Water Heater Tips

Long wait time for hot water to reach the faucets:

Long runs of pipe between the water heater and the faucets can cause extended wait times as well as wasting large amounts of water waiting for hot water to arrive.

North Peachtree Plumbing can install a recirculation system on the water heater to allow instant hot water to all of your faucets saving time and money. (Click Here)

Sediment buildup:

The heating of water causes calcium carbonate to precipitate out and settle to the bottom of the water heater tank. The build-up of sediment slows the transfer of heat from the burner to the water causing the heater to use more energy to heat the water and increase the recovery time between uses. Steam bubbles form under the sediment when the burners come on causing popping and other noises.  Regular flushing helps prevent sediment build up. 

Not producing enough hot water:

Check for a broken dip tube, wrong setting on a thermostat, a defective thermostat, burned out heating elements (electric), or a heavy build up of sediment.  During the winter months the thermostat on the heater needs to be turned to a higher setting to compensate for the lower cold water supply line temperatures. This will provide the required amount of hot water to complete the daily showering and bathing needs. 

Dip tube:

The dip tube is a long slender tube that fits down into the water heaters  inlet. The dip tube directs the incoming cold liquid down to the bottom of the tank.  If the dip tube is broken, the incoming cold liquid can mix with the out going hot liquid and cause it to seem as though you are running out of hot water prematurely.

Noisy tank:

Noise coming from gas models can often be caused by the sediment build up in the bottom of the tank. Steam bubbles form under the sediment. The thumping and popping noises are created by the bubbles escaping from under the sediment. Regular flushing helps prevent sediment build up.  Sizzling noises can be caused by condensation dripping onto the hot burner and can be normal under times of extreme demand.

Thermal expansion:

When water is heated it expands. If the inlet is not blocked by a check valve, pressure reducing valve, or other device, the increase in volume simply travels back into the source. If the inlet is blocked, this increase in volume will cause an increase in pressure, sometimes to dangerous levels.  The T&P (Temperature-Pressure) valve relieves this pressure by discharging some heated water.  A thermal expansion tank must be installed in the supply line that will absorb the increase in volume, preventing the relief valve from discharging unnecessarily and wasting the heated water. T&P valves are strictly a safety device and should be replaced every two years to continue to provide your family the level of safety they were designed for.  At 150 Psi , the pressure that the T&P valve opens, damage can occur to your plumbing  system and you may have voided the warranty on your water heater. Higher pressures due to a faulty T&P valve can cause extensive property damage and personal injury.The proper installation of backflow prevention devices without a thermal expansion tank can lead to improper operation of the T&P Valve.

Water Hammer:

When liquid is traveling in the pipes it has kinetic energy (energy of motion).  When a valve shuts off suddenly a shock wave results.  Water hammer most often occurs when a valve shuts off suddenly.  Commercial arrestors are available to combat this problem.  They consist of a small air bladder within a cylinder plumbed to the piping system near the valve causing the problem.  Some hardware stores carry them.  North Peachtree Plumbing can properly size, provide and install these devices.Sometimes if the pipe is not properly supported then properly supporting the pipe solves the problem.

Milky color:

Water contains dissolved oxygen and other gases.  When it's heated it has less ability to hold these gases and when the pressure is lowered  as the liquid comes out of the tap these gasses can form tiny bubbles giving the liquid a milky appearance.  Letting it stand for a few minutes will allow these bubbles to rise out of the liquid and it resumes its clear appearance.