AZ Air Conditioning and Heating Blog : Archive for the ‘Water Heaters’ Category

3 Signs of Trouble With Your Water Heater

Monday, October 31st, 2016

Water heaters benefit a great deal from our dry and mild climate here in Los Angeles, CA, which means that yours can likely go for many years before needing replacement. Sooner or later, that day will come, however, and because water heaters usually do their jobs quietly in out-of-the-way locations like your basement, it can be hard to spot the problem until it’s a raging crisis.

This is doubly unfortunately because many issues with water heaters can be addressed without replacement if they’re caught quickly. Ideally, you can schedule a maintenance session from a trained plumber once a year to spot any potential issues and plan to correct them. But you can augment that by checking for signs of trouble from your water heater throughout the year. Here are three specific ways to do that.

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How to Flush a Water Heater

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016

Our water heaters run into trouble most often when we take them for granted, and unfortunately, taking them for granted is very easy to do. They usually sit in seldom-visited corners of our Los Angeles homes, such as the basement, and since they work so quietly, we can’t always know when trouble is brewing until it’s too late. Unfortunately, that can turn many repair calls into replacement sessions, as the damage (if left unaddressed for weeks or months) has become so extensive that a new water heater is necessary.

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Why Should I Schedule Water Heater Maintenance?

Monday, October 5th, 2015

The fall is usually an excellent time to schedule maintenance on various household systems and appliances. With the weather finally cooling off here in Los Angeles, CA and kids heading back to school, homeowners have more time to set up such a session at their leisure, and stop potential problems before they get started. Water heaters aren’t often a part of people’s considerations when planning household maintenance, but they should be. Regular maintenance can do terrific things for your water heater, which is important since most people are content to ignore theirs until the problems become too large to simply let slide. Why should you schedule water heater maintenance? We’ve listed several compelling reasons below.

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Is a Tankless Water Heater Right for Me?

Monday, July 20th, 2015

If you live in Los Angeles, CA, chances are your home has a traditional tanked water heater. They’ve been stalwarts for most houses built in the last fifty years – which includes a lot of Southern California homes – and remain a sensible and reliable system for yours. However, if you’re looking to replace an old water heater with a new one, or you’re just dissatisfied with the one you have, you may want to decide if a tankless water heater is right for you. The answers vary, but a few basic facts can help you make up your mind.

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3 Advantages of a Tankless Water Heater

Monday, July 6th, 2015

We live in Los Angeles, CA, which means we’re not afraid to color outside the lines sometimes. This can apply to your household appliances as well as more dynamic forms of creativity. Take your water heater for instance. Most people think of it as the dull-yet-dependable cylinder in their garage or basement, quietly doing its job without much fuss. It’s a dependable system, but it’s not the only one available. Tankless water heaters, though costing a little more to install, can provide numerous advantages over traditional models. We’ve listed three of those benefits below, which you should think about while considering installation.

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What is the Sacrificial Anode Rod?

Tuesday, March 10th, 2015

The most common type of water heater in the United States is of the tank water heater variety. These are heaters that make use of large tanks to store up to over 100 gallons of hot water. While this is very convenient for homeowners, it does expose the water heater to increased wear and tear. Constantly being in contact with so much water makes it possible for the water heater to rust much faster, and possibly even rupture.

In order to counter this increased rate of oxidization, tank water heaters are equipped with a special safety part: the sacrificial anode rod. Let’s examine what the sacrificial anode rod is, how it works, and why you need to keep a close eye on the condition of yours.

The Sacrificial Anode Rod

The sacrificial anode rod, or anode rod for short, is a long metal rod that is inserted into the storage tank of the water heater. The rod is made of either aluminum or magnesium, forged around a thin steel wire. Utilizing a chemical process called “electrolysis” the anode rod attracts rust to itself so that the lining of the tank is spared. Think of the anode rod as operating like a lightning rod, drawing the strike to itself in order to protect the surrounding area.

Unfortunately, this means that the anode rod will eventually rust away itself. This is where it gets the “sacrificial” part of its name. Once the rod rusts away, the lining of the tank will begin to rust.

Why You Need to Check Your Anode Rod

Once the anode rod has rusted down to the steel wire, it will no longer be able to prevent the tank from rusting. If the lining of the tank rusts far enough, it can start to spring leaks. Eventually, the tank may even rupture, causing thousands of dollars in water damage to the surrounding area. This is why you need to check your sacrificial anode rod at least once a year. That way, you can replace it with a new rod so the protective effect isn’t interrupted.

If you aren’t sure how to replace your sacrificial anode rod, call AZ Air Conditioning and Heating. We provide water heaters throughout Los Angeles.

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Electric vs. Natural Gas: Which Is the Better Tankless Option?

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

If you have decided to install a tankless water heater in your Pasadena home, you still need to make one more decision, and that is what kind of fuel you’ll use. There are two choices when it comes to fueling a tankless water heater: electricity or natural gas. Which one is best for your home? Let’s take a look.

Natural Gas

A natural gas tankless water heater requires access to a natural gas line. The installation costs for a natural gas tankless heater can be more than an electric one, but if you already have natural gas in your home, it may be a more natural choice. The main challenge with the installation of a gas tankless water heater is that the venting is very specific and complex, and many times most homes do not have the proper equipment for venting already present. This means that extra work may be required to install a gas unit. Gas units are very efficient, averaging about 85% efficiency, and can cost up to 15% less to operate than their electric counterpart.


Electric tankless water heaters are about 1/3 smaller than the tankless gas units because they do not need a burner; they also do not need access to a natural gas line and as such, can be installed without adjustment as long as your electrical box has the power to support it. Typically an electric tankless water heater needs to have an electric panel that supports 200 amps. If your electrical box isn’t large enough to support the tankless heater, you may have to consider an upgrade or using a gas unit. Electric tankless heaters have very high energy efficiency ratings, usually around 98%, because they don’t lose any latent heat in the form of combustion byproducts. They can also be installed as point-of-use heaters, directly under sinks.

Deciding which type of fuel will be best for your home will depend in part on your available resources and your needs. Working with an expert from AZ Air Conditioning and Heating from start to finish can help ensure that you install a tankless water heater in your Pasadena home that will fit your needs for many years.

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How Does an Electric Water Heater Work?

Friday, January 30th, 2015

Tank waters heaters use two main fuel types to heat water: natural gas (or propane) and electricity.

Each can effectively heat the water, but because of the nature of the fuel types, each does so differently. Today we’re going to take a look at how electric water heaters generate the warm water needed for your home. This information is good for homeowners to have, but doesn’t supersede the need to call for an expert when your water heater in Burbank needs repair.

The experts at AZ Air Conditioning and Heating have been helping customers with water heater repair since 1984, so if you are having problems with your water heater, call us today.

Water In, Water Out

How Does an Electric Water Heater Work?Electric water heaters use electricity to heat your water, but there is a process to it. First, the inside of the tank is divided into two areas known as the upper element and lower element. Those zones are not physically divided, but they are each designated by the presence of a thermostat, one being the upper thermostat and one being the lower thermostat.

When you open a hot water tap anywhere in your home, the hottest water, which resides at the top of the tank, flows from the hot water outlet and into your piping. At the same time, the cold water inlet valve opens and adds more water to the tank via the dip tube.

The dip tube is a long, narrow plastic tube that directs all the incoming cold water to the bottom of tank, where it will stay until it is heated and rises. During the standby times, which is when hot water isn’t flowing, the upper thermostat turns on and heats the water in the upper part of the tank until it reaches the pre-set temperature that has been set.

The lower element is programmed to turn on hourly to heat the cold water at the bottom to a specific temperature, but won’t turn on at the same time as the upper thermostat or when the hot water is flowing.

Hot water is a necessity for your home, so if you are experiencing any problems with your water heater, call AZ Air Conditioning and Heating today and schedule an appointment for water heater repair in your Burbank home.

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Common Water Heater Problems

Monday, July 21st, 2014

The water heater is one of the major appliances in the home, and is of equal stature as your refrigerator, washer/dryer and dishwasher. It allows you to shower in temperature-controlled water, to hit the switch on your automatic dishwasher, and to keep your white clothes and linens particularly clean, not to mention the various other ways you rely upon hot water in the home. Whether your system is old or new, tank or tankless, it will encounter its fair share of wear and tear over the years, and this may eventually cause some issues for system performance and efficiency.

While you should definitely have your system diagnosed and fixed by a professional, it’s up to you to recognize that you have a problem in the first place. Not all problems involve the sudden breakdown of your water heater.

Here is a brief list of some signs that you need water heater repair, STAT

  • Strange sounds and loud noises. If the sound of your water heater strikes fear in the hearts of your young ones, then it may be time for a professional to have a look. Boiling and banging can be indications that all is not right with your system, and unusually loud noises are no better. Don’t take any chances with such blatant signs of disrepair.
  • High energy bills. Another sign that your water heater is not operating properly is when it requires additional energy to operate. This can happen for a variety of reasons, but it’s often the case that your system has too much sediment at the bottom of the tank. This can interfere with the heat exchanger’s ability to heat your water, and can actually lead to dangerously high temperatures as well.
  • Inadequate hot water. If you find that your hot water capacity has plummeted gradually over the last year or so, then it might be time to replace. Whether you need repair or replacement, the first step is having a professional take a look. Inadequate hot water can lead to cold showers, which are never pleasant.

Call AZ Air Conditioning and Heating today to schedule water heater repairs in Los Angeles and get to the heart of the problem.

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