Recently Kevin Shaw Plumbing, Inc. was called to check out a water heater that was leaking in a 2 story condominium.
When we got there, we found that the heater had indeed been leaking and had caused damage to the floors, walls upstairs and the ceiling of the kitchen below.
Unfortunately the heater had been slowly leaking for a period of time and mold had developed.
By the time all was said and done, our replacing the water heater was the clients least costly concern. After contacting her insurance company, they sent out a mold specialist to check it out. 4 Months later and over $50,000 later of insurance claims, she moved back in.
So Kevin, how long does a water heater last?
On average in Los Angeles County, conventional tank type water heaters typically last between 10 and 12 years.
Many factors come into play on how long your existing water heater will last.
#1 The construction of the water heater. Contrary to popular belief, not all water heaters are the same quality.
#2 How often does the heater reheat itself?
#3 The temperature that the heater thermostat is set at.
#4 The maintenance or lack of annual maintenance.
#5 The quality of the water and the minerals in the water that can attack the heater tank.
For some unknown reason, we have become a society that waits to replace the water heater until it fails and possibly causes major damage to your home and property.
Here at Kevin Shaw Plumbing, Inc., we recommend a replacement every 10 years whether it is leaking or not. By treating your water heater the way it was designed and taking into account the warranty period and life expectancy designed into the system, you can save yourself and your family the agony, annoyance of home problems and a great deal of money in the long run.
California Insurance companies are reporting that mold or mildew claims related to a leaking water heater in California on average exceed $20,000. By investing in a new water heater every ten years and chances are very good that you will never suffer the damages from a flood.
How will I know when to replace my water heater?
You can change it out every 10 years, wait for it to flood your home and then change it out or you can keep an eye on it.
If you here rumbling, the cause of that is water boiling under a layer of sediment in the tank. Instead of the heater heating water to 125 degrees, the water is actually getting to the boiling point. This is causing the metal bottom of the tank to fatigue and causing you energy bill to go up.
What can I do to prevent damage from a leaking water heater?
We suggest that every water heater should have a safety drain pan under them.
From there a drain should be installed that will drain the water from the pan to the outside of you home. If you see water leaking from the drain, call Kevin Shaw Plumbing, Inc. right away The number is 626-359-1864.
If the water heater starts to leak, the pan should catch most of the water and divert it to the outside.
We also sell and install shut off valves that will cut the supply water off to the heater in the event of a leak.
What kind of maintenance does a water heater require?
#1 Every water heater manufacture recommends that their hot water tanks be drained once a year. Our water is full of minerals causing calcium deposits to form when the water is heated. They then fall to the bottom of the tank where they buildup into hard clumps covering the bottom of the tank. This calcium insulates the bottom of the tank and causes the metal where the burners are to become too hot. This increase in heat causes a larger than expected amount metal expansion causing the protective glass liner to crack which allows the water to attack and corrode the metal tank itself.
#2 The Water and Gas emergency shut off valves should be checked for proper operation.
#3 The thermostat on the heater itself should be checked to determine that the temperature it is set of is actually the temperature that the heater is distributing. We don’t need anybody getting scalded by a defective thermostat.
#4 The temperature pressure relief valve should also be checked for proper operation every year. The T & P valve as we call it, is a safety device designed to keep the heater tank from over expanding and blowing up or becoming a rocket. If the temperature pressure relief valve fails to seal completely the valve has failed its test and needs to be replaced.
#5 The water and gas connections should be checked for corrosion and the safety shut off valves should be rotated to make shut that they work properly.
#6 The venting system on a gas heater should also be checked for proper operation to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
So I need a new water heater, now what?
Make your investment with a trusted, licensed, professional plumbing company like Kevin Shaw Plumbing, Inc...
We sell all different types of water heaters for different applications.
To be honest, it is dishonest to say that only tankless water heaters are efficient.
As a matter of fact, the most efficient water heater on the market today is actually a tank type heater system.
Certain tank type and tankless water heaters qualify as Energy Star rated and both types can get into the 90 percent thermal efficiency.
You will pay a premium for these super high efficiency water heaters at the time of installation. The Federal and state government agencies have many tax advantages and credits. The Feds have a 30% tax incentive, up to $1500, for the installation of certain high efficiency water heaters. This really helps to offset the additional upfront cost of the high efficient water heaters we sell and makes them an attractive option.
Well, that is a start and hopefully it has helped to educate. There are many other ideas and comments I could have shared, but I wanted to be brief and too the point. No doubt, some will take exception to what I have shared, but I think time and experience is on my side.
Kevin Shaw Plumbing, Inc. Making life a little more convenient…“Around the House.”
Kevin Shaw is president of Kevin Shaw Plumbing, Inc, serving the San Gabriel Valley since 1982. With over 30 years of In The Field experience, Kevin has the skills and know how to fix most any plumbing, heating, air conditioning and insulation problem and makes it a priority to stay abreast of the latest needs in customer satisfaction as well as technical advances. He has served as the President of the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors (PHCC) of the Greater Los Angeles Area, and the California State Board of PHCC. He is also a member of the distinguished organization Nexstar Network and a founding member of Service Roundtable, both of which are trade organizations that train and equip contractors to meet their customer’s plumbing, heating & cooling needs.
For questions, please contact us or call 626-359-1864. You may also visit the company’s website at www.KevinShawPlumbing.com for more helpful tips and homeowner articles and general information. You may also send any questions or comments to: 224 E. Foothill Blvd., Monrovia, CA 91016