“Wait, tankless water heaters need maintenance too?” As a matter of fact, yes!

No matter what type of water heater you have installed in your home, it can suffer from something called scaling. Scaling is the mineral buildup that results in a noisy system as well as pressure problems, temperature fluctuations, and potentially even water heater corrosion. Tank water heaters go through a scaling process in order to eliminate this problem, but the process is different for their tankless counterparts.

THE IMPACT OF SCALING ON A TANKLESS WATER HEATER

Scaling impacts a tankless system much like it affects a standard tank water heater, and therefore by neglecting maintenance, you could find yourself facing a water heater replacement sooner rather than later.

Calcium and magnesium are the minerals that cause this scaling phenomenon, and while they aren’t harmful for you to ingest, they are harmful to every aspect of your plumbing system—with your tankless water heater being no exception.

This mineral buildup is what we’re referring to when we talk about scaling. It has an effect on the heat exchanger portion of your tankless water heater. As you may know, the heat exchanger is the component that’s actually responsible for heating the water to begin with. You need this component to be clean so it can effectively heat the water. Scaling makes your burners work harder and can overwork a tankless system completely.

ABOUT THAT TUNE-UP

So, when should you schedule tankless water heater maintenance? The short answer is, “it depends.” For tankless water heaters in some communities, annual maintenance is a must to keep the system running smoothly throughout its entire lifespan. For others, though, maintenance can usually wait a couple of years.

How do you know the difference? Well, by having your home tested to see how bad the hard water is in your area. In some parts of the country, and even in different parts of the state, mineral deposits can be more prevalent. A professional plumber in Bergenfield, NJ will be happy to check for hardness, but you may be able to tell on your own. If you notice a chalky white or yellow buildup around faucets or drains, you likely have hard water putting your tankless system at risk.

“WHEN SHOULD I REPLACE MY TANKLESS SYSTEM?”

Annual, or semi-annual, maintenance is essential for a water heater of any kind. But, it won’t make that system last forever. There will eventually come a point that you’ll need to replace your tankless water heater with a newer system. The good news is, they usually last longer than their traditional tank counterparts—about 20 years.

If your system begins failing before this point, it could very well be due to lack of maintenance. Staying on top of tune-up sessions is the only way you can ensure your tankless water heater lasts as long as possible. Be sure to check with your professional plumber to get an accurate idea of the state of your tankless system so you know what to expect moving forward.

Contact BZ Dependable Plumbing & Heating. today for quality plumbing service and guaranteed satisfaction.

If you have hard water, you know it can be a pain. If you let hard water go untreated, you could end up with some tough cleaning to do in the bathroom and kitchen. More important, though, is that your plumbing system’s lifespan is lowered significantly thanks to hard water, a high concentration of minerals like calcium in your water supply.

That’s why you may need a whole-house water softener to eliminate hard water at the source, right where it enters your home. Unfortunately, maintaining your water heater can seem like a pain as well. However, as long as you stay on schedule and have plumbing technicians take care of the hard parts, it doesn’t have to be so difficult!

The more you maintain your system, the less work you have to do in the long run, and the fewer repairs you’ll make. Read on for a handy reference to typical water softener maintenance.

CHECK SALT LEVELS ONCE A MONTH

Many people think that salt is what softens the water, but this isn’t quite true. The resin beads within the tank are what absorb the minerals that create hard water, and salt is necessary to clean the resin beads so they can absorb more calcium and magnesium.

The level of salt you need in your softener should be indicated in your manual. If salt levels are lower than you need, it’s time to refill. Typically, the tank should be at least half-filled with salt, with salt levels exceeding the water level by about 3 inches. If salt mushes together or bridges in the tank, you may have to break this up with a broom handle.

USE THE RIGHT SALT

If you run a search online, you’ll find many types and brands of salt competing for your attention, made specifically for water softeners. We strongly recommend against just going with the cheapest salt for economic reasons. Rock salt, for example, is often less expensive than evaporated salt pellets, but it contains calcium sulfate, which cannot properly dissolve in the water and may do more harm than good for your tank.

Instead, we usually recommend the evaporated salt pellets, which are purer and soluble. That means you won’t have to deal with so much buildup at the bottom or sides of the tank.

USE WATER SOFTENER CLEANER EVERY FEW MONTHS

Liquid water softener cleaner helps the resin beads to remain as effective as possible, and to remove hard water ions efficiently. Use this once every few months right before a regeneration cycle, and according to label instructions. This is especially important if your tank has high iron levels.

CALL IN EXPERTS TO CLEAN AND MAINTAIN THE TANK

For your part, it’s important to keep a schedule of when each task should be completed for your water heater. On your personal calendar, mark one day a month to check salt levels and one day every three months to clean out the tank. In addition, mark one day a year you’ll call in technicians to professionally maintain the tank.

Professional water heater maintenance is an important part of keeping up your water softener’s lifespan. First, it gives you a break from the drudgery of monthly maintenance. More importantly, a qualified technician can find issues you may have missed, and make sure the water softener continues to function properly.

Schedule service for your water softener in Westwood, NJ with the experts at BZ Dependable Plumbing & Heating Inc.

One of the most common problems to afflict water heaters is also one of the most misunderstood. Scaling is an issue that stems from hard water, when the water supply has an excess of minerals like calcium and magnesium. Deposits build up in pipes and fixtures, but their effect is most noticeable in water heaters and boilers.

Learn more about this common issue in the guide below. Be sure to have your water heater flushed regularly, and call our team for repairs and more information.

THE SIGNS OF SCALING

Usually, people notice that scale is affecting their water heaters when they hear the sounds. This may be described as a popping noise, a banging, or a crackling. The general effect, though, is the same. It’s jarring, but it might not be as bad as it sounds.

Your water heater is not, for example, about to explode (as we’ve heard people describe it before)! The mineral deposits in the water settle at the bottom of the tank. As the boiler burner lights, heating the water beneath the deposits, the minerals get shuffled around as steam bubbles escape around them. That’s what causes the noise.

IT IS CAUSE FOR CONCERN

So, you are not in immediate danger just because you hear your water heater making a popping or banging noise. But that does not mean you should treat the problem as a casual one. The long-term effects can be quite problematic and costly—even dangerous!

First, it can cause a pressure imbalance in the tank that may shut off the system or lead to overflow. It can also wear down the bottom of the tank so that the lining no longer protects against corrosion, and you may develop major tank leaks.

TANKLESS WATER HEATERS ARE AT RISK TOO

You may think that a tankless water heater would be immune to these same kinds of issues. This isn’t the case! Any electric water heater can develop scaling that coats the coils and keeps it from heating up properly. And tankless water heaters develop scale that can slowly destroy the heating elements, or at least keep them from heating the water properly.

ABOUT FLUSHING A TANK WATER HEATER

You may have heard before that you should flush or drain your tank every year. This is true even if you have not heard odd noises coming from the tank, as sediment can build up without sending any signals. A major hindrance, though, for many homeowners, is that they are unsure of how to perform the water tank flush.

While you may be able to do it on your own, we strongly recommend leaving the job up to professionals. They’ll know what to do if something goes wrong, and they can even help you to understand how to prevent sediment from building up in the first place. If you do decide to attempt this on your own, be sure to disconnect the power or gas from the water heater first, and stop water at the shut-off valve!

BZ Dependable Plumbing & Heating Inc. offers complete services for water heaters in New Milford, NJ. Call today for exceptional customer service!

A water heater is a tough piece of equipment. It’s designed to withstand high heat levels and water volume, supplying heat to water throughout the day and night, so you know it was manufactured to be up to the job.

Of course, that doesn’t make a water heater infallible. In fact, a hot water heater needs more work than you may think, throughout the time you own your home, if you really want it to remain in the best possible condition. We cannot guarantee that your water heater won’t break if you follow these steps, but we can tell you that your water heater has a better chance of making it through its expected lifespan when you take the time to maintain it (or have a professional handle that work).

WHAT PROFESSIONALS DO DURING A MAINTENANCE VISIT

When you get professional water heater maintenance from plumbers and technicians, the main goal is to give a complete inspection. That means checking all of these parts and more.

  • Thermostat
  • Temperature and Pressure Valve
  • Potential Tank Corrosion
  • Drain and Relief Valves
  • The Anode Rod

Of course, if they see a problem, they will document it along with its severity. Afterwards, they can consult you about the issues so you can decide if you want to replace or repair any parts. Some adjustments can be made on the spot, such as temperature adjustments and tightening loose connections.

Now, let’s look at some of the potential issues a water heater maintenance session can prevent. We recommend scheduling maintenance once a year to really benefit the most.

PREVENT CORROSION

Corrosion is the biggest threat to your water heater. When a water heater corrodes, there’s no reversing the damage, and it can only continue to spread. Your water heater has a glass lining to prevent corrosion, along with an anode rod meant to bring corrosive elements to itself before corrosion hits the tank.

The technician will check for corrosion and let you know if your water heater tank needs replacement. This helps you avoid a leak in your home! Otherwise, they may recommend replacing the anode rod, but this is an expensive solution when compared to a potential system replacement.

AVOID A DANGEROUS SITUATION

It happens rarely, but it has happened before. A water heater can potentially burst or explode if temperature and pressure levels in the tank exceed the norm. this is something a technician would discover during a water heater maintenance session as well.

LOWER YOUR BILLS

Finally, a water heater maintenance session can help to lower your bills. Currently, your water heater’s temperature may be set too high, which means you’re wasting energy you don’t really need to use. Furthermore, a technician can prevent premature replacement, one of the highest bills you can have when it comes to water heaters. And, a technician can help you to lower water bills by reducing the chances of leaks and other issues.

Contact the friendly team at BZ Dependable Plumbing & Heating Inc. for your next water heater service in Westwood, NJ.

Water heaters are a staple of modern life, providing clean hot water for cooking, cleaning and bathing. We’re accustomed to traditional tank water heaters in most homes, with their long cylindrical tubes holding hot water, and that system is safe and effective in most cases. But it’s not the only type of water heater out there and depending upon your circumstances, you may benefit from an alternative model.

Consider, for example, tankless water heaters. They get rid of those big tanks in favor of heating the water directly as it passes through the pipes. Tankless water heaters can cost more to install and they usually need to have a lower workload than tank models: handling fewer outlets or requiring multiple tankless water heaters to be installed to cover everything in the home. In exchange, however, they offer a number of benefits, some of which might help your household out considerably. Here are some of the most important.

1. INSTANT, ENDLESS HOT WATER

plumber performing tankless water heater  installation in bergen county

Water heaters usually take a little time to warm up, which is why the hot water from your tap initially feels cold. And while tank water heaters provide a copious supply of hot water, we’ve all had those moments in the shower or similar spots where the hot water runs out.

Those simply aren’t problems when it comes to tankless water heaters. The system heats the water instantly as it passes through the pipe, meaning you won’t have to wait for the water to heat up., And because the heat is delivered “on demand,” as it were, it means you’ll never run out of hot water, no matter how much you run the tap.

2. INCREASED SAVINGS

Tankless water heaters tend to waste much less water than tank models, since you don’t have to run the faucet or other outlet for very long to get the hot water you need. Furthermore they tend to use less energy than tank models when heating the water, since they only heat the water you need instead of maintaining an entire tank. All of which translates to increased savings in your pocket and a decrease in energy useage! Furthermore, tankless water heaters tend to last longer than tank water heaters, giving you more value for your money in the process.

3. EASE OF USE

Tank water heaters can present problems for vacation homes and other homes that go unused for portions of the year. Mold and other contaminants can creep in to a tank model if you’re not careful, and they can take up a great deal of space, which might not be appropriate for a small cabin or other vacation home. On the other hand, tankless water heaters don’t need time to “warm up,” meaning you can make use of them immediately. That can come as a huge relief if you’ve been driving all day and just want to cook some dinner or draw a hot bath. Plus, they take up a fraction of the space that tank water heaters do, freeing that storage closet or corner that your old water heater fills up!

Other Things to Consider About Tankless Water Heaters

While we love tankless water heaters, every home is different and yours might not be the right fit for a tankless system. These are the cons to consider:

  • Tankless systems can’t usually handle as much of a load as tanked models can. That makes them better for households with fewer occupants. That said, for larger households, multiple tankless water heaters can be installed.
  • Tankless systems cost more to install, though they cost less to run. That’s good for families who intend to stay in their homes for quite awhile, since the savings accrue over time.

Here in Bergen County, water heaters can be installed by the friendly pros at BZ Dependable Plumbing & Heating Inc. If you think a tankless model might be a good fit for your home, call us today!

Winter snow has finally give way to spring rains, and here in the New Jersey area, that means spring renovation and cleaning is underway in many households. In between the dusting, vacuuming and checking on various household appliances, take time to give your water heater a look. Water heaters do their jobs quietly and without fuss, and since they’re often located in out-of-the-way locations like the basement or garage. But that can make it very hard to notice signs of trouble, and by the time symptoms show up, it could very well be too late. Spring cleaning makes an excellent opportunity to give your water heater a close look and see if it needs some attention.

THE BASICS

The basics for water heaters entail a basic examination to look for any symptoms of trouble. These can include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Puddles around the base of the water heater can indicate a serious problem, or something more pedestrian such as a leak in a pipe fitting. Either way, it’s a problem that a trained plumber should take a look at.
  • Strange noises. Gurgling, humming and other noises can indicate a number of issues, ranging from build-up on the bottom of the tank to trouble with the pressure relief valve.
  • Trouble with hot water. This doesn’t necessarily need any formal checking to confirm. But if you’re not getting sufficiently heated water, if the hot water cuts out sooner than you’d expect, or even if the water is too hot, you may need to have a plumber look at the system.
  • The pilot light. Older water heaters may still use a pilot light, and if yours is one of them, you should check it to make sure it’s lit.

If you encounter an issue with your water heater, in most cases, you should call in a plumber rather than attempting to fix the problem yourself.

FLUSH IT OUT

One place you can help your water heater along is by flushing it out, which can help get rid of sediment built up on the bottom of the tank as well as reducing overall wear and tear. You only need a bucket (or similar receptacle) for the water and a length of hose. Follow the steps below:

  1. Shut off the gas or electrical power to the water heater, as well as the main water line into the tank. You may want to give the water in the tank time to cool after you do so.
  2. Connect a hose to the tank’s drain valve and place the other end in the bucker or (if possible) a drain line in the house.
  3. Open the pressure relief valve and allow the water to drain out.
  4. When the tank is about one-quarter full, turn the water line back on to flush any sediment out of the bottom.
  5. Turn off the cold water line again, close the pressure relief valve, detach the hose from the drain valve, close the valve and allow the tank to fill back up.
  6. Turn the gas or electricity back on.

Call BZ Dependable Plumbing & Heating Inc. for water heater service in Bergenfield, NJ.

©2022 BZ Dependable Plumbing, Inc. All Rights Reserved