Emergency Water Heater Repairs

Winnipeg Hot Water Tank Repairs and Replacement Jone Wood, Rheem, Bradford White.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Q: How can I tell how old my hotwater heater is?
A: Date Code Information

There will be a date code on your waterheater. It is most likley located on the side on a lable along with the size and btu rating

This chart is the date code formula for most heaters sold in Canada.

American American, Craftmaster, Mor-Flo/American, SABH, US Craftmaster, Ace, American Hardware, Best, Best Deluxe, Apex, Aqua Temp, Aqua Therm, Aquamatic, Champion, De-Limier, Deluxe, Eagle, Earl’s Energy Saver, Envirotemp, Four Most, Hotmaster, Hotstream, King-Cleen, King-Line. Master Plumber, Nationaline, Neptune, Penguin, Prestige, Proline, Proline-plus, Quacker, Quick-flo, Raywall, Revere, Riviera, Sands, Sentinal, Service-Star, Shamrock, Special Deluxe, Standard, Super Eagle, Sure-Fire, Thoro-cleamn, True-Test, Tru Value, US Supply, XCL-Energy Saver 2-digit year followed by 2-digit week 9746****** is 46th week of 1997 
A. O Smith A. O Smith, Glascote, Permaglas Second letter is the month followed by 2-digit year A through N is January through December (excluding the letter I) 

Bradford-White Bradford-White, Jetglas Lochinvar Lochinvar, Energy Saver, Golden Knight, Knight First letter is the year, second is the month A is 1964, 1984 or 2004 

Rheem, General Electric Rheem, Ruud, Rheem/Ruud, Richmond, Vista Therm, Citation, Aqua Therm, Energy Master, Vanguard, Cimmaron, Coast to Coast, Lowes, Servi-star, Tru-value, ABS, Intertherm & Miller, Mainstream, Montogery Ward, Professional. 2-digit month followed by 2-digit year 0794***** is July 1994 


Q: How come my hot water is brown at times?
A: Rusty Water, Brown Water 

Quite often, water heaters are installed with galvanized nipples at the water inlet and outlet point. These nipples loose their protective lining after a few years of use. Once that happens, the galvanized metal starts to rust thus leaving you with burst of brown water. One way to prevent this is by replacing the Anode rod on your water heater. Most quality brand water heaters have them, if you keep them fresh and new, you will get many more years of life out of your tank. You also want to remember that flushing your water heater tank every couple of months will help remove the Hard water build-up that will happen. If you have very hard water, an automatic flushing system can be hooked in to the tank to flush automatically every month.

Q: I have turned my water heater down/up and the water is still to hot/cold?
A: Q= I have my heater turned down but the water is still to hot ... ? 

If your water heater is heating your water beyond where the setting required, your Unitrol is most likely defective. Your heater may be very old, and scale has built up to the point to where the Unitrol sensor cannot properly sense the water temperature and turn the gas off and on when needed. It is standard to replace a waterheater that is near or over ten years of age.

Q: I don't seem to get the amount of hot water from my tank that I did when it was newer?
A: Not enough hot water If your hot-water tank isn't giving you the volume of hot water your use to, it could be that your dip tube has eroded . After a period of time, the dip tubes start to dissolve in the water, this allows the cold water coming into the tank to mix with the hot-water that is stored in the tank causing the water to cool off before getting to the tap. Replace the dip tube and your set.

Q: My hot-water tank is leaking from a brass valve on the upper side ... ?
A: Pressure Relief Valves

On the side, near the top of every water heater you will find a safety device called a relief valve. This valve has a spring inside that will release pressure build-up that can occur when the burner fails to shut off causing the water to boil thus pressure build-up. Without it, your water heater can cause MAJOR property damage and death. After years of use, the spring gets a little weak and will cause water to leak out when there really isn't a problem with the rest of the heater parts. Replacement of the valve is then needed.

Q: How do I know what size of water heater to buy for my home?
A: It's a good idea to try and match hot-water tank size to your family's needs. If you get a water tank that's too small, you'll frequently find the water cooling down just about the time you lather up in the shower. If you buy one that's too large, you'll be paying more of energy than necessary to keep the tank heated.
Hot water needs can typically be measured by the number of bathrooms in the house, though some circumstances can skew these standards-- a laundry-heavy family with small children or a house with an especially large bathtub, for example. Obviously, a couple living in a large house or a large family living in a small house require adjusting the figures. Minimum size unit for a 1-bathroom house should be 30 or 40 gallons, in either gas or electric. For a 1 1/2-bath house, 40 gallons is minimum. For a 2- to 3 1/2-bath house, choose a 50-gallon gas heater or a 66- to 80-gallon electric one (because electric water heaters take longer to heat water, large tanks should be bigger than their gas-fired counterparts). For a large, 4-bath house or a home with an extra-large bathtub, get a 75-gallon gas heater or a 120-gallon electric heater.

Q: I live in an area with very hard water, does hard water cause harm to my water heater?
A: Hard Water Issues

Yes. Hard water can shorten the life of your water heater and cost you more to heat water. Follow a these tips to help decrease the damage to the hot-water heater. 
Hard water build-up issues are different from gas to electric water heaters. In both, hard water build-up prevents efficient transfer of heat from the heating element or flame to the water to be heated. Because of this, it costs more to heat water and will greatly decrease the life of the water heater if the hard water build-up is not frequently removed . Over time, built up can decrease the holding capacity of the heater. In electric water heaters, scale first forms on the heating element then flakes off into the tank, building up on the bottom. Once the buildup is deep enough to cover the bottom heating element, conditions are good for the element to over heat and burn out. 

Gas water heaters work by putting a flame under the water tank. Mineral deposits build up in the bottom of the tank causing it to over heat. A sudden boiling action causes the mineral deposits to be lifted up into the water. This makes a rumbling or popping noise when the tank is heated. 
There are several ways to deal with problems related to hard water and the water heater. One is to install a water softener in the plumbing to soften the before water enters the water heater. 

Another way to deal with hard water is to drain and flush the water heater tank on a regular basis. Recommendations are that it be done as often as every two or three months, some manufacturers suggest maintenance every six months. The water heater must be turned off. A hose is screwed onto the water

Q: I have a strong smell coming from the hot water? Why and how can I rid the water of the smell?
A: Bad Smells From Water Heater

If you live an areas that rely on well water you will find that as with most other rural areas, you probably noticed a smell coming from your hot water. The rotten egg smell is derived from hydrogen sulfide gas dissolved in the water. As little as 1PPM can result in this odor. The smell is the result of 4 factors which must be present for the odor to develop in the water heater.

1: high concentration of sulfate in the raw water.
2: There must be little or no dissolved oxygen in the water. 
3: There must be sulfate reducing bacteria within the heater. This bacteria is non-toxic to humans.
4:There must be an excess of active hydrogen in the tank.
This is being provided by the cathodic action of the anode. With these factors hydrogen sulfide gas is formed, which gives off the rotten egg smell in the water. Active use of the heater will reduce the problem but no use as a result of vacations, etc. will allow the accumulation of the gas and add to the odor problem.

Q: What is a "Hot-Water Tank Drip Pan"?
A: Answer

Q: What is an "Automatic Water Shut Off" ?
A: If are serious about preventing flood from the plumbing system in you home, these automatic valves work well. They operate on an electric solenoid valve that is controlled by sensors placed through-out the home.

Damage to homes caused by burst piping can be expensive to repair. By the time the leak is discovered, hundreds of gallons of water may have already flooded the home. Automatic shutoff valves can prevent extensive water damage from plumbing failures. The valves contain sensors that cut off water flow in the event of a leak, thereby preventing flooding.

There are two types of automatic shutoff valves. Whole house systems are designed to turn off the water near the service valve to prevent water flow throughout the home once a leak is detected. Other systems are designed to shut off flow to one appliance such

A: No Hot Water!

You never really appreciate your water heater until you try to shower or bath and the water is cold. If your heater is cold, depending on the type of heater you have, your pilot light has gone out, in which case you can have a service man replace the thermocouple. If your heater is electric, you might have a blow breaker, or a burnt out element. Unless you are comfortable working with gas or electricity, we recommend you call a serviceman to fix these problems. For Instant quote and service, call the number listed on the footer below!.

Things to Consider If You Have to Replace Your Water Heater

1) How many people are in the home for the next 10 years? This will help decide what size of water heater to install.
2) Are you going to replace your furnace soon? if so, you may get a better deal when replacing the waterheater at the same time you replace the furnace.
3) Do you want to have a Tank-Less Heater installed instead of the tank style? The cost of doing so is nearly

Q: Are there more energy efficient water heaters I can purchase?
A: High Efficiency vs. Regular Conventional Water heaters

A nagging question one is always faced with when having to make a sudden decision about what kind of water heater to install. As a plumber for over 30 years in Calgary Alberta, I will try and give you the prospective purchaser some information to help you decide what to do.

Ask yourself these questions before you buy
1) How long will you be in your home? If your only concern is money when it comes to your purchase, the tankless and power-vented models are higher priced. Meaning, over the course of say 10 years after your purchase, you “might” start to recover your initial investment when compared to the purchase of the regular conventional water heaters.

The math looks like this, currently, based on 2011 leading manufacture in Canada energy specs, the “Energy Factor” of the base line conventional tank Natural Gas OR Propane, is about 0.58 to 0.60. The most pricey and energy efficient models have an energy factor of .062 to .067. This rating qualifies for the “energy star” label. You can already see that the energy savings used to heat the water is marginal. However, the initial cost to upgrade (depends on many factors) based on my experience is about 2.5 or higher times (overall) for high efficient models. This works to about (depending on fuel prices) 25 to 25

Q: Do the "instant hot water" heaters work better than the storage type water-heaters?
A: Many manufactures of the tank-less heaters have done studies that show savings over the tank style. Comparison Chart

Q: Can I get sick or die if my water-heater isnt installed properly? Are the venting gases dangerous?
A: Deadly Gases

YES! you could have a very serious gas known as Carbon Monoxcide hurt or kill you and your family, or blow the house up from leaking natural gases! 
Most of you will have either a gas or some other type of fuel burning water-heaters. Ask any qualified gas fitter, sheet metal worker or gas appliance repair person and they will most likely have seen some very dangerous venting issues. The gas that the water-heater uses to heat the water will give off fumes that can cause all kinds of serious long term health issues, not to mention death. 
Respect must be given to the venting when servicing or replacing you old gas water heater. Local regulations may dictate variations from city to city, but safety is primary. Black or aluminum vent pipes that are still common with older type water heaters some of you may have in your home. These types of materials must be changed over to new approved materials ASAP. In all cases, any replacement of an old water-heater MUST have the venting and gas brought up to today’s standards. Make sure your contractor does this. The black pipe as well as the aluminum vent pipes has been banned in most areas in Canada. 

The size of the venting has also been an issue that has come to light over the years. It has been found that if the gas cool down before fully being vented into the outside air, the fumes condensate in the chimney and venting system. Condensation in the venting system will cause a white sandy like build-up through-out. Other issues of condensation are rusting will occur on older venting materials.

Q: No Pilot Light? Pilot light gone out? Change your Thermocouple?
A: On most older style waterheaters, there is a thermocouple that is responsible for keeping your tank pilot and burner operation normal.This is a little video on how to replace your thermocouple.
Please remember you are going to be working with a very dangerous gas, common sense begs that you call our sponsor and have him come out to replace the parts required.
Its worth the fee when you factor in the cost of a bad accident and damages casused by an explosion

Q: I would like to hire a service company to replace or repair my water heater. Who do I call?
A: When your enlisted into our web-sites, your plumbing company will appear here and in other areas through-out our web-site. We give the consumer relivent information about you. The contact information as well as a link through to your web-site will appear in the header and footers of all the pop out windows. We will talk about making sure the right people are given a call, licensed, insured, certified. Only the best plumbers will be given the chance to advertize on this and other up and coming web-sites.

Electric Water Heater FAQ

Q: I have an electric water heater, It is giving me little or no hot water?
A: Electric Water Heater Information
If your experiencing little or no hot water from your electric tank, check to make sure the breaker is still on. Once your sure the power is getting to the tank, and your still not getting hot water, you most likely have one or more burned out elements. You can try to repair yourself by shutting off the power, removing the cover plates and testing for element operation with a electrical tester.

Q: I have taken the element out of the bottom of the tank and can see scale flakes, can I remove the scale build-up?
A: Scale Build-up and Removal On Electric Water Heaters
If you have removed the element below on your electric water heater, it is a great idea to try and remove as much of the oatmeal like scale build-up as you can. This can be done by using a longer pipe size rod, bent on one end to scrape out the scale.

Q: Is there a good affordable electric instant hot-water heater available?
A: Answer


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