Water Heater Facts for Baldwin Hills Residents

By Greg Fraser


Are you a resident or business owner in Baldwin Hills, Los Angeles (zip codes 90008, 90016, 90056, and 90018)? In this area of Los Angeles, where homes vary in age and plumbing systems, having a dependable water heater service is a must. According to the US Department of Energy, water heating accounts for about 18% of your home's energy use and is typically the second largest energy expense in any home. At Fraser’s Plumbing Co., we have been servicing, repairing, and replacing water heaters in Baldwin Hills for over 40 years. We are happy to educate our customers on everything they need to know about water heaters, how to extend their lifespan and avoid costly mistakes.

Water Heater Facts

  1. Lifespan: The average lifespan of a traditional tank water heater is about 8-12 years. Tankless water heaters, on the other hand, can last up to 20 years or more with proper maintenance.

  2. Energy Consumption: Water heating is the second-largest energy expense in most homes, accounting for about 18% of the utility bill.

  3. Efficiency: Tankless water heaters are typically 24-34% more energy-efficient than traditional tank water heaters for homes that use 41 gallons or less of hot water daily.

  4. Sediment Buildup: Over time, sediment can build up in the bottom of a water heater tank, reducing efficiency and potentially leading to damage. Regular flushing of the tank can help prevent this issue.

  5. First Hour Rating (FHR): For tank water heaters, the First Hour Rating (FHR) is an important measure of how much hot water the heater can supply in an hour of use. It’s a good indicator of how well the heater will meet your household's peak demand.

  6. Recovery Rate: The recovery rate of a water heater indicates how quickly it can heat a fresh batch of water. Gas water heaters generally have a faster recovery rate compared to electric models.

  7. Solar Water Heaters: These are one of the most energy-efficient options available, using the sun's energy to heat water. However, they typically require a backup system for cloudy days or periods of high demand.

  8. Temperature Settings: The U.S. Department of Energy recommends setting your water heater's thermostat to 120 degrees Fahrenheit to save energy and reduce the risk of scalding.

  9. Anode Rod: The anode rod is a component inside the tank of a water heater that helps prevent corrosion. It's often called the "sacrificial rod" because it attracts corrosive elements in the water, which helps protect the tank itself.

  10. Venting Requirements: Gas water heaters require proper venting to safely expel combustion gasses. This can add to the complexity of installation and may impact where the unit can be located in the home.

Types of Water Heaters

Before discussing installation and repair, let’s review the different types of water heaters available for Baldwin Hills homes and commercial properties. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages, and the right choice depends on your home's specific needs and your personal preferences.

  • Traditional Tank Water Heaters: Traditional tank water heaters are the most common type found in homes. They store and heat a large volume of water in a tank, which is then distributed to various fixtures as needed. These heaters are relatively affordable and straightforward to install, but they can be less energy-efficient compared to other types because they continuously heat water to maintain the set temperature.

  • Tankless Water Heaters: Tankless water heaters, also known as on-demand water heaters, heat water directly without the need for a storage tank. When hot water is needed, cold water travels through a pipe into the unit, where it is heated by gas or electric elements. These heaters are more energy-efficient since they only heat water when it's needed, but they can be more expensive to install.

  • Heat Pump Water Heaters: Heat pump water heaters use electricity to move heat from one place to another instead of generating heat directly. They are highly energy-efficient and can save homeowners a significant amount on energy bills. However, they typically require more space and can have a higher upfront cost.

  • Solar Water Heaters: These water heaters use energy from the sun to heat water. They are environmentally friendly and can significantly reduce energy costs. However, their effectiveness depends on the amount of sunlight your home receives, and they usually require a backup system for cloudy days or higher demand.

Signs Your Water Heater Needs Repair

Recognizing the signs that your water heater needs repair can prevent more serious issues and ensure you always have hot water when you need it. Here are some common indicators that your water heater may require professional attention:

  • Inconsistent Water Temperature: If your water temperature fluctuates or doesn't get as hot as it used to, this could indicate a problem with your water heater. It might be due to a failing heating element or a buildup of sediment in the tank.

  • Discolored or Rusty Water: Rusty or discolored water coming from your taps can be a sign of corrosion inside your water heater tank. This is especially concerning if you notice rust in both hot and cold water, indicating the issue might be with your home's plumbing rather than just the water heater.

  • Strange Noises: Unusual noises like popping, banging, or rumbling coming from your water heater are often caused by sediment buildup at the bottom of the tank. This sediment can harden over time and cause damage to the tank if not addressed.

  • Leaks: Any sign of water pooling around your water heater is a clear indication of a leak. Leaks can stem from various issues, including a faulty pressure relief valve, loose connections, or a cracked tank.

  • Reduced Hot Water Supply: If you notice a significant decrease in the amount of hot water your system can provide, it could be due to sediment buildup or a malfunctioning heating element. This is especially noticeable during high-demand periods when hot water runs out faster than usual.

Water Heater Installation Process

Proper installation is key to ensuring your water heater operates efficiently and safely. As water heater repair and replacement experts in Baldwin Hills, with hundreds of units repaired and/or replaced in the area, we are happy to share the step-by-step overview of the installation process:

  1. Assessing Your Needs: The first step is to determine the type and size of water heater that best fits your household's needs. This involves factors such as the number of occupants, daily hot water usage, and energy efficiency preferences.

  2. Choosing the Right Unit: Once you've assessed your needs, you'll need to choose a water heater that matches those requirements. Consult with a professional Baldwin Hills plumber to ensure you select the right model and size.

  3. Preparing for Installation: Before installation, the plumber will turn off the water supply and power to the existing water heater. They will then drain the old unit and remove it from its location.

  4. Installing the New Unit: The new water heater will be positioned in place, and all necessary connections will be made. This includes connecting the water supply lines, gas or electric lines, and the venting system for gas models. Your Baldwin Hills plumber will also ensure the unit is properly grounded and install any required safety features, such as a pressure relief valve.

  5. Testing and Adjustments: After installation, the plumber will test the water heater to ensure it's functioning correctly. This means checking for leaks, verifying proper water temperature, and adjusting settings as needed.

Your Water Heater Experts in Baldwin Hills and Beyond

Ensuring your water heater is properly installed and maintained is essential for the comfort and convenience of your Baldwin Hills home (zip codes 90008, 90016, 90056, and 90018). Whether you need a new water heater installation or repairs to your existing unit, it's important to work with a professional plumbing service to ensure the job is done right.

If you need expert water heater installation or repair services in Baldwin Hills or nearby Los Angeles areas, don't hesitate to contact our experienced team. We're here to help you with all your plumbing needs and ensure your home stays comfortable year-round.