How to Prevent Common Water Heater Problems

Hot water heaters don’t require a lot in terms of maintenance, but when they don’t work properly, it can cause huge inconveniences at home; like trying to wash dishes in cold water or not having enough hot water to take a shower!

Below, we’ve outlined some of the most common water heater problems we get calls about, and then go over solutions and ways that you can help prevent them! Solutions range from a little TLC from you to calling in a professional for water heater repair or replacement.

Water Doesn’t Get Hot Enough

If you find that your water isn’t getting as hot as it used to or as hot as you need it to, there’s likely an issue with your water heater. Before you hire a professional, make sure that the temperature control switch is where it’s supposed to be. 120 degrees is the recommended setting, but it’s possible you have it higher or it got turned down. Sometimes just an accidental bump to the unit can throw settings off and make your water colder. If the temperature setting looks good, it’s perhaps time to call an expert.

No Hot Water

If you find yourself running out of hot water faster than you used to, your hot water heater is likely the culprit. It could be that you’ve increased the size of your household, or the fact that everyone’s been spending more time at home, but you need more hot water than what you’re getting. If that’s the case, it might be time for a water heater replacement, or perhaps you just need water heater repair. Either way, we suggest calling in a professional plumber!

Leaky Water Heater

If you’ve discovered puddles of water or dried water marks around your hot water heater, call a plumber right away. Even a small leak in your water heater can quickly become a big problem.

How to Maintain Your Water Heater

Regular water heater maintenance every few months will do wonders for your appliance. It will make sure your hot water heater is running as efficiently as possible, help you stay ahead of repairs, and you’ll ultimately go longer without having to replace it! Below are some simple, routine maintenance items you can do to make sure your water heater stays in top-top shape:

  • Maintain clearance: Most water heaters need about 2 feet of clearance on all sides (unless otherwise indicated in your owner’s manual) so make sure you don’t have boxes or clutter around your unit.
  • Check the temperature settings: As noted above, 120 degrees is the recommended setting, but you’ll save about 5% in heating costs for every 10 degrees that you turn it down. Just make sure you have the setting where you want and/or need it to be!
  • Test the temperature release valve: Discharge the valve 3 to 5 times, then keep an eye out for leaks in and around it. If you notice it leaking, call a plumber!
  • Drain your water heater: You only need to drain about ¼ to ⅓ of the tank a few times a year to remove any built up sediment or other debris. Read our How to Drain Your Water Heater post for a full walkthrough on how you can do this yourself!

Water Heater Help in Santa Cruz!

If you’re worried about your water heater and have experienced any of the common water heater issues we went over, reach out to us at Rosenthal Plumbing! We’d be more than happy to inspect your water heater in Santa Cruz or the surrounding area and can even provide that routine maintenance we talked about if you’re unsure about tackling it yourself. Give us a call today!

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How to Unclog a Drain without Drano

When your drains get clogged up, the first thing most people do is reach for some Drano. While it usually is a trusty source for fixing the problem, sometimes things are so bad that it doesn’t. There are a few other methods to unclog drains that you can try before you have to call a plumber for drain cleaning. Give these a shot to see if they remediate the issue at your property.

Plunge The Drain

Try grabbing a plunger if Drano won’t go down the drain. It doesn’t even need to be for a toilet! This method can work on any kind of clog, as long as it is sealed tightly around the drain.

Household Remedies

If there is even a slow amount of drainage happening, that is a good sign that you may be able to fix the issue. Wait until everything has gone down the drain, and then mix together equal parts baking soda and vinegar and let it sit in the drain. If the problem is very stubborn, you can use ½-1 cup of baking soda and 1 cup of vinegar, plus a bit of water. After letting it sit there for 30-60 minutes, things should be flowing again.

Plumbing Snakes

A plumbing snake is a tool that looks like a long cable with a claw or hook on the end. You can get one at your local hardware store, and use it to thread down into the drain and break up or pull out the blockage.

Professional Drain Cleaning

If you’re not comfortable trying out these methods, or if they are not working, you need to call in a professional plumber for drain cleaning. The team at Rosenthal Plumbing is able to solve all your worries and concerns regarding clogged drains. Our experts are available now, so give us a call!

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The Benefits of Hydro Jetting

Have you heard about hydro jetting but you’re not sure it’s the right option for you? Or maybe you need to have it done and you’d like to know more about it before the plumber arrives.

No matter your reasons for looking into hydro jetting, we can help you get it done at Rosenthal. Here’s what you need to know before you sign up for this service.

What is Hydro Jetting?

Hydro jetting is the process of shooting a highly-concentrated stream of water into your pipes. This stream can clean off the sides of your pipes and even break up and break through significant clogs.

We use this process whenever we can because there are so many benefits of hydro jetting.

Why Should I Choose Hydro Jetting?

Not sure if hydro jetting is right for you? Here are just a few of the hydro jetting pros we discuss with clients daily.

  • It’s effective. Hydro jetting is one of the best ways to clean out your pipes and get them looking as good as new.
  • It’s good for the environment. While hydro jetting does use a lot of water, it doesn’t inject chemicals into the sewer system. One of the hydro jetting pros we talk about a lot is that it is safe for use near ponds, rivers, lakes, and more.
  • It costs less. When compared to traditional pipe and sewer cleaning methods, hydro jetting will save you money. Because it is so effective, it might also save you from future sewer problems, too.
  • It’s versatile. Hydro jetting can handle all sorts of sewer cleanout jobs, from commercial to residential and more. It can take care of stubborn indoor clogs and massive industrial clogs, and can even remove tree roots from city sewer lines.
  • It’s cleaner. Hydro jetting minimizes direct contact with sewage and sewer lines. While we will always take the time necessary to be sanitary, this process is much easier and quicker with hydro jetting than with other cleanout methods.

If these benefits of hydro jetting have you convinced, call us at Rosenthal today. Schedule hydro jetting in Santa Cruz and get your sewer clean ASAP!

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Should I Choose Hydro-Jetting or Drain Cleaning?

When it comes to cleaning out your pipes or your sewer lines, you will often have several options to choose from. Two of the most common are hydro-jetting and drain cleaning. Here’s what you need to know to choose the best service for your home.

Drain Cleaning Services

Traditional drain cleaning means sending a flexible cable or tube down your line. This is equipped with a point, for breaking up the clog, or a hook, for pulling it out.

Drain Cleaning Pros

Traditional drain cleaning is called “traditional” for a reason. It’s been tried and proven effective many times, in many different situations.

This type of drain cleaning is very gentle and can be used in almost any pipes, no matter their condition.

Drain Cleaning Cons

When you clean your drains this way, you may only clear a path through them that is as wide as the cable. This can work well for indoor drains but it won’t be as effective for larger sewer drains.

It’s also possible to get the cable stuck in your drain, which necessitates a much more involved repair process.

Finally, traditional drain cleaning methods may not be able to get rid of extremely difficult clogs, like tree roots.

Hydro-Jetting Services

Hydro-jetting is the process of shooting a highly concentrated stream of water down the affected pipes. Experienced plumbers control the concentration and direction of the jet.

Hydro-jetting Pros

Hydro-jetting can remove almost any drain clog, up to and including some tree roots.

It also cleans out your entire pipe, not just a hole in the middle. Your pipes will literally look brand new after they are jetted.

Hydro-jetting can be used on any kind of pipes, be they commercial, residential, indoor, outdoor, etc.

Hydro-jetting Cons

Hydro-jetting can damage some pipes. If your plumbers don’t examine the pipes with a camera before they jet them, the pressure of the water can cause fragile pipes to break or expand existing cracks or holes. With proper prior exploration, though, hydro-jetting is extremely safe for you and your home.

Santa Cruz Drain Clearing Pros

If you have stubborn clogs and you’d like to have your lines assessed for cleaning, call our team of experts at Rosenthal Plumbing today! We’ll get to you quickly, send a camera down your lines, and let you know if hydro-jetting is a good option for you.

We’ll talk you through the pros and cons of any drain cleaning method we think would work for your home. You make the final decision. Once you let us know, we’ll clean your pipes ASAP.

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Should I Get a Tank or Tankless Water Heater?

Are you in the market for a new water heater? If so, you’ll want to choose between conventional water heaters and the newer, tankless versions.

Conventional water heaters hold your hot water in a large, cylindrical tank and use energy to keep that water warm until you need it. Tankless water heaters heat the water as you need it.

Conventional Water Heaters: The Pros and Cons

Conventional water heaters are less expensive to purchase and install and they are simpler, which makes water heater repair easier and cheaper.

However, these water heaters are more expensive to use. You’ll waste a lot of energy (and a lot of money paying for that energy!) just keeping your hot water hot in between the times when you’re using it.

Conventional water heaters can also only hold so much water. If you regularly need more than about three showers worth of hot water, this may not be the best option for you.

Finally, conventional water heaters usually only last 10-15 years. The lifespan may be shorter in areas with hard water.

Tankless Water Heaters: The Pros and Cons

A tankless hot water heater saves you up to 25% on your energy costs each month. Since it will also last for 20-30 years, it could easily pay for itself over its lifespan.

A tankless water heater can also get you as much hot water as you need. Because it heats water on demand, it can simply keep heating until your hot water needs are met.

The tankless hot water heater takes up much less space in your home because it doesn’t have a massive tank to store water.

However, a tankless water heater costs significantly more than a conventional one. It may not be able to heat water fast enough to keep up with your needs at peak usage times, and tankless water heater installation may require paying to move and restructure existing piping.

Call Rosenthal for Your New Water Heater Today

Our plumbing experts can help you choose the best new water heater for your situation. We’ll install it, too, so you can be 100% sure that you’ll have the hot water you need again soon!

Call Now for Water Heater Help!