San Diego Residential Water Heater Installation, Repairs and Service

water heater installation San DiegoWhen you call ASAP, you get more than an ordinary local plumber.  You get an experienced and well-trained expert in water heater repair and water heater installation.   We can be there anytime, 24/7, for emergency service for electric water heaters and gas water heaters in San Diego county. With our well-stocked trucks we normally can take care of everything in a single day.

ASAP is a specialist in all facets of  DHW (domestic hot water) services, including tankless water heaters as well as standard tank water heater units.  Based on our extensive experience, we can provide objective repair versus replace evaluations along with scheduled maintenance to prolong the life of your current unit.  We’re up to date on the latest electronic controllers and features, as well as recent building codes and energy-efficiency regulations.  The latest regulations may force some homeowners into significant upgrades, and we’re ready to advise and suggest cost-saving alternatives to simple replacements.

We’re fully insured, licensed, and bonded, approved by Compliance Depot, and members of the BBB (Better Business Bureau).

Home Water Heater Repair

water-heater-repair-residentialASAP is known for its prompt and professional service.  One of our troubleshooting experts will go straight to the water heater repair problem, with no costly detours.  One of our master plumbers can even take care of gas line repairs and upgrades.

Common problems such as no or inadequate hot water and most leaks can be easily and inexpensively fixed.  Common culprits include the safety thermocouple, thermostat and gas control valve, and burned out electric heating elements.  Strange noises are a different matter.  Snapping, popping, or clunking noises are usually due to sediment and other build ups, and can be cleaned out with a bit of maintenance.  But bubbling or gurgling sounds indicate boiling:  that’s an emergency situation requiring immediate attention due to the risk of a steam explosion.  Fortunately correcting that problem is usually simple and inexpensive.  Leaks can also be either a minor or major problem.  If it’s coming from the pressure relief valve or other valves or fittings that’s just a repair.  But if the tank is leaking there’s no alternative to a new water heater installation.

As with any major appliance, it’s worthwhile to give some thought to water heater repair vs replacement.  Residential-rated units typically last from 8 to 15 years, depending on quality and warranty.  If your DHW unit is past it’s warranty it’s probably time for a replacement.  That’s especially true if it has needed several repairs over the last few years or if the currently needed repair is expensive.

Water Heater Installation

Replacing an old hot water heater unit used to be simple; just pick the same size and type for the replacement.  But that recently changed, with new Federal energy-efficiency regulations.  For most people this just means a small additional cost and a slightly bigger tank due to increased insulation.  But for tank sizes of 55 gallons and above, big changes are required.

Useful Note:  Consumer Reports advises going with models having the longest warranties.  They will not only last longer, but are also more efficient and provide more hot water.

Standard residential-rated units range everywhere from 2 1/2 gallons (under-cabinet units) to 120 gallons.  A size of 40 gallons is most common.  If your home’s DHW tank falls into the 55 gallon or greater category we’ll be happy to discuss your options and help you decide what’s best for you.  Even if you’re below the threshold the larger tanks might not fit, leaving you faced with a bit of a remodeling problem.  Options include re-calculating the appropriate tank sizing as a double-check, and reducing the tank size while increasing the thermostat setting with the addition of a temperature-reducing mixing valve to avoid scalding hot water at the taps.  In some situations it may also be possible to use more than one unit.

Yet another option is a tankless water heater.  This technology is typically suitcase sized, and rapidly heats only the what you’re actually using as it flows through.  They are considerably more expensive to purchase and install, but can pay pack that difference rather quickly with their significant energy savings.

bradford white tankless water heatersResidential Tankless Water Heaters

You’re most likely to find tankless water heaters in homes due to their flexibility in location and numerous other well-appreciated benefits.  Residential tankless hot water heaters do, however, encounter a few conditions that need to be overcome for economical home installation.  These arise from having a power demand several times that of standard DHW (domestic hot water) heaters.  Gas-fired units may need a larger diameter gas line to the heater.  It may also be a bit difficult to properly install the necessary venting at remote (point-of-use location).  Electric units don’t require venting, but do require electric wiring and circuit breakers several times larger than a standard tank unit.  This means that a remote unit is typically appropriate for a single shower, for example.

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Residential Gas Water Heaters

Wherever natural gas is available, a gas water heater is almost always the best choice.  Although a bit more complicated, energy costs are far less.  Otherwise, propane is often an economical fuel choice that can usually be handled with a simple change to the burner.

The new regulations require that larger gas water heaters incorporate a “condensing heat exchanger” to boost efficiency.  Although a significantly increasing the price, that should be repaid within the equipment’s lifetime in energy cost savings.  A tankless water heater is a bit less economically attractive as an alternative, as they will likely require upgraded gas supply lines and special venting.

Home Electric Water Heaters

m-1-2u6ss-1Electric resistance heaters are simple and a bit lower in price, but have much higher operating costs due to the relatively high cost of electricity for the same amount of heat delivered.  A large part of that is the inefficiencies (and pollution costs) in generating and distributing electricity.  And a big part of why the new regulations are more extreme for electric water heaters.  New electric installations with tank sizes of 55 gallons and above must use complex and expensive heat pumps rather than simple and inexpensive resistance heating elements.  That technology works a bit like an air conditioner in reverse, pumping heat from outside air into the water.

Although a big jump in price and size, the energy savings can be dramatic — cutting DHW electricity use by more than half.  Tankless water heaters remain a viable alternative, also providing significant energy savings while requiring only beefed-up wiring.  These units can even be installed in kitchens and baths for instant hot water.

Scheduled Water Heater Service

schedule water heater service

Residential DHW plumbing is often ignored, but shouldn’t be.  Preventive maintenance water heater service reduces your chances of facing a cold shower, and can save you money in the long run by improving efficiency and extending the lifetime of the unit.   The primary task is draining the tank and flushing out sediments.  Actually, flushing out tankless units is even more important in maintaining performance.  Other regular services include checking the protective anode rod, performing safety checks, and adjusting the pilot light and burner.