When It’s Time For Hot Water Heater Replacement

If you’re waking up to lukewarm showers and are worried your water heater is about to go out, it’s time for Hot Water Heater Replacement Denver. A professional plumber can help you choose a new unit that will best meet your household’s needs.

Hot Water Heater

There are a number of signs your heater is failing, including increasing energy bills and rusty tank liners. Getting it replaced sooner rather than later prevents costly problems.

A water heater is a large, insulated tank that holds hot water. It can range in size, but the average household has one that holds 40-60 gallons. The water heater is located inside the house, usually in a garage or basement.

It has a drain valve, a pressure relief valve and a dip tube to connect the tank to your home’s hot water supply piping. There’s also a vent that directs combustion gases outside. If you have a gas water heater, it’s important to have a sealed combustion or power vent system that separates combustion and exhaust gases from your home’s air.

Your water comes into the tank through a copper line with a dielectric nipple that keeps metals from reacting with each other. The pipe at the top of the tank is called a heat-out pipe. Since hot water has less density than cold water, it rises to the top of the tank. When you need hot water, the heating mechanism activates and heats the water in the tank until it reaches the temperature on the thermostat.

When you’re done using the hot water, it’s pumped out through the heat-out pipe into your home’s hot-water supply pipes. A pressure relief valve ensures that the heating process doesn’t produce dangerous levels of pressure.

There are many things that can cause your hot water heater to malfunction or stop working. If the heater isn’t producing hot water, check that its circuit breaker hasn’t been tripped. If it is, your water heater may be undersized or it could have a failing heating element.

If the water heater is making loud noises or leaking, the first thing to do is turn it off at its circuit breaker to avoid an electrical fire. Then call a professional to inspect the unit. They can help you determine the best way to proceed, which might include replacing the unit with a larger one.


Most hot water heaters include two thermostats, one for the lower heating element and the other for the upper heating element. It is a good idea to replace both of these when it comes time for water heater replacement because doing so will ensure that your system will be operating at maximum efficiency. It will also be possible to make sure that each thermostat is properly calibrated and is regulating the temperature in a consistent manner.

Before you can do any work on the thermostats, you should always make sure that all electric power to the unit is turned OFF at the circuit breaker. Then you should remove the cover and insulation to gain access to the thermostats and the associated wires. Always use a voltmeter to check for electrical current when doing this to avoid the risk of electrocuting yourself. You should also label each of the wires connected to the thermostat and make a diagram of how they are connected. This will help you re-attach them properly when it is time to turn the power back on.

Once you have removed the insulation and gotten access to the upper thermostat, use a screwdriver to loosen the terminal screws. After this, you should be able to pull out the old thermostat and set it aside. Before you do this, though, you should take the opportunity to clean any sediment or buildup off of the top of the water heater tank. Doing this will improve the lifespan of your new thermostat.

If you want to test the continuity of the upper thermostat, simply move one of your multimeter leads to a left-side terminal on the reset portion of the thermostat and then to the other left-side terminal. Your meter should read near zero ohms of resistance if the upper thermostat is in proper working order.

You can then repeat this process with the lower thermostat if necessary. If both the lower and upper thermostats are not functioning properly, it could be the cause of your water heater’s issues. This will also help you determine whether or not the lower heating element is in good condition and should be replaced.

Anode Rods

An anode rod is a long metal rod made of magnesium or aluminum around a steel wire core. It is inserted into the tank of your water heater, where it degrades, protecting the storage tank lining from rust. This is done through a process called electrolysis, in which the metals of the anode rod attract ions that would normally cause rust in iron or steel. Eventually, the anode rod completely dissolves and is replaced by new ions. The new ions continue to attack the rust-causing ions and protect the tank.

The anode rod is the unsung hero of hot water heaters. However, just like any other device, it has a limited life. It needs to be replaced regularly in order to keep it functioning effectively. If the rod isn’t replaced, it will corrode and begin to destroy the storage tank lining. It’s important to replace the anode rod as soon as you notice signs that it is wearing out, such as a strong “rotten egg” smell in your water or gel-like substances.

You’ll need to drain the storage tank in order to remove the anode rod and check its condition. It’s recommended that you use a 1/2-inch drive impact wrench with a 1-1/16-inch socket to loosen the anode rod from its lifetime grip on the threads of the tank. It’s also a good idea to wear protective work gloves, because the rod might be hot from years of use.

Once the anode rod is loose, you can drain another gallon or so of water from the tank to flush it out. When purchasing a replacement anode rod, choose one made of aluminum instead of magnesium if possible. It will produce a more powerful current and help protect the tank for longer. Smear some Teflon pipe thread sealant on the new rod’s threads before you install it to prevent leakage. If you don’t have enough overhead clearance to install a rigid anode rod, purchase a flexible rod that can be bent as needed. If you’re concerned about damaging your water heater during this process, you should hire a professional plumber to do it for you.

Dip Tubes

One of the first things that might go wrong with your water heater is a broken dip tube. When this part fails, cold water mixes into your hot water supply, lowering the temperature and making it less efficient to run showers and tubs. Fortunately, this is an easy problem to fix.

First, make sure the power to the water heater is turned off. Then, using a garden hose, drain several gallons of water from the tank (be careful! It may be hot). Draining the water will help flush the sediment out of the tank. You can also use a sponge and WD-40 to loosen the rust from the inside of the tank. Next, disconnect the inlet pipe from the top of the tank. This will probably involve unscrewing the nipple and the connector to the inlet pipe. Finally, remove the old dip tube from the nipple and put in a new one. If possible, choose a dip tube made of cross-linked polyethylene PEX that won’t disintegrate inside the tank.

A good dip tube will help prevent sediment from building up at the bottom of the tank and will also ensure that water flows freely to and from the sacrificial anode rod. You can purchase a variety of dip tubes from many home improvement stores and plumbers. The most common type is a straight tube, but there are also some that swivel to stir the water in the tank and others with ports that are designed to release sediment into the drain.

If you suspect that your dip tube is faulty, have someone feel the hot water pipe exiting the heater and compare it to other parts of your plumbing. If it is lukewarm or cooler, you should replace your dip tube as soon as possible to get back to having long, satisfying showers! You can easily do this yourself if you know what to look for, but if terms like inlet nipple, pipe wrench, and hot water supply make you cringe, consider having a professional take a look. They’ll be able to quickly diagnose the problem and install a new dip tube to give you the hot water your family needs.