have a greater efficiency rating than older models. Water heaters are given an efficiency rating called an annual fuel utilization efficiency rating. This rating indicates how much of the fuel consumed is actually converted into heat. Most older water heaters have an AFUE of around 60% which means that they waste 40% of the fuel they use. Many newer models have an AFUE rating of 92% and above.

If you have any questions about the water heater in your Decatur home, call the experts at Cool Air Mechanical. We have years of experience working with all types and brands of water heaters. We can help you pick out a new water heater that fits your needs and install it for you. Call us today!

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Free Estimates!

Friday, June 15th, 2012

Free Estimate | Atlanta | Cool Air Mechanical Heating Cooling and PlumbingAre you interested in a new air conditioning system, air filtration system, water heater, or heating system? Would you like to discuss your options with an educated professional? Visit Cool Air Mechanical today and sign up for a free in-home estimate. Our expert staff will walk you through the best solutions for all of your home comfort needs. We provide top quality HVAC service to the Greater Atlanta area. Our goal is to help all of the area resident enjoy a comfortable, healthy, and efficient environment in their home.

Our customers say that we provide reliable, outstanding service, with excellent customer relations. Our technicians are highly educated and have years of experience in the industry. So if you are thinking about remodeling or upgrading your HVAC system call Cool Air Mechanical today!

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Centerville Gwin Water Heater Guide: What You Need to Know About Point of Use Water Heaters

Friday, February 17th, 2012

For years, most people in Centerville Gwin have used the same system to heat their water. A single tank that heats and stores water at a set temperature for whenever it is needed. That system, as well as it works, is not very efficient, and with costs for gas and oil rising so much in recent years, many people are looking for better ways to heat their water.

That’s where point of use water heating comes in. These tankless water heaters are designed to heat your water when you need it heated instead of filling a tank of 50 or 60 gallons and heating it continuously even when you don’t.

How Point of Use Water Heaters Work

A point of use water heater works by directly heating the water supply to a single fixture. So, you would install a point of use water heater on your kitchen sink and only one water supply pipe would go to that heater. When you turn on the hot water faucet, the point of use heater would turn on (using electricity) and heat your water to 170 degrees F.

These devices only work on a single fixture at a time but they are much less expensive to purchase than a whole house tankless hot water system. Additionally, you can control where hot water is available.

The Advantages of Point of Use Hot Water

A tank hot water system can cost hundreds of dollars of year extra to run, especially if your family doesn’t use much hot water. Imagine what happens if you have four children that go off to college. Your “just big enough” tank suddenly becomes way too big and your bill stays unnecessarily high.

Point of use heaters allow you to decide where hot water is available and have instantly available hot water as you need it. The cost of the units and installation is affordable for most Centerville Gwin homeowners and you don’t have to commit to a whole house system if you are not ready.

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What Size Water Heater Do I Need for My Winston Home?

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

When installing a new water heater in your Winston home, it is important to get one that is the appropriate size. Of course, one that is too small will not handle the capacity you need, so you will be stuck with water that is not quite hot enough.

You may think to just buy one that you are sure can more than handle the capacity you need, but there are drawbacks to this strategy. A water heater that is “too big” will also draw more power, resulting in waste and unnecessarily high bills. Plus, it will cost more up front than you really need to spend.

The trick is to get a water heater that is the correct size for your needs. For a conventional water heater with a tank, the metric you will need to refer to is the unit’s first hour rating, or FHR. To determine the necessary FHR, you first need to determine during which hour of the day your home uses the most water. Typically, this is either first thing in the morning or later in the evening, when most people are bathing. Once you know this, determine what the water usage is during that hour based on average usage for each task. For example, let’s say a typical morning in your home consists of:

  • 3 showers (average of 12 gallons each)
  • 1 food preparation (5 gallons)
  • 1 hand dishwashing (4 gallons)

That’s about 45 gallons of hot water needed during that hour, so you need a unit with an FHR somewhere in that ballpark. The U.S. Department of Energy has a good worksheet to use for these measurements, which includes average usage rates for common household hot water tasks.

If you are looking at getting a tankless water heater system, the process is a little more complicated. The important figure to know in that situation is the maximum temperature increase possible for a particular flow rate. That means adding up the flow rates for all the various appliances you may use at once, then figuring out how much you need to increase the temperature.

If you find any of this confusing, consider a professional consultation during the selection process. That will ensure you get the water heater that is right for you.

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