Hot Water Heater Repair & Installation
Corona | Riverside | Norco | Eastvale
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Corona CA Water Heater Repair & Installation Services
Do you have water heater problems?
RT Olson Plumbing offers complete hot water heater repair and installation services, including:
- water heater flush
- repair service
- standard water heaters with a tank
- tankless water heaters
- water heater replacement
- remove and haul away old water heater
We work on, replace, and install new water heaters of all types including:
Of any size:
- 40 gallons
- 50 gallons
- 75 gallons
NOTE: So Cal Gas is currently providing rebates of $600 to $1,000 for certified Energy Star rated tankless water heaters. Check their rebates page for current availability.
*Instant Hot Water*
Would you like hot water instantly, on demand, at every faucet and shower the moment you turn on the faucet? We can make that happen for you. Contact us and ask about your instant hot water options.
Water Heater Info & DIY Tips Menu
7 Signs You Might Need A Water Heater Repair or Replacement
How can you tell if your water heater needs to be repaired or replaced?
Water heaters tend to develop problems with age, and finally either fail to heat the water or begin leaking.
A serious leak from an indoor tank-type heater can cause serious damage to wood floors, carpets, and furniture.
Here are 7 signs you may need a water heater replacement:
- Age of your water heater
- Rust and corrosion
- Rumblings and noises
- Drain valve is not draining anymore
- Water heater is leaking
- Noticeable drop in water temperature
- Pilot won’t light
1. Age of hot water heater
If you have a tank type water heater, it should last roughly eight to twelve years. Tankless water heaters last quite a lot longer, typically about twenty years.
If you bought a used home and don’t know how old the water heater is, check the manufacturer’s label.
Some manufacturers clearly state the date of manufacture somewhere near the Model Number.
Look for “MFG Date:” followed by a month and year. But many manufacturers code that date into the serial number, making it more challenging to find.
For example, a serial number such as “G16237109” contains the Date of Manufacture in the first three figures. G, being the seventh letter of the alphabet stands for the seventh month, or July.
Then, the first two numerical digits of the serial number are 16, which represents the year, 2016, so this water heater was made in July 2016.
But each manufacturer may have their own date coding, so here is a handy list for decoding the age of your water heater by manufacturer.
Whether a tank-style water heater lasts a full twelve years or fails in less than eight years depends on both luck and proper maintenance.
But even with proper maintenance, there is no certainty that you will get twelve years trouble-free.
If your tank-style water heater is approaching the 10-year point, or your tankless water heater is approaching twenty years, it will likely need replacing soon.
If your water heater is located indoors, or where a leak can damage your home, you should likely replace it after 10 years at the latest, or before, if there is also rust in your water, or noisy heating cycles (see 2 and 3 below).
2. Rust and corrosion
Visually check your tank for rust or corrosion. Specifically, look for rust or corrosion around the temperature and pressure relief valve, and the water inlet and outlet connections.
Rust from a water heater may also show up in your tap water. Finding rust or corrosion can be an indication that your tank is rusting and needs to be replaced. (A tank cannot be repaired once it has started to rust and corrode.) If the rust is here, the leak will follow!
If your water heater is located inside your home, leaking water, especially from a large tank-style water heater, can cause thousands of dollar’s worth of damage. Imagine water from a 70-gallon tank soaking your carpets or wood flooring. Yikes!
If the water heater is inside your house, consider replacing a 10-year old tank-style heater right away because the rust is telling you that the tank is about to have holes in it!
If your tank is located in a garage where water damage may be minimal, you have an option of waiting for the leak to happen before getting it replaced. But that’s not recommended.
3. Rumblings and noises
If you hear rumbling, thumping, or banging sounds coming from the water heater tank during its heating cycles, it’s a likely sign that the water heater is at the end of its useful life.
The noises develop because sediment builds up on the bottom of the tank in its years of use. Heated sedimentary layers make noises.
As the sediment gets repeatedly reheated, it hardens it until it becomes impossible to remove through simple flush-out maintenance.
If your home has hard water, you should flush out your water heater annually.
Hardened sediment also causes the heater to use more gas or electricity to heat the water as the unit becomes less and less efficient.
More time spent heating the water is equivalent to more wear on the metal tank.
The tank thus becomes brittle faster, and will eventually crack or begin developing tiny holes.
If your water heater is getting noisy as it heats water, look for any small leaks and consider replacing your water heater very soon!
4. Unable to drain water through the drain valve
The Heater Drain Valve is a valve near the bottom of the water heater that can be used to drain water out of the tank in order to flush out sediment or to drain the tank.
It resembles a spigot fixture to which a hose can be attached for draining or flushing out.
A regular maintenance of flushing out your water heater once a year can prevent the build-up of sediment mentioned in #3 above.
In addition to degrading the interior of the tank, sediment can also clog the drain valve.
You may be able to unclog the drain valve yourself. But if the sediment has hardened to a point where the tank can no longer be drained, or if leaks have developed, it’s probably time to replace your water heater.
If you think you can get by just replacing a clogged drain valve, here is a how-to video from Rheem.
5. Your hot water tank is leaking
A leak from your hot water tank is usually an internal problem and is not really repairable.
But before calling for a replacement of your water heater, there are steps you can take to find other possible sources of the leak. So, first look for any fittings or valves that just need to be tightened or replaced.
- Check the water pipe connections at the top of your water heater. They may just need tightening or replacement of corroded parts.
- Check the overflow pipe attached to the temperature relief valve on the water heater. This is a safety valve to relieve excess temperature and pressure inside the water heater. This pipe is designed to occasionally blows off a little steam, and this is not a problem with your water heater. But, if it leaks frequently or continuously, get it checked by a professional.
- Examine the drain valve at the bottom of your water heater tank (#4 above) see to see if it is leaking. It can be tightened or replaced.
If the leak is coming from the tank itself, simple repairs won’t do. Turn off the water and power to your water heater. It’s time to install a new unit.
6. Your water is only lukewarm or even cold
If you find your water no longer gets as hot as it did, something is wrong. It may be a problem with the heating element or with the electric thermostat. These parts can fail or malfunction.
Water can also get cooled within the tank by a broken dip tube, which descends from the cold water supply at the top of the water heater down into the heater tank.
7. A gas water heater pilot won’t light
The most common reason for a pilot not to light, or not to stay lit, is a bad thermocouple., Usually, a simple repair will fix the problem. You may be able to replace a bad thermocouple yourself. Click here to watch a video on how.
Other issues with gas pilot lights are helpfully discussed here.
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Hot Water Heater Safety
Watch a water heater explode!
Don’t let your water heater become a bomb!
Home fires and explosions from faulty water heaters can be prevented with regular maintenance and inspections.
RT Olson Plumbing recommends annual water heater inspections and tune-ups.
We’ll have a professional and experienced plumber inspect your water heater to make sure all of it’s safety mechanisms are working properly. For gas water heaters, we’ll also inspect your connections to prevent gas leaks.
Water heater repairs and replacements are best left to professionals. Installing or repairing a water heater yourself may save you a few dollars, but improper installation can cause a number of far more costly problems.
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Hot Water Heater Repair or Replacement?
Repairing Your Hot Water Heater
If you determine that your water heater can be repaired, and you feel handy enough with plumbing work, you may be able to do some work yourself.
If you feel better hiring an experienced, professional plumber, ask your plumber the following questions:
- What is the estimated cost of the necessary repair?
- What is the life expectancy of the water heater after the repairs are completed?
- What would be the cost of a new water heater (including labor)?
With these answered, you have the information you need to decide if it is worth your time and money to repair the unit.
Replacing Your Hot Water Heater
If you’ve determined that you need to replace your water heater, ask yourself the following:
- Did the tank size of your old water heater meet your current household needs? If not, you may want to purchase a larger tank.
- Would it make good economic sense for you to switch from a tank-style heater to a tankless water heater? Consider the Pros and Cons of tankless water heaters discussed below.
- Will you hire a plumber or install the water heater yourself? For safety, we recommend getting a professional, experienced plumber to properly perform any water heater installation. But you can research installations on-line for how-to videos, and see if you feel comfortable with your skills, knowledge, and tools.
Water Heater Installation Costs & Sizing
There are many variables affecting the total cost for water heater installations:
- The prices of the units themselves vary for propane, gas, or electric water heaters.
- Tankless water heaters generally cost more initially than tank-style hot water heaters.
- The required size or heating capacity is a factor whether for tank-style or tankless water heaters.
For example, tank-style water heaters come in various capacities, the larger costing more. As a rule of thumb, tank size requirements are as follows:
- 40 gal for 1 bath house
- 50 gal for 2 bath house
- 75 gal for 3-4 bath house
- The location of the installation affects costs.
- Varied modifications to the plumbing system and pipe runs are a factor in overall cost (copper is very expensive).
For information about how to size a tankless water heater for your household, check out our blog post on that topic.
If it’s time for your old hot water heater to be replaced, or you want a new installation for new construction, please contact us at (951) 344-5596. We will answer your questions and help you choose the most appropriate new water heater for your needs.