Here are 4 signs your old water heater is in trouble

From showers to dishes and laundry, your home depends on a working water heater. When your water heater stops working, it can be a huge disruption. In this blog, we’ll review the signs that your old water heater is in trouble—and what to do to correct the problem.

The signs an old water heater is struggling

Nothing lasts forever, and that’s almost doubly true for water heaters. After all, that combination of heat, water, and metal can only last for so long. Here are the signs it’s time to upgrade to a new water heater.

#1. Less hot water than there used to be

All standard water heaters have a sacrificial anode rod within them that “absorbs” the rust, protecting the outside tank walls from damage. However, eventually, this anode rod is spent, and the rust and calcium buildup comes for the tank body itself.

As this rust builds up day-after-day, year-after-year, eventually it begins to fill the space within the tank. Left unchecked, this can lead to a noticeable reduction in the amount of hot water your system can provide at once, since there’s physically less room to store hot water in the tank.

#2. The water is less hot than it used to be

If you’re finding that your home’s water is less “hot” and more “moderately lukewarm,” it might be a sign that your old water heater needs to be repaired or replaced.

Warm, not hot, water could be a sign of different problems. It could be an issue with the heating element itself. Or, that aforementioned reduction in tank space could be the culprit. Either way, there’s a point where a water heater just won’t be able to keep up.

#3. You’re seeing rust in the water supply

Ok, so that anode rod we mentioned earlier? After it’s gone, the tank itself will begin to rust. This rust will begin to leech into the hot water supply that’s going to your home, causing rust-colored water to appear, either consistently or once in a while.

But, here’s a problem. How do you know if the rusty water is from your old water heater or your (even older) water pipes? Obviously, the latter is a much bigger problem than the former.

Turn the tap to hot and see if you notice the rusty water. Then, turn off the hot tap entirely. If the rust coloration goes away, it’s likely the water heater that’s the problem.

#4. The tank is leaking

We saved this one for last, but it’s the one thing you should immediately call us about. If your hot water tank is leaking, it’s time for a new one, since it’s very likely that the hull has been compromised.

A leaking tank is never just a nuisance. Left untreated, even the smallest crack in a tank can lead to a tank burst, which can completely destroy your garage, flood your home, and—generally—make for a really, really terrible day.

If you suspect that your older water heater is leaking, has a hairline fracture, or other problems, contact Air Control immediately.

Call Air Control for water heater services

Air Control is proud to provide Lake Havasu City and Mohave County with water heater repair and installation services. If you’re ready to change out your old water heater for a new one, contact us.

Here’s what our team does to find hidden water leaks in your home

Sometimes, water leaks are obvious and staring you right in the face. When your faucet is dripping, your pipes under the sink is leaking, or there’s a problem with your dishwasher, you can actually see the water. However, what happens when there are hidden water leaks in your home that you can’t see? How do you go about finding those?

We’re talking about leaks that are behind interior walls, cabinets, or otherwise hidden from view. You need to contact Air Control Home Services for professional plumbing services.

The four big ways we hunt for hidden water leaks

#1. Eliminating all other sources of water

Hidden water leaks can be difficult to find.Before we do anything else, we’ll want to confirm that you do have a leak in an interior section of pipe. To do this, we’ll make sure all faucets, outlets, and other sources of water are completely shut off, and then shut off the water to your home.

After a while, we’ll check the water meter. If the dial indicates that there’s been water used, it’s probably from the leak, since no other part of the house should have water moving.

#2. Video inspection via a professional snake tool

Our plumbers have specialized, moisture-resistant snake tools on-hand that we can use to put down through your drain and wind through your pipes, looking for signs of a leak.

Of course, it’s not just a matter of the tools: only an experienced plumber can spot the subtle differences in water pressure that indicate that there’s a leak in the pipes.

Once we’ve located the approximate area of the leak using our snake tool, we’ll move on to our next method for finding the exact location of the leak.

#3. Listening very carefully (with specialized equipment)

Hidden water leaks inside walls and behind cabinets do make sound. However, this sound is so slight and so small that it’s impossible to hear with the human ear—even if your home is perfectly silent.

Our plumbers use specialized equipment to press up against the wall and hear “through” it. Then, our plumbers listen intently through headphones to “locate” the source of the sound by moving along the wall.

Think of this as a leak-finding stud-finder: our experienced plumbers may have a hunch about where the leak is thanks to the use of the snake tool, but this listening equipment helps us zero in before we cut drywall.

#4. Dealing with outside leaks

We do deal with hidden water leaks inside the home, but outdoor water leaks are just as common. That’s because drip systems and your sewer line typically run under a yard. While protected from some elements by being buried, other disturbances—minor seismic activity, tree roots, clogs inside of the pipe—can lead to leaks.

These outdoor hidden water leaks can be just as hard, if not more difficult, to find. Luckily, that’s where we come in. Our plumbers have tools for measuring ground moisture in different parts of your yard. We’ll find the source of the ground water leak before moving to advise you on how to address the issue.

Call Air Control for professional plumbing services in Lake Havasu City

Even the smallest of leaks can represent a big problem for your home or yard over time. Our recommendation? When you suspect there’s a leak, call in the professionals here at Air Control right away. Our plumbers are friendly and experienced, and we know how to find hidden water leaks, and get them fixed.

To schedule service, contact us today!

Turn to the experts for drain cleaning this holiday season

Drains are arguably the most important part of the plumbing in your home. Without them, water has nowhere to go, and your sinks, showers, and toilets are unusable. During this busy holiday season, call Air Control Home Services for expert drain cleaning in Lake Havasu City.

4 reasons to call Air Control for drain cleaning this holiday season

If you’re having drain problems, don’t rely on some DIY method you found on the internet. Instead, call in the pros at Air Control Home Services. Here are four reasons you should give us a call.

1. Keep your sink from smelling terrible for guests

Call Air Control for drain cleaning this holiday season

You’re going to have a lot of people in your kitchen making food this holiday season. The last thing you want is your guests holding their nose around your sink.

Food clogs and accumulation can cause foul smells. Call in the plumbers at Air Control for drain cleaning that removes these odors and makes your sink smell great.

2. Keep your sinks (and everything else) running

The holidays are the busiest time of year for plumbers. (The busiest day is the day after Thanksgiving). That’s because your kitchen and bathroom sinks are in full use, and people are often trying to put too much food waste (or the wrong kind of food waste, such as grease and turkey bones) down the disposal. We get a lot of calls to clean pipes of turkey and ham bones.

Here’s the problem: a kitchen sink clog during the holidays can mean a backup in the kitchen and the delay of dinner. That’s why we offer emergency plumbing repair service in Lake Havasu City.

3. Avoid using chemicals to clear clogs

For many people, their first instinct when they have a clogged kitchen sink is to reach for some store-bought chemical agent that promises to wipe out the clog. Here’s the thing: any chemical that’s caustic enough to eat through grease and food waste is probably also tough enough to do a number on your pipes. Residential pipe cleaners should be a last resort.

Air Control clears clogs primarily using specialized plumbing tools that allow us to reach down within the pipe and physically clear the obstruction. This is far safer for your pipes, and means you don’t have to keep dangerous chemicals around your home.

4. Retrieve lost items (such as wedding rings)

You’re cleaning your dishes after that filling holiday meal. Suddenly, that dish soap causes your wedding ring to slip off, and down it goes. If you or your guests lose something valuable down the sink, Air Control’s plumbers have the tools to help retrieve it, without damage to the item or to your pipes.

Retrieving your wedding ring doesn’t just get you something precious back. Removing foreign, non-food objects from your sink can help prevent a future clog. That’s a win-win.

This holiday season, call Air Control for your drain cleaning needs

Contact us for professional plumbing services in Lake Havasu City. Our experienced plumbers can clean all types of drains inside the house and prevent plumbing problems. For emergency service, give us a call at (928) 680-0600.

What are tankless water heaters, and how do they work?

We get this question quite a bit: what are tankless water heaters, and how do they work? These are newer systems, and most homeowners are still familiar with standard (or “traditional”) water heaters. But, tankless units have many advantages, too, and they might just be right for your home.

In this blog post, we’ll review what tankless water heaters are, and what makes them different from standard systems. Read on to learn more!

What are tankless water heaters?

To best explain what tankless water heaters are and how they work, let’s run through their benefits and what makes them different from standard water heaters:

signs you need a new water heater

A standard water heater has a tank, and is typically floor-mounted.

#1. They provide you with constant hot water

This is the biggest selling point of these systems. Tankless water heaters heat water as it’s needed at the faucet, meaning they can provide a constant supply of hot water on demand. This is where they get their technical name: demand-type water heaters.

We all know what it’s like to have the entire family getting ready in the morning. The last person to shower is often the one stuck taking a cold shower. Then, there’s no hot water for laundry or dishes until the water heater “recharges” its supply.

That’s not a problem with a tankless water heater. These systems operate by moving water past heated coils, heating it as needed. Whether its a gas or electric system, these coils are capable of getting water up to the desired temperature and then out to where it’s needed.

#2. They can save space compared to standard water heaters

One of the biggest benefits of tankless water heaters as compared to traditional water heaters is the potential for space savings. Generally, standard water heaters are 60-inch tall and 24-inch wide. They’re floor-mounted, typically in a garage or closet.

In contrast, most tankless systems are just 28-by-20, and they’re typically wall-mounted. This can save your floor space.

what are tankless water heaters

Tankless water heaters are wall-mounted, and do not carry water in a tank.

#3. They last longer than normal water heaters

Traditional water heaters have a typical lifespan of 10 to 12 years. The lifespan of tankless water heaters is about double that. They can last as long as 20 years when properly maintained by a professional plumber. If you plan to stay in your home for a long time, a tankless water heater is the best choice, since an increased lifespan means greater cost savings in the long run.

#4. They’re more energy-efficient, too

The operating cost of tankless water heaters is much lower compared to traditional water heaters. These systems use significantly less electricity or gas to heat up the water because they heat water when it’s needed, instead of having to keep water heated in a tank for use.

As a result, you will be able to save a lot due to reduced energy usage. The annual savings can amount to $100 when using Energy Star tankless water heater, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

The verdict?

The reality is that tankless water heaters have many advantages over standard “tanked” systems. The trade-off? They cost more upfront.

However, if you’re planning on owning your home for a long time, it’s pretty likely that the energy savings of the system will eventually catch up and pass the increased initial investment. That’s in addition to the convenience these systems represent in your home.

If you’re unsure if a tankless water heater is right for your home in Lake Havasu City, Bullhead City, or other parts of Mohave County, give our team a call at (928) 680-0600, or contact us online.

Our expert plumbing team can walk you through the best ways to determine if you should go tankless, and we can even provide you with a quote for a new system.

Hard water: What it is, its impacts, and what you can do about it

It’s commonly known that hard water is bad for your home’s plumbing and pipes. Over enough time, hard water can even clog pipes and lead to major plumbing problems. But, what is hard water, and why does it impact your home in this way?

In this blog, we’ll review how the state of the water coming out of your tap can impact everything in your home, including your fixtures, appliances, pipes, and more.

Pictured: Hard water can cause a restricted water flow to your kitchen or bathroom sink.If you suspect you have hard water problems, call our team to schedule an in-home estimate on a new water filtration and softening system.

What is hard water?

Hard water is water that contains a high percentage of minerals, especially magnesium and calcium carbonates. As water moves through stone in nature, these minerals break off and head downstream in the water.

Is the water in Lake Havasu City hard?

Here in Lake Havasu City, we get our water from two sources: the Colorado River, and from groundwater wells. Given that the Colorado River was formed by water eroding rock, the surface water we drink is relatively hard. Groundwater is even harder, as the water is coming from underground aquifers and is constantly moving between rock.

According to the city, our water hardness is 325 parts per million (PPM). According to national standards, anything over 180 PPM is considered “very hard”. Lake Havasu City’s water supply is so hard that it’s basically off the scale!

Is this water safe to drink?

Let’s bust a myth: hard water is safe to drink, even if it tastes somewhat “off”. In fact, your body needs some of the minerals found in hard water. There may be other contaminants in the water that make a water purification system a good idea, however.

However, it’s your appliances, pipes, and fixtures you need to worry about when it comes to the hardness of water.

How does hard water impact my home?

You can actually see the impact. Over time, your shower and sink fixtures take on a white or yellow flaky buildup. That’s the calcium from your water being deposited. The buildup of calcium deposit makes the fixtures look dirty.

It’s easy enough to clean up calcium on external fixtures. But, the buildup elsewhere can be far more sinister.

Your home’s pipes

Take, for instance, your home’s pipes. Over time, more and more calcium will be deposited within the pipe, eventually forming a partial clog. This reduces water pressure until the clog completely restricts the flow, blocking the pipe and leading to the need for major plumbing repair.

Your home’s appliances

The same thing that is happening to your home’s pipes is also a war being waged against two of your most important appliances: your dishwasher and your washing machine. Not only can the pipes connecting both of them to your home’s main water supply also become clogged, but hard water can increase the wear-and-tear on internal components.

Your water heater is also under attack. The minerals corrode the inside of the water tank faster, burning through the sacrificial anode rod. This decreases the lifespan of your water heater and puts the unit at a greater risk of a tank burst.

What’s the best way to deal with this problem?

The simplest and the best way to treat hard water problem is to call our professional plumbers for installation of a water softener. Whether you rely on municipal water supply or groundwater through a pump or well, a water softener will perfectly help in treating hard water problem.

How do water softeners work?

Most water softeners are installed into the water supply system of the house. The softener removes minerals from the water using ion exchange. It trades minerals in the hard water with either potassium or sodium.

The exchange of minerals takes place inside the water softener’s tank. The water flows through the small resin beads inside the tank. This results in the exchange of hard ions (magnesium and calcium) with soft ions (potassium or sodium). Overtime, the resin beads exhaust, and need to be recharged by adding salt bags in the tank.

Call Air Control Home Services for your water filtration solutions

Hard water can cause serious plumbing problems over time, and the only remedy is to soften your water. If you live in Lake Havasu City, Bullhead City, or other parts of Mohave County, call our team today for an in-home estimate on a home water filtration and purification system.

Our plumbers can meet with you and talk you through any further questions you have about your water.

Here are the three big signs you need a new water heater

Having your water heater stop working when you least expect it is a pain. However, a water heater almost never fails without some indicators. In this blog, we’ll review the signs you need a new water heater.

signs you need a new water heaterNot sure if your water heater needs to be replaced? Give our team here at Air Control a call. We offer plumbing services in Lake Havasu City.

Sign #1: Rusty water coming from the faucet

Any plumber can tell you that rusty water is one of the most common—yet too often ignored—signs of a water heater that is on its way out.

Homeowners often just assume it’s something wrong with the municipal water supply. Here’s one way to test that: fill a few containers with both hot and cold water. If you see that only the water in the containers filled with hot water is rusty or not as clear as it should be, this is proof that the problem lies in your water heater.

Why is this an issue?

Rusty water is often an indication of rust building up in your water heater. If the issue isn’t dealt with as soon as it is noticed, chances are that your water heater will soon start leaking due to the damage caused by the rust.

Don’t let that happen. Instead, give our team a call.

Sign #2: Cracks and leaks on the tank

Cracks and leaks are another sign of impending water heater problems that you should look out for—especially if you have a water heater that’s getting up there in age.

With time, it is common for sediment to accumulate at the bottom of the tank of your water heater. If sediment begins to build up in your water heater, you may find that the water in your taps is sandy or muddy.

This sediment eventually hardens until it reaches the point where most of the energy being used by your water heater is wasted on heating the hardened sediment. This does not only cause your water heater to become inefficient, but you will also notice that your hot water supply is depleted much quicker than ever before.

Why is this an issue?

As more time is required for your water to heat up, your water heater might become damaged from this overheating, resulting in cracks and leaks which are commonly accompanied by rumbling or banging noises.

Obviously, a cracked or leaking water heater is a major problem and puts your home at risk of a tank burst. Shut off your water and immediately call us.

Sign #3: Something is off about the texture and temperature of the water

For this one, you’ll have to trust your gut—and your taste buds.

If you notice that the hot water from your tap tastes or feels metallic, this is a sign that your water heater is about to fail. The metallic taste, texture, and smell of water are often caused by the deterioration of the inner tank mixing with the water.

Additionally, if you feel like the water in your tap is only warm at best and not exactly hot, this is a sign that your water heater is no longer able to heat water like it once used to and needs repair or replacement.

Call Air Control Home Services when there are signs you need a new water heater

At Air Control, our experienced plumbers are water heater inspection and repair experts. Give us a call at (928) 680-0600 or contact us online.