Your Choice for Repair, Service, and Installation
When it comes to standard storage hot water heaters, Orange Coast Plumbing offers the expertise you can trust. We offer full service for all makes and models of traditional tank-style water heaters, including installation, maintenance, and repair. With nearly four decades in the business, we have seen and done it all. You can put your faith in us.
All of our standard water heater jobs are completed by certified technicians whom we have screened and trained to ensure they are the very best in the industry. They are true experts at servicing storage-style water heaters, and with their 24/7 availability, you can be assured that your problem will be resolved as soon as possible. Factor in our reasonable rates and high customer satisfaction and you can be assured that you are getting the very best with Orange Coast Plumbing.
The Basics of Standard Storage Hot Water Heaters
Standard tank water heaters are defined by two things — how they store their water and how they heat their water. The fact that they store their water within the tank distinguishes them from tankless water heaters. Their use of either a natural gas flame or an electric heating element separates them from heat pump water heaters and solar water heaters which use ambient air temperature and solar power, respectively.
Traditional tank water heaters are what most of us picture when we think of water heaters. Used for generations, they were the only option on the market for a very long time. Even now, they are still the most common type of water heater in use, preferred due to their simple design and affordability.
This style of water heater goes by many names: storage water heaters, standard water heaters, traditional water heaters, tank water heaters, and variations that combine these terms. No matter the name used, they all refer to the same general type of water heater.
Tank-style water heaters work by storing water inside of their tank and maintaining its temperature. As hot water is used, the tank pulls in more water and works to heat it up to the correct temperature. A thermostat controls the heat source to ensure that the water reaches the correct temperature without overheating.
There is some variation in functionality among standard water heaters, but it is fairly minimal. On average, these types of water heaters last between 8 and 12 years before needing to be replaced. However, regular maintenance can extend the life of your water heater beyond the average lifespan.
Variations in Storage-Style Water Heaters
The two primary variants of storage-style water heaters are gas-powered and electric-powered units. In California, gas powered models are by far the most common. Other variations in standard water heaters include size, energy efficiency, recovery rate, and first-hour rating.
Gas vs. Electric
In general, which type of standard water heater you choose will depend on the energy sources available to you. If you are easily able to obtain natural gas at an affordable rate, a gas water heater will make the most sense. Electric models are actually more energy efficient than gas models; however, due to the cost of electricity, gas water heaters are still more affordable to operate. Additionally, some power companies will offer you rebates for switching from an electric water heater to a gas water heater.
Another thing to consider when deciding between a gas storage-style water heater and an electric storage-style water heater is how they heat the water. A gas water heater will heat the tank using a flame-powered heating element at the bottom of the unit. An electric water heater actually heats the water from the inside with submerged electric heating elements. While both choices are safe and effective, you may have your preferences regarding which one you are most comfortable with.
Standard storage-style hot water heaters range in size from 40 gallons to 120 gallons, though larger models can be purchased for commercial spaces. 40 gallon water heaters are used for apartments while 50 gallon water heaters are the standard size used in most homes in the area. Some homes will use a larger tank, such as a 75 or 100 gallon, due to their particular demands; homes with hot tubs, large families, or many appliances requiring hot water will require larger tanks.
As with most household appliances, the energy efficiency of water heaters will vary by make and model. There are Energy Star Certified standard storage-style water heaters on the market, though they are more prevalent among tankless water heaters. These tank-style water heaters feature better insulation than other models as well as electric-ignition pilot lights. However, they will not save you much money in energy costs; on average, you can only expect to save about $25 a year with an Energy Star Certified standard storage-style water heater.
The recovery rate is a measurement of how much hot water your tank can create within an hour and with a 90° F increase in temperature. When it comes to recovery rate, gas water heaters fare the best, producing 30-40 gallons an hour while electric tanks produce 20-22 gallons an hour. The exact recovery rate will depend on the make and model of the hot water heater, as well as its age.
First Hour Rating
The rating measures how much hot water a storage-style tank can produce in one hour of continuous use; it is a combination of the capacity of the tank and the tank’s recovery rate. Your average 50 gallon tank heated by gas has a first hour rating of about 75 gallons while the same size tank heated by electricity will have a first hour rating of about 60 gallons.
The Right Model for Your Home
To some degree, your personal preferences will help to determine which water heater is correct for your home. However, there are also many other factors to consider. To ensure that you have the correct standard storage-style water heater for your home, work with one of our certified technicians here at Orange Coast Plumbing. Our technicians can easily assess the needs of your home and help find options that will work for you.
Common Problems with Storage-Style Hot Water Heaters
With a lifespan of only 8 to 12 years, you might not think there would be a lot of problems that can occur. And, in truth, there aren’t many problems that do occur with tank-style water heaters. The simplicity of their design means that there aren’t lots of different parts to break down over time. However, the common problems they do face are significant.
Sediment accumulation is the primary problem that afflicts traditional water heaters. The water that goes into your water tank has many tiny particles — too small to see with the naked eye. When heated, these particles tend to adhere themselves to the sides of the tank as well as the burner, creating a buildup of limescale and other minerals. This ultimately leads to poor function as well as decay of the tank.
Another problem with this type of water heater is energy efficiency. Brand-new, a tank-style water heater can account for 25% of your home’s energy use. As these tanks age, they become less and less energy efficient. Finally, thermostats are often an issue. Since they regulate the temperature of the water, their malfunction can lead to water that is too cold or too hot, neither of which you want.
Signs of Problems
The sooner you spot a problem and call us at Orange Coast Plumbing, the better off you will be. Early intervention increases the likelihood that your water heater can be fixed and decreases the cost of doing so. To make sure you can spot a problem in time, you need to know what you are looking for. Below are common signs of problems with standard storage-style water heaters.
- Your water heater is leaking water, even if it is only a small amount.
- When you turn on the hot water, it is either too cold or too hot.
- Your water reaches the right temperature, but it takes too long.
- You have hot water, but it runs out quickly.
- Your hot water heater makes a popping noise when heating the water.
- You can only use your hot water in one area at a time; for example, you cannot wash both the dishes and the clothes at the same time.
- Your hot water heater is over 8 years old.
It is important that you call us as soon as you notice a problem. The longer you wait, the worse the problem will get. Our technicians are well-trained, and can easily fix your problem for you.
Having a problem with your water heater can be incredibly frustrating. At best, it is a nuisance; at worst, it throws off your entire routine. There is no such thing as a good problem to have or a good time to have it, which is why we offer repair service 24/7. Day or night, we are here to resolve your issues and get you back to life as usual.
Our repair service makes it our goal to fix your problem with simple and low-cost solutions. However, sometimes we encounter problems that are severe. In these cases, we may discover that the only option is to replace the water heater. In this case, our technicians can help you select the best water heater to replace your current one and will install the new one for you.
When replacing your current water heater, our technicians make sure to offer full-service installation, ensuring that everything is ready to go for you with no effort on your part. Taking into consideration safety and environmental regulations, we provide you with installation that will give you plenty of hot water and peace of mind. Below are the items included in our comprehensive service.
- Disconnection of the old water heater
- Removal and disposal of the old water heater
- Connection of the new water heater, including gas/electric and water lines
- Installation of a new gas shut-off valve
- Earthquake strapping
- And any additional work needed to make sure your system is up to code, such as installing larger vents and modifying the placement of the heater to meet the correct space requirements (often needed when upgrading to a larger tank)
Before leaving, our technician will thoroughly check all elements to make sure everything is working properly. Should you encounter any issues, we will make your case our top priority.
While standard storage-style hot water heaters are estimated to last 8 to 12 years on average, a lack of maintenance can shorten their life, while regular maintenance can extend it. Orange Coast Plumbing is happy to offer regular maintenance service, which you should schedule at least once a year. During this maintenance session, the technician will clean your tank and change any filters you have on your system; the technician will also check all components for signs of problems, fixing or replacing them as needed.
In addition to this annual service, there are a few small tasks you can take on to help protect your hot water heater. Please note that these are not repairs or replacements; those tasks should always be performed by a certified technician.
- Keep the thermostat set to 120° F. This temperature is considered ideal, as it is not so hot that it will harm the members of your household, but it is hot enough to provide basic sanitation.
- Two times a year (or once if you prefer our technician to take care of it with annual maintenance) drain the tank to ¾ of its capacity to help remove some of the sediment buildup.
- Make sure you keep the two feet around the tank free from items and debris. This helps to ensure that nothing is interfering with the performance of the heater and that there are no fire hazards.
Call Orange Coast Plumbing Today
Whether you need a repair, maintenance, or an installation, our certified technicians are ready and able to help you with your storage-style water heater. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, we are waiting for your call. We look forward to serving you.