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What’s the Deal With My Water Heater?

If you’re a new homeowner, have owned your home for years or are even renting, it’s never too late to begin learning about the systems that make up your house. You may already be familiar with some of them, like leaking windows, electrical features and yes, plumbing, as you begin to notice issues, make repairs or call in the experts.

One of the most important features in your home, especially if you live in an area with cold winters, is your hot water heater. If you live in a household with more than one person, and have ever run out of hot water mid-shower, it’s likely that you’ve wondered about your water heater’s efficiency.

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How does it work?

Most homes use a tank water heater, which means hot water is stored until you’re ready to use it. Cold water enters the tank, and is heated by either gas or electricity depending on the type you have. When you turn on a faucet in your home, the stored water flows through your home’s hot water pipes to its destination. If your water heater is tankless, cold water simply passes over a heat exchanger on its way to your faucet, with no storage necessary.

Why am I running out of hot water?

It’s safe to assume that if you’re researching hot water heaters, you might be running out of hot water too soon, or are having issues with water temperature in general. If you live in a large household and have a tank water heater, you may just have more demand than supply as it works to replenish what was used. Of course, that isn’t always the case. Like any appliance, water heaters only last so long, and can begin to run less efficiently after so many years. Having your water heater serviced routinely by professionals can extend its lifetime.

Or, if it’s beyond its useful service life, it may be time to replace the unit with a new, more efficient model.

RLB Services are your local Northern Virginia plumbing experts. If you need a new hot water heater, or need your existing one serviced, give us a call today at (703) 330-0400.