By The Book Water Heaters:

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

The most common problems we run into with tankless water heaters are generally from installs that have not been installed by a qualified company. When an untrained individual installs a tankless water heater, the homeowner can begin to encounter a lot of problems soon thereafter.

 A few examples can be; a condensation line is not drained properly and causes water damage to the ceiling, the installer does not inform the customer that they may need to flush out the unit if there is severe hard water, the exhaust vent is not switched out to the proper material, and so forth. 

When installed by a qualified company, the amount of problems is drastically reduced. Most residential tankless water heaters offer warranties up to 15 years, so you can feel good about making the investment to go tankless for your home’s hot water needs.

If you are on the fence about upgrading to a tankless water heater, take a look at some of the main benefits of using one:

  • Huge Savings: Tankless water heaters are 24% to 34 % more energy-efficient than conventional storage-tank water heaters. It is estimated that a tankless unit helps you save up to 30% more of utility bill annually.
  • Longer Useful Lives: A tankless water heater can last over 20 years with proper maintenance, double the forecasted life of a traditional tank-style water heater.
  • Easier to relocate: Tankless water heaters are able to be installed both inside the home in the attic or garage and also can be installed on the outside wall of the home if you would like to remove the water heater from the attic.

Having been founded in 1881, Bradford White is one of most established water heating companies in existence. Their water heaters are manufactured in Middleville, Michigan and are built to very high standards. 

Our experience with Bradford White has seen a long standing history of well-built products, very high quality standards, and their customer support is adept at answering any questions we may encounter. 

We also like that Bradford White manufactures their products to one high standard. There is not a lower quality version available at Home Improvement stores and a higher quality version available at Plumbing Supply Stores. That is highly unlike some other water heater manufacturers.

Rheem sells a Consumer grade water heater at Home Improvement Stores in addition to a Professional grade water heater that is sold at some plumbing supply houses. We feel that the professional grade heater is well built and sturdier compared to the Consumer grade version, but we feel that Bradford White water heaters are easier to work on and have more reliability.

A water softener can have damaging effects on your water heater and can cause you to replace your water heater sooner than expected. Softened water corrodes the anodes in your water heater at a much faster pace. Once the anodes are corroded, your water heater is at risk of rusting and forming a leak. If you have a water softener, you should be checking your anodes for replacement at least once a year.

We recommend that our customers plan to consider replacing their water heaters in the attic at about the 10 year mark. At this age, there is a greater likelihood of the water heater leaking out and potentially overflowing onto whatever ceiling is below it.

Most tankless water heaters are expected to last over 20 years with proper maintenance.

Yes, we can repair any existing residential water heaters. However, we normally charge a minor diagnostic fee of $89 to diagnose any existing water heaters that were not installed by our company.

Yes, maintaining your water heater is critical to keep running smoothly. Ensure your water has a long life with these tips:

  • Flush the tank once to twice per year depending on water hardness
  •  It is recommended to annually inspect and/or replace the anode rod if you have softened water being delivered to your tank-style water heater.  
  • We normally advise customers against flushing their water heater if it is more than 6 years old as any sediment it may not be able to remove can break loose and cause an annoying “popping” sound when the water is heated. 
  • Periodically test the temperature and pressure relief valve. This device is designed to allow hot water to exit the water heater and prevent a major explosion. Many manufacturers will recommend it be replaced between 3-5 years. It is the number one most commonly found plumbing item needing to be replaced during a home sale inspection.  

For more advice about maintaining your water heater, please feel free to contact us!

Please contact us for a free verbal quote on your home water heater installation or replacement.

The attic is technically an extra space in your home, and by placing it in the attic, the home builder is allowed to save you more space throughout your home. The attics generally have both water and gas lines installed anyways, and it makes it easier to simply run the exhaust vent up through the rooftop instead of potentially being blocked by an upstairs bedroom or living space.

 By placing it inside the attic, it is theoretically supposed to deliver hot water more quickly than if installed inside the garage, however this is not always the case. It does make removal and replacement of the water heater more difficult when compared to simply having on a stand inside the garage.

The rumbling noise your water heater makes is caused by sediment (mineral deposits) that has accumulated on the bottom of the tank. The sediment traps water underneath it at the bottom of the tank. When the gas burner heats the water, it boils and bubbles up until it escapes the sediment layer. The rattling and knocking noise is the sound of water escaping the sediment layer.

The pipes pull too much heat from the water or the hot water pipes are not insulated. Also, please take into consideration that older homes with galvanized steel water pipes that can slow down the rate of speed at which hot water travels from your water heater to the shower.

There are several solutions you can try:

  • Insulate the Pipes: Insulating your pipes will help keep them warm and keep the heat in so they can deliver hot water more effectively.
  • Install a Hot Water Recirculating System: This system circulates your unused water back to the heater, keeping hot water located in certain parts of your home and reducing your wait time. A hot water recirculation pump can reduce your hot water wait times by between 60 to 80%.

There are signs to watch for that will help you identify when to replace the water heater in your home. Some of these telltale signs include:

  • Age: Generally, most water heaters that are more than 10 years old should be considered for replacement.
  • Rust and Corrosion: Keep an eye on your tank, and occasionally check for any rust or corrosion that might have built up over the years.
  • Rusty Water:  If you discovered discolored water coming from your water heater, this can be an indication that your water heater is rusting away on the inside and it may begin to leak soon.
  • Leaks or Pooling: If you notice water around your unit or you see water dripping out of it, it is an early indication that the internal tank needs to be replaced.
  • Unusual Noises: If you hear rumbling or banging noise from your water heater, keep an eye out for small leaks. If you find one, then it is time for a water heater replacement.
  • Frequent Repairs: If you have called for several repairs over the past few months, it’s a sign that your best option is to replace your entire unit.
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