You can’t believe everything you hear. From old wives’ tales to “common knowledge,” there are a lot of myths and misconceptions floating around about hot water. To help puzzle it all out, Schneller & Knochelmann Plumbing, Heating & Air has put together a list of what’s hot and what’s not. Read on to learn which fibs you’ve been falling for – and how correcting them could save you money!
Old Water Heaters Produce Dirty Water
Water heaters are designed to perform without developing rust problems. The average life expectancy of a water heater is somewhere between eight and twelve years, and they’re most often replaced because of declining efficiency or leaks – not rust. There are multiple reasons your water might be discolored, and most of them will need to be addressed by a professional. If you notice a rusty tinge to your water, call a plumber (like Schneller’s 24-Hour Plumbing Service & Repair Experts) to come sort out the cause.
Depending on your experience or the advice of your technician, you may be steered toward one ‘perfect’ brand. However, as with any system, your water heater is only as good as your installer. While there is certainly a range of quality among various brands and models, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Make sure you hire experienced professionals who will not only install your water heater with care, but also help you choose the most practical heater for your home.
Out of Sight, Out of Mind
Many homeowners forget about their water heater until it breaks down. Technically, you could do this, too, but it’s not the best plan of action. Instead, at least make sure that the area around the water heater is kept clear to prevent fire, catch leaks faster, and ensure the highest efficiency. Simple maintenance, such draining heaters with brass valves once a year, can prolong a water heater’s life. Talk to your technician or manufacturer for the best ways to care for your particular water heater.
Here’s another reason to visit your water heater: did you know you can change the maximum temperature of the water your water heater produces? Set the temperature only as high as you’ll realistically use, probably around 120°. You’ll save energy and never again scald yourself from the tap!
Always Wash Your Hands with Hot Water
This old wives’ tale has been debunked – the temperature of the water doesn’t have any effect on germ removal, according to the CDC. Washing your wands with hot water is, however, more likely to cause irritation and definitely costs more. Similarly, it’s a good practice to set your washing machine to use cold water when possible. It’ll keep clothes looking brighter as well as make each wash cheaper.
Related Read: Top Tips from Plumbers to Avoid Drain Problems
Hot Water Waiting Game
No one likes waiting for the shower to heat up – but don’t blame the water heater! While your water heater might be contributing to your wait time, there are other factors that could be slowing down your hot water. The type of piping could mean your hot water must first spend energy to warm up those pipes, and larger sized pipes mean water moves more slowly.
If heavy pipes are stealing away your hot water, consider insulating them to reduce the heat absorbed by the pipes. You can also insulate your water heater, which may not speed up your hot water, but it could make it cheaper! Call a seasoned professional to help you make the right call to improve the water flow in your house.
One more way to speed up your hot water is to install a tankless water heater. While these kinds of heaters can offer some savings, their major benefit is an unending supply of hot water. The initial hot water will get to your tap just as quickly, but you’ll never have to wait for your heater to catch up after somebody used up all the hot water, again.
One More Fact
Any household, even one with an old water heater, can reduce water heating costs. Find out more about the latest safety and efficiency requirements for water heaters, and learn how much you could save by switching to a new heater!