Service and Repair
Our service technicians are trained to work on all brands of conventional water tank heaters, tankless water heaters and boilers with a side arm water heater. We also install the Bradford White and State brands of conventional water heaters and the Rinnai or Eternal Hybrid brands of tankless water heaters. For boilers with sidearm water heaters, we recommend the SuperStor brand.
Does the hot water in your home run out sooner than you’d like it to? Your gallon per minute needs for hot water determines the size of the water heater you need. With tankless water heaters, you may need two units. Call us for a free estimate and we will provide you with options to meet your needs based on the number of plumbing fixtures in your home per plumbing code.
Conventional Tank Water Heater
The average life of a conventional tank water heater is nine years. On the water heater above the gas valve is a placard with a model number and a serial number. The first four digits of the serial number should indicate the manufacturer’s date stamp. This does not necessarily reflect the installation date, but gives you an idea of the age of your unit. Most manufacturer warranties include a six year parts warranty. Knowing the installation date helps prove the warranty date and giving us this information when you call, helps us to help you. If you don’t know the installation date, the serial number date stands as the installation date. This only matters if you are close to the six year warranty date. A manufacturer warranty only covers the parts, not labor, under all circumstances. So we ask you to understand there is still a charge for picking up and installing the part even when it is under warranty. If your water heater was bought through one of the home builder stores, there will be a phone number for you to call on the water heater. If that sticker is there, you can have the part delivered and then we will only charge you for installing the part. Call us for a quote.
Tankless Water Heater
For a tankless water heater, the manufacturer recommendations maintenance be done every three years by a HVAC or plumbing contractor. In a tankless water heater, the heat exchanger is the size of a shoebox. Approximately two gallons of water are being heated rapidly to accommodate your hot water needs. After about three years of everyday use, the sediment builds in a very confined area. Heat is applied and the tankless water heater slows the gallons per minute (GPM) to accommodate the set temperature on display on your water heater. The cold water pressure does not decrease so the cold water overbears the hot water and is noticeable at each plumbing fixture. To remedy this situation, plumbing/HVAC contractors use a manufacturer recommended vinegar type of solution. This solution dissolves the sediment buildup in the heat exchanger allowing more GPM and remedying the sediment buildup issue.
Boiler with Sidearm Heater
For a boiler with a side arm heater, the domestic hot water is created by utilizing the heat from the boiler. The side arm heater is simply a tank with a copper coil, which exchanges the boiler’s hot water to the surrounding water in the tank. The boiler’s hot water is a sealed loop, so this water never escapes into the domestic hot water and remains inside the copper tubes. There is a temperature probe that controls the temperature of the domestic hot water. The water coming in from the boiler in the copper tube might be set at 180 degrees. The probe stops the boiler at 120 degrees or the temperature setting chose by the customer. This varies due to the customer needs. Most boilers are equipped with a domestic hot water prioritizer. What this means is that if your need for hot water activates this system, it overrides the heating system in your house to accommodate your hot water needs. Once your domestic hot water needs are met, it reverts back to the heating system, if a call for heat is needed. Most people are not aware of this seamless moment.
A common service repair for boilers with a side arm heater are related to the zone valves. There are many types of zone valves, but they all do the same thing. They open and close with a 24 volt signal, usually. The 24 volt signal is energized by a transformer, which is considered low voltage. The boilers run on a 120 volt and circulating pump run on a 120 volt and the transformer turns the thermostat and zone valve and possibly a taco control.
Each zone has its own thermostat to control a specific loop. There is a temperature probe on the sidearm heater, in this case you will have heat in your home, but not hot water. Another common problem is caused when a circulation pump quits. The high limit sensor will stop the boiler and you will not have hot water circulating through your baseboards. The automatic safety devices will shut down the boiler.
Service and water heater repair needs are different depending on the age of your equipment. On a newer boiler, the computer board for the boiler might be defective. There is an indicator light that will tell you a distress signal. A control damper switch could fail causing a newer boiler to safety shutdown mode. On an older boiler there is no indicator light or computer board. There is a gas valve and the noid may not be sending gas to the pilot or main valve. A thermocouple senses the pilot light and tells the gas valve we have a standing pilot. If it is faulty, you will light the pilot, it will not stay lit, and that thermocouple needs to be replaced. Call us for a quote.
Installation and Replacement
Our service technicians will always try to repair your equipment first, but depending on the age of the water heater and the cost to the repair, they may recommend a replacement. The brands we recommend are as follows.
- For conventional water heaters: Bradford White and State
- For tankless water heaters: Rinnai or Eternal Hybrid
- For boilers with sidearm water heaters: SuperStor
Give us a call to determine which type of water heater system is best for your home. We will make that determination based on the gallon per minute needs for hot water and the number of plumbing fixtures in your home.
Customers often ask us what the differences are between a sidearm water heater on a boiler versus a tankless water heater. The tank size for a boiler with a sidearm heater on a boiler depends upon the number of plumbing fixtures before per code. The advantage to a sidearm heater as opposed to a tankless water heater, is that the sidearm heater is never restricted to create the temperature set point. The gallons per minute are equal to the domestic cold water. This situation matters if you have a large Roman tub, which usually has an unrestricted tub spout, and if you turn on the domestic cold water it may be coming to that spout at 70 PSI. The side arm heater has no restriction and will bring hot water equal to the cold water PSI. This is all about the amount of time necessary to fill a large-sized tub. A tankless water heater slows down the cold water coming to it to accommodate a set temperature, so you will have decreased water pressure due to the heating process. This applies to the amount of time to fill the tub. Cold water coming in from the outside to your home affects this process, too.
Water heaters in general need to have a maintenance performed annually. If a new water heater is installed, the first maintenance can be done after three years. Winter in Colorado drops the temperature of the incoming water to your home, so increasing the temperature during the Winter months is a good idea and we recommend turning the temperature back down during the Summer.
Conventional Tank Water Heater
On a conventional tank water heater you can call us to help you do this type of maintenance or if you would like to do it yourself, follow these instructions. You will use the incoming cold water pressure to force sediment that builds up over the years. In order to do this at the bottom of the water heater there is a water hose hookup. Open that port into a local drain. Turn the cold water feed off while the garden hose hookup is in open position. This will cause a vacuum. Reopen the cold water feed and sediment will leave out of the garden hose. Do this five separate times, opening and closing the cold water shut off. This process should be done on a new water heater after three years and then on an annual basis. Water heaters are notorious for collecting sediment from hard water. Picture a pot filled with water on your stone and adding sand. That heat may never reach the water because you are heating the layer of sand. Now imagine adding cold water to your pot of water, which turns the water above the sand lukewarm, not hot. Doing this small maintenance increases the amount of hot water you get and extends the life of the water heater. Most people tend to turn up the temperature on the water heater to compensate for the build up of sediment. This causes an expansion scenario when cold water is heated to become hot. Something has to give and it can split the seam of the water heater.
Tankless Water Heater
For a tankless water heater, the manufacturer recommendations maintenance be done every three years by a HVAC or plumbing contractor. In a tankless water heater, the heat exchanger is the size of a shoebox. Approximately two gallons of water are being heated rapidly to accommodate your hot water needs. After about three years of everyday use, the sediment builds in a very confined area. Heat is applied and the tankless water heater slows the gallons per minute (GPM) to accommodate the set temperature on display on your water heater. The cold water pressure does not decrease so the cold water overbears the hot water and is noticeable at each plumbing fixture. To remedy this situation, plumbing/HVAC contractors use a manufacturer recommended vinegar solution. The vinegar dissolves the sediment buildup in the heat exchanger allowing more GPM remedying the sediment buildup issue.
Boiler with Sidearm Heater
The maintenance on boilers with side arm water heaters is relatively simple. Once every year, you should call us to clean the burner compartment and other components and inspect for proper workmanship. Being proactive is better than being reactive and is less costly for our customers.