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 Information about Vancouver Water Heaters

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: 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: 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.

Q: I have a strong smell coming from the hot water? Why and how can I rid the water of the smell?
A: Answer

Q: What is a "Hot-Water Tank Drip Pan"?
A: Drip Pan
In the event of a water tank rupture, you can stop water from flooding your home with a drip pan. These pans are made of plastic or aluminum. the have provisions to pipe the pan to the floor drain. This will drain off any water that leaves the tank. Call the plumber listed below for any questions or to have one installed today.

Q: What is an "Automatic Water Shut Off" ?
A: Automatic Water Shut Off Valves

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.

A: Your Company Information HereNo 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 three times as much. You may want to shop around and do the research on all the types of tank-less water heaters.
4) Can you install a drip pan under your heater when replacing? Pipe this pan to a nearby floor drain and prevent the flooding of your home in the event of a leak.
5) Ask about the warranty of any new purchase. Some brands have 10 to 12 year warranties! Corp

Q: Are there more energy efficient water heaters I can purchase?
A: 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 dollars a year total savings. Installing a instant water-heater will save you more per year (75.00 to 100.00) savings, again the initial cost not to mention repair cost will leave the pay back a decade or two down the road. So, if it’s about the money, then you can just go ahead and order up the conventional water heater, look for the 7 (or longer) year warranty models that are available.

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

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

Q: No Pilot Light? Pilot light gone out? Change your Thermocouple?
A: Answer

Q: I would like to hire a service company to replace or repair my water heater. Who do I call?
A: Answer

Electric Water Heater FAQ

Q: I have an electric water heater, It is giving me little or no hot water?
A: Answer

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: Answer

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

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Electric HWH FAQ