Frymire Home Services Blog: Archive for January, 2021

Why Is My Water Heater Leaking from the Base?

January 30th, 2021

Plumber's tool box setting next to water heater.

If your water heater’s tank is leaking from the bottom, your first reaction might be panic. No one wants to have to replace their water heater unexpectedly, and the majority of homeowners aren’t financially prepared to purchase a large appliance in an emergency. Luckily, water around the bottom of your water heater doesn’t always spell doom. There are a couple of common causes that could be resolved with a simple repair:

Best Case Scenario: Drain Valve Leak

Your water heater has a drain valve that, true to its name, is used to drain the water from the tank when performing maintenance or repairs. If the drain valve is not completely closed, is loose, or is damaged, water will leak from it. This might look like a tank leak, but it is actually quite simple and inexpensive to repair.

Faulty Temperature & Pressure Relief Valve/Excess Pressure in Tank

A water heater’s temperature and pressure relief valve (T&P valve) is a vital safety measure. Its job is to release pressure if a water heater gets too hot, or if too much pressure builds up inside the tank. It is located on top of the tank, but it uses a tube to route any water it discharges to the floor. If it is faulty, it may activate and discharge water even when your tank pressure is normal. Another scenario could be that your tank pressure is not normal, and something is causing your water heater to build up too much pressure. In this case, your T&P valve would be functioning normally.

Worst Case Scenario – Internal Tank Leak

If water is leaking from the bottom of the tank itself, this is bad news. Once a water heater’s tank is cracked or corroded enough to leak, it loses structural integrity and will not be able to manage internal pressure. The most common cause of internal tank leaks is failure to properly maintain your water heater. A water heater’s tank should be flushed to remove sediment every 6 months. If this is not done, sediment can build up inside the tank, eventually causing corrosion. These leaks will start small, but will continue to grow larger due to pressure. If you have an internal tank leak, you will need to replace your water heater.

What To Do When Your Water Heater is Leaking From the Bottom

All the knowledge above is well and good, but what should you actually do when you discover a pool of water around your water heater? Follow these simple steps to stop the leak and diagnose the issue:

1. Turn off the water heater

The first thing you should do is turn it off. For electric water heaters, find your unit’s dedicated breaker on your electrical panel and turn it to the off position. For gas water heaters, simply find the on/off dial or switch on the water heater itself and turn it to off. You can also turn off the gas on a gas water heater. Look for a smaller lever towards the bottom of the heater. It may be red, blue, or yellow. Turn it to the OFF position.

2. Turn off the water supply

Look for a lever or valve near the top of your water heater. Turn it to the right to close the valve and cut off the supply of water.

3. Find the source of leak

Here’s how to check for the three common causes we discussed above:

  • Drain valve – Find your drain valve and visually inspect it to see if water is coming out of it. If so, ensure that it is tightly closed. If water continues leaking from the drain valve, the valve may be faulty or damaged and will need to be replaced. Call a trusted plumber to perform this repair.
  • T&P valve – Check the discharge tube from your T&P valve – if it is wet, it is most likely the source of the water. Call a plumber to check your water heater – they can replace a faulty T&P valve, or determine what is causing your unit to build up too much pressure. This is a safety issue, so don’t wait to address it!
  • Tank – If you determine that the leak is not coming from the drain valve or T&P valve, the tank is the most likely culprit. Leaks can start as pinholes, so it may be difficult to actually find the source. Contact a reliable plumber right away to inspect your water heater. They will be able to verify that your tank is leaking, and can talk you through your options for replacement.

Best Course of Action: Call a Plumber for Water Heater Service

If your water heater keeps leaking after you check that the drain valve is tightly closed, call a reliable plumbing company for water heater repair service. If it turns out to be a small issue, you will spend relatively little money to ensure that your water heater is sound and stop the leak. If it’s a more serious matter, a plumber can fix dangerous safety failures or help you replace your water heater.

If your water heater is leaking in Dallas, Texas, call Frymire Home Services for water heater repair. Our expert team can quickly diagnose your water heater and make repairs to stop the leak. In the event of tank failure, we can help you replace your water heater with a new gas, electric, traditional, or tankless water heater.

For water heater repair and replacement in Dallas, count on the expert plumbers at Frymire Home Services. Call us at 972-620-3600 or contact us online today!

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4 Common Reasons Why You Have No Hot Water

January 19th, 2021

At Frymire Home Services, we have you covered! Below, we have listed 4 common reasons as to why you may be experiencing no hot water, because the last thing you want is to take a cold shower.

Before we dive into the 4 common reasons, I want to go over the differences between water heater tanks and tankless water heaters. Within the water heater tank family, you have your gas tanks and electric tanks. Your gas tanks use gas to heat your water, while your electric tanks use electricity. Another thing is that these tanks hold the water that you use throughout your home for future usage.  Your water heater tanks typically have an 8- to 10-year life span.

Tankless water heaters do not store water for future use, but instead heat the water needed on demand. Tankless water heaters are also more efficient than your water heater tanks and have a typical life span of 15-20 years.

Why Don’t I Have Hot Water?

  • The first common reason could be because of your pilot light. Your pilot light is located at the bottom of your gas water heater tank. The pilot light is what ignites the burner and starts the water heating process. Your pilot light can go out because there is a buildup of debris or because your thermocouple goes out. Your thermocouple is right next to your pilot light and goes out because there is no metal-to-metal contact. This can be resolved by having a technician sand your thermocouple to achieve that needed metal-to-metal contact.
  • A second common reason could be because of your gas control valve. Your gas control valve is located on the outside of your gas water heater tank and is responsible for controlling the water heat levels.  When your gas control valve goes out, it could be because there is a clog within the valve, or the thermocouple is out. To fix this issue, you will need to have a technician unclog the blockage, replace your gas control valve, or worst case, replace your water heater.
  • The third common reason could be because of a burnt heating element.  Your heating element is what heats the water in your tank. Depending on the type of electric water heater tank, this can be located on the top or bottom. Your heating element becomes burnt when no yearly maintenance flushes are performed. This is one of the reasons why yearly maintenance flushes are so important. If this problem is recognized too late, a technician will not only have to perform a flush, but will also have to investigate if your thermostat is still working properly. If the thermostat is no longer working properly, this will need to be replaced.
  • A fourth common reason could be because of your flood stop. This is more common with newer systems and can happen in both tank and tankless water heaters. Your flood stop is in your water heater pan and is what detects if any water is going into the pan, acting as a safety mechanism. Your flood stop is what prevents floods from happening within your home and is extremely important. When this is tripped, your hot water will stop working. To troubleshoot this yourself, disconnect your sensor and push “open” on your control panel. However, this will only work if there is NO water in your water heater pan. If you detect any water in your pan, immediately stop what you are doing and call your plumber. They will be able to identify where the leak is coming from and properly fix it.

Frymire Home Services understands the importance of educating and informing our customers. We want to make sure that we not only help correct the issue, but help you understand how and why the issue happened. To learn more about your plumbing system visit our website at www.frymire.com or call us at 972-910-2041 to schedule an appointment with one of our licensed plumbers.

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6 Reasons Why Cold Air Is Coming From Your Vents When Your Heater Is On

January 13th, 2021

During the winter season, experiencing cold air coming from your vents is the last thing you want happening when you turn on your heater. Within your AC system you have four main units:  your condenser (located outside your home), your coil (located inside your home),  your furnace (located inside your home), and your thermostat (located inside your home). The thermostat is probably the unit you are most familiar with as this is what you use to regulate the temperature within your home.

Essentially your AC system does one of two things for you: it is either bringing hot air into your home (heating) or it is taking the hot air out of your home (cooling).  Your condenser, coil, furnace, and thermostat work together to make this happen.

With Frymire Home Services, we bring you peace of mind and have listed below six possible reasons why your vent is blowing out cold air instead of hot air.

Why Is Cold Air Coming From My Vents?

It is cold inside your home and you have just turned on your heater. A couple hours go by and you have not noticed any heat changes with the temperature inside your home; it is just as cold, if not colder, as when you turned your heater on. You walk to your thermostat to double-check, and you did turn the heat on!  You are puzzled as to why you are experiencing cold air coming through your vents instead of the hot air you are wanting. There are a couple reasons as to why you may be experiencing this issue.

Reason #1

The first reason could be due to the age of your flame sensor.  Your flame sensor is located within your furnace and is an important safety feature that not only protects your unit but also protects you. When a flame is ignited within your furnace, your flame sensor makes sure to burn the natural gas to continue the heating cycle. When no flame is detected, your flame sensor automatically shuts off your furnace, ensuring that no natural gas escapes into your unit. As your furnace ages, so does your flame sensor. The only two ways to fix this would be having your flame sensor cleaned or having it replaced.

Reason #2

The second reason could be due to a bad limit switch. Your limit switch is located inside your home and is attached to your furnace. When the heat exchanger becomes too hot, your limit switch acts as a safety mechanism and turns off the burner. Problems arise when your limit switch malfunctions and either continuously runs your blower, never properly ending a heating cycle, or it doesn’t allow your furnace to operate because it is continuously turning off the burner. To fix this you will need to have a technician come out and diagnose the underlying issue. It could be as simple as making sure that your filters and fan blades are cleaned properly or ensuring there is no improper duct sizing or high static pressure. In the end you might have to have your limit switch replaced.

Reason #3

The third reason could be due to a faulty fan or motor.  Within your furnace you have your blower fan and your inducer draft motor. Your indoor fan, otherwise known as the “blower,” is responsible for bringing in hot air when in heating mode. The reason this goes out is because the blower has reached the end of its life span, has inadequate ductwork, or has high static pressure. The two ways to fix this are to either lower the static pressure or, if that does not work, replace it with a newer one.

Next, you have your inducer draft motor, which is responsible for removing exhaust gas. The reason this becomes faulty is because it has a restriction or blocked flue pipe, or the windings have burned up. To fix this you need to have the blockage or restrictions cleared, or if that does not work have the motor replaced.

Reason #4

The fourth reason could be due to the age of your gas valve. Your gas valve is located outside your furnace and is what opens and closes the furnace’s fuel system.  When you tell your thermostat to heat, your furnace’s gas valves begin to open and close and allow the gas to flow to the pilot light and burner(s).  When this stops working properly, the only way this can be fixed is by replacing your gas valve with a newer one.

Reason #5

The fifth reason could be a low refrigerant charge in your AC system, which is due to a leak in either your heat pump or coil. This can be fixed by having a technician locate the leak and repair the leak. If the leak cannot be repaired, you will need to replace your AC system with a newer one. This would only be applicable if you have a heat pump system.

Reason #6

The sixth reason could be due to a bad compressor.  The compressor is inside your heat pump, located outside your home. The compressor is the heart of your AC system and is what keeps everything running smoothly. When this goes out you will need to replace it. Some reasons it could go out include that it was over- or under-charged, had a faulty run capacitor, faulty motor, dirty evaporator, or dirty condensing coils, or had undersized ductwork. Again, this is only applicable in heat pump systems.

Frymire Home Services understands the importance of educating and informing our customers and helping them become air conditioning experts! We make sure that we not only correct the issue, but also help the customer understand why the issue happened.  To learn more about your air conditioning system visit our website at www.frymire.com or call us at 972-910-2041 to schedule an appointment with one of our licensed technicians.

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