What does a busted water heater sound like? For some, it sounds like an ear-piercing shriek of agony as an icy stream of water unexpectedly hits naked skin.

Sure, there’s a time and place for a cold shower. Ice baths have long been an after-workout ritual for athletes who believe the freezing temperatures speed muscle recovery. In novels, James Bond ends his daily ablutions with a blast of cold water. And we’re all familiar with the crazy, err, enthusiastic, bikini-clad New Year’s Day revelers who enjoy a “polar dip.”

But if you’re not an elite athlete, polar bear or dashing British spy, chances are you prefer showers and baths comfortably warm. Hot water is especially welcome in winter, but is pretty much the norm year round. Especially here in Oregon, where the summers are generally on the cool side, a warm shower just feels good.

How to Never Be Without Hot Water

Traditional tank water heaters are simple appliances with a predictable shelf life. They last around 10 years. Many last longer. Some work perfectly year after year without any maintenance. However, as they age, they can start to malfunction or suddenly quit working.

If you want to ensure your tank water heater lasts as long as possible, a few minutes of yearly maintenance goes a long way. Maintenance includes checking the pressure valve, draining the sediments and ensuring the temperature isn’t set too high. Many experts recommend a water heater temperature of between 120-125 degrees Fahrenheit. A tankless water heater needs to be flushed out about once a year.

Maintenance can be performed by a plumber or you can take care of it yourself.

When It’s Time to Throw in the Towel

Sometimes it makes sense to repair a water heater. If your heater isn’t working well but is relatively new, it may be repairable. Older misbehaving water heaters, those approaching the 10-year mark, should probably be replaced with a new, more efficient model. A tank that leaks, is generally not fixable.

Meticulous Plumbing recycles old water heaters and pipes. If it’s time to replace your heater, you can feel good knowing the old appliance won’t sit rusting in a landfill.

You’re not limited to a tank water heater. Tankless and hybrid water heaters are also available. A tankless or on-demand heater uses less energy and can be tucked into small spaces. Hybrid styles use a small tank combined with on-demand technology.

Portland Water Heater Installation and Repair

No one wants an unplanned cold shower! Keep your showers quiet (no screaming!) and comfortable by calling Meticulous Plumbing to service, repair or replace your water heater.

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