Signs It’s Time For Maintenance on Hybrid Water Heaters
A hybrid water heater is an investment. With the proper care, hybrid water heaters can last up to 15 years depending on the model. But what are the signs that your hybrid water heater needs maintenance and what does it take to maintain a hybrid water heater?
Hybrid water heaters need regular maintenance to prolong their lifespan and to avoid running into early problems. These issues can start small, but over time, lack of maintenance can cause bigger problems for your hybrid water heater, leaving you ready to “fix” your water heater with a sledgehammer. Yikes!
We here at Monkey Wrench Plumbing, Heating & Air have worked with thousands of customers, and our technicians are trained and certified by some of the top water heater manufacturers. We are experts when it comes to hybrid water heaters and how to protect them, and now, we want to share our knowledge with you.
In this article, we will go through the signs it's time to get maintenance on your hybrid water heater so that you too can become experts when it comes to maintenance for your hybrid unit.
Tell-tale Signs For Hybrid Water Heater Maintenance
Understanding what it looks like when your hybrid water heater needs maintenance is important so that you can address the issue before it becomes a bigger problem.
If you notice any of the following signs, you should take action as soon as possible and not let it fester. Ignoring the problem is only going to make things worse for your water heater and can make matters worse for your home.
If you spot rusty water coming from your hybrid water heater, this is usually a clear indication that the inside of your tank is rusting due to corrosion.
When corrosion happens, rust builds and can leak into your water supply. This leads to discolored water coming out of the faucets.
Now, before you jump to conclusions about the water heater, we recommend that you run cold tap water for a few minutes.
If that water is also rusty, it may mean the issue is within the pipes, not the heater.
Additionally, sometimes water may be cloudy or sandy, caused by a buildup of sediment inside your hybrid water heater tank. You can fix this issue by draining the tank and clearing the sediment. To do this, you can either call a certified technician to drain your water heater or you can do it yourself.
If your water heater sounds like there might be a thunderstorm in your basement or a stampede of safari animals, chances are something is going on with your hybrid water heater.
As your tank ages, residue starts to build on the bottom. When the sediment heats up, it eventually hardens and will bang against the heater, leaving you with a loud rumbling noise or popping sound, similar to popcorn. With the banging noises usually comes leaking, so we recommend you get your water heater checked out as soon as you start to hear unusual sounds.
And speaking of leaking…
Toward the end of their life, hybrid water heaters leak near the floor of the tank but this can also happen if your water heater needs some serious TLC.
Water leaks are typically caused by expansions to the metal in the tank. These expansions occur over time as the inner–body of the tank is exposed to thousands upon thousands of heating cycles every time you use hot water.
While a small leak is not an emergency, it is something that should be addressed quickly to avoid larger leaks, more damage to your water heater, or damage to your home.
Different Maintenance Recommended for Hybrid Water Heaters
Hybrid water heaters boast longer lifetimes and can outlive a traditional tank-style water heater by several years. But you'll only get this type of longevity if you perform regular maintenance.
Flush Your Water Heater
Regularly flushing your hybrid water heater is a crucial step in ensuring it lasts for years to come. You should flush your water heater every year or at the six-month mark. The frequency will depend on usage. If you want to play it safe, flush every six months to cover your bases.
When you flush your water heater, it clears out sediment buildup in the tank. Unfortunately, a drawback to water heaters is the limescale that builds up inside your water heater.
The consequence of not flushing out your water heater regularly is that the limescale can thicken, which will lead to your water heater not functioning properly. On top of this, sediment can hinder the flow of hot water, giving you water that isn't adequately hot or a lower flow rate overall.
Clean the Filter
There is a filter located atop the heat pump of a hybrid water heater that is crucial in keeping the water heater functional. You may need to clean or replace this filter every few months on some models. Cleaning this filter will ensure that your hybrid water heater will continue functioning as intended.
You can clean this filter by washing it with mild detergent and water. Once cleaned and dried, you can reinstall the filter.
We only recommend that you perform this maintenance if you have some sort of handy experience, otherwise we recommend you call a certified technician.
Clean the Condensate Drain
You'll also need to clean out the condensate drain. Doing this will ensure it doesn't back up or cause other issues.
You can clean the drain with bleach. Be sure to pour the bleach into the access opening of the condensate drain. Adopting this practice will ensure the condensate drain is free of algae, mold, or mildew that may have grown in the pipe itself.
Check the TPR Valve
The temperature pressure relief valve (TPR) is key to keeping your water heater and your home safe.
Locate the TPR on the side of the water heater. You'll need to lift the handle of the TPR. To ensure you do this properly, let several gallons exit the tank through the discharge line. Make sure the water empties into a drain. You should do this once a year.
While you can do all of these yourself, we recommend that you call a certified technician to perform any of these maintenance services if you are not exactly handy.
Closing Out Maintenance on Hybrid Water Heaters
Knowing the signs it is time for maintenance is important because the sooner you address the issue, the faster you get your hot water. So, if you notice that your water is discolored or that your water heater is making more noise than usual, it is typically a sign that you should maybe call a certified technician for help.
Want to continue your water heater knowledge? Click the link below to learn more about how to properly drain or flush your hybrid water heater as the process is similar to a tank-style water heater and you can also learn about how long a hybrid water heater lasts.
We here at Monkey Wrench Plumbing, Heating & Air have been dedicated to giving you the most accurate information to make the best decision for yourself and your home since 2007. If you live in the Los Angeles area and have any further questions on hybrid water heaters or their maintenance, feel free to call us at 310-853-8690 and one of our call center representatives would be happy to help you.