Hagerstown Plumber’s Guide: Problems with Older Water Heaters

A water heater is an important appliance in any Hagerstown home. It makes it possible for you to take a hot shower or bath and use your washing machine or dishwasher. However, like any other home appliance, a water heater also starts to develop problems over time.

Problems with Older Water Heaters

  • Reduced Performance due to Hard Water Contaminants Build Up

Contaminants from hard water accumulate over time on the bottom of your water heater tank. This affects the performance of the heater and reduces its lifespan. You can avoid this problem by having a professional remove these deposits periodically.

  • Not Sufficient Water

This is one of the common problems in older water heater. If your water heater does not heat enough water, you can contact a professional to check the thermostat and heating element. If they are not working properly, they should be replaced with new ones.

  • Not Sufficiently Hot Water

If your older water heater does not heat the water sufficiently, the problem may be in the thermostats or heating elements. Adjusting the thermostat settings or replacing the thermostat can help you solve this problem.

  • Dirty or Discolored Water

Over time, the tank in the water heater becomes rusty. Dirt accumulates on the tank, causing problems. Draining and flushing the tank on a regular basis can help increase the lifespan of the heater. If the tank is rusty, you need to replace the water heater.

  • Strange Noises

If you hear a strange noise whenever you turn on the water heater, it could mean that the tank has lots of buildup in the bottom. The buildup reduces the ability of the tank to keep the water hot for a long period, and so the burner turns on often to keep the water hot. In such cases, you need to hire an experienced professional to fix the problem.

  • Pilot Light Problem

If the pilot light on the heater does not remain lit, the problem may be in the thermocouple. Replacing it can help you get rid of this problem.

If your Hagerstown water heater is nearing the end of its life expectancy period, you can consider replacing it with a new one, so that you can stop wasting money on your energy bill every month. Call Larry & Sons Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning today to learn about our Hagerstown water heater replacement services!

 

 

 

Hagerstown Plumbing Question: Why Does My Tub Faucet Leak when the Shower Is On?

Here is a common and yet seemingly complex problem you can have with your Hagerstown plumbing. You turn on your shower, flip the switch to go from tub faucet to shower head and the tub faucet continues to leak. Not only is it rather irritating, but it draws from the water pressure in the shower head. Let’s take a look at why this happens and how to quickly fix it.

 Why the Leak?

There is a valve in your tub’s faucet that diverts water from the tub to the shower head when the switch or lever is pulled to turn on your shower. Because the valve is not a perfect seal, the tub faucet will drip a small amount during a shower. However, if a large amount of water is coming out of the tub faucet and very little is coming from your shower head, it is likely a problem with that valve.

In some cases, the only way to know the root of the problem is to take apart the assembly and check all of the valve parts individually for damage. The specifics of the repair process will depend largely on the type of shower and diverter valve you have.

Fixing the Problem

To fix this problem, a plumber can either replace part of or the entire shower diverter valve. They start by removing the faucet and pulling the screw that holds the shower diverter valve in place. Once the screw is removed, they take out the rubber washer and replace it. Many times, this is enough to fix the problem.

If it is not, however, you may need to have the entire shower diverter valve replaced. There are some situations that make it hard to reach the shower diverter valve, such as when you have a shower handle instead of a faucet knob. If this is the case, you may need special tools or professional assistance in removing the knob to access the valve.

Contact the Hagerstown plumbing professionals at Larry & Sons who are experienced in removing and replacing shower diverter valves.

Hagerstown Plumbing Guide: How to Change a Drain Trap

Have you ever noticed that U-shaped length of pipe below your bathroom or kitchen sink? Does it ever seem to you like it doesn’t make sense to have that in there? It seems counterintuitive to have the water run any direction other than straight down.

Well, that little bend is the drain trap, and it keeps nasty odors and gases from wafting their way up through the plumbing and into your home. The U shape of the trap precludes the normal upward drift of the gases, so they don’t make it up through your drain.

After a while, these traps can become corroded, choked with debris or entirely clogged to such a degree that it needs to be replaced. When this happens, it is important to take care of this right away.

As with any plumbing project, if you have little experieince with this type job, call a professional Hagerstown plumber.

Here are the steps they will take to replace your drain trap:

  • The first step is to turn off the main water supply.
  • Next, they will remove all the pieces of the existing drain trap. Use a pipe wrench and/or slip-joint pliers to remove the nuts and pull the trap free. Attach a tailpiece washer to your new tailpiece, and then attach the tailpiece to the sink strainer.
  • With a slip nut and washer, affix the trap arm to the drain stub.
  • Finally, they will attach the trap bend to the trap arm, making sure the beveled face of the washer faces the trap bend.
  • Tighten all the nuts and turn the water back on. Run a little water down the drain and check for leaks before using it.

Once everything is all sealed up, you’re good to go! Your new drain trap is in place and ready to use. If you need any plumbing repairs or replacements in Hagerstown, call Larry & Sons Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning!

Hagerstown Plumbing Advice: What You Need to Know About Water Heater Leaks

A leak in your Hagerstown water heater can be a big or small problem depending on where the leak is, how severe it is and whether it requires repair or replacement. Here are some things you should know about water heater leaks that will help you determine who to call and how to act.

 Where Is the Leak?

Step one is to determine where the water is coming from. Look for leaks around the fittings and valves attached to the device. If one of them is loose or if you see water dripping from a connection, it can probably be fixed relatively easily. However, if the leak is coming from the body of the water heater, you may have a ruptured tank which is a sure sign of a bad water heater that needs to be replaced.

 Draining Your Tank

Once you identify the leak, turn off the water supply to the tank and prepare to drain it the rest of the way. You should also disconnect the power from the device. If the water heater is gas, I recommend you call a Hagerstown plumber who is certified to work on gas appliances. For electric water heaters, you may still want a professional, but the next step here is to simply turn off the breaker to stop electricity from flowing to the device.

Drain the tank next, using the bucket to capture the water as it is released. If you have a floor drain and can angle the tank over the drain, go ahead and do that now. Once the tank is empty, it is time to tighten your fittings.

 Fixing the Problem

Assuming this is a fittings or valve problem, loosen any fittings that appeared to have leaked, repair the plumbing thread and retape the pipes, finally tightening the fittings back into place. The pressure valve may need to be replaced as well – do this now if it is necessary.

Before reapplying the electricity to the water heater, reattach the water supply and turn it on to check for leaks. If it holds water, you are lucky and your water heater’s tank isn’t leaking. Reattach everything and turn it back on.

If you notice the leak continues, you should call Larry & Sons as it is likely the glass inside your tank has cracked or is leaking. Most of the time, this cannot be repaired and means you need a new water heater installed.

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