Is My Hot Water Heater Going Bad?

hot-water-heaterYour home’s water heater is a modern convenience that often gets taken advantage of until something goes wrong. If your hot water heater is having any of the problems listed below- it might be time to have it replaced or maintenance by a licensed plumber.

  • Inadequate Hot Water. Insufficient hot water is the most common sign that a water heater going bad. Mineral build-up occurs when water is heated. These mineral deposits settle to the bottom of the hot water storage tank and act as an insulator, keeping the heat produced by the burner to reach the water in the tank. However, the buildup of mineral deposits reduces the heat that reaches the water, so the supply of hot water is reduced.  
  • Foul Smell. Your hot water heater is going bad if the water has a foul smell. When the mineral deposits go out of the water heater, it gives the water a foul smell. These deposits move to your tap, blocking the screens in the aerators that lead to the slow flow of water.
  • Dull Color or Muddy Water. Dull color or muddy water indicates that your water heater is malfunctioning. Increased mineral deposits in the tank can make discolor the water, causing it to look dull or muddy. Turn off the unit then connect a hose to the drainage bib, drain and inspect the contents.
  • Banging or Popping Noise. Banging or popping noise is another sign that your hot water heater is going bad. This noise is caused by the buildup of mineral deposits in the water tank. These deposits insulate the heat from the water as water is being heated by the hot water heater, which causes the tank to overheat and make the banging or popping noises. Metal fatigue results because of the constant heating of the tank and sooner or later, it will break down and starts to leak. To prevent this, flush the tank annually.
  • Leaking or Corroded Connections. Leaking or corroded connections to your hot water heater indicate trouble. To prevent corrosion, hot water heaters use an anode that weakens in time due to the natural corrosion process. The corrosive forces start to attack the tank and connections when the element weakens that leads the water heater to go bad.
  • Leaking Water Tank. It is pretty obvious that there is a problem when your hot water tank leaks. Turn off the gas or disconnect the electricity to the tank to allow the water to cool down. Remove and replace your leaking water tank immediately to prevent any flooding.
  • Water is Too Hot or Not Enough. Adjusting the thermostat can solve this problem. The ideal hot water temperature for most households is between 120 and 140 degrees. Your tank could have a broken heating element if the water is not too hot or hot enough or no hot water is coming from it. If your hot water tank is run by natural gas, then the gas thermocouple might be broken. Replace this element to enjoy the hot water supply.


Hot water heater installation requires the skill of a professional plumber. Call American Air if you think yours might need replacing.

Why to Consider a Tankless Hot Water Heater

tankless hot water heaterTankless water heaters give hot water ONLY when needed, which is the reason why they are also known as demand-type or instantaneous water heaters. Unlike storage water heaters, they do not produce standby energy loss, thus saving you money on electricity bills.

Reasons Why You Should Consider Buying a Tankless Hot Water Heater:

  • Cost Efficient. Compared to a traditional storage tank water heater, a tankless water heater saves you 24 to 34% of energy if you consume 41 gallons or less of hot water. If your family uses around 86 gallons of hot water a day, you saved 8 to 14% on energy costs. Installing a tankless hot water heater at every hot water outlet saves you save as much as 27 to 50% on energy costs. With these savings, it is estimated that a regular family can save $100 or more in a year by installing a tankless water heater that is Energy Star® qualified.
  • Long-lasting. Although the initial investment of buying a demand water heater is more compared to a traditional storage water heater, it will last you longer than traditional water heaters. Most tankless hot water heaters last for over 20 years. Their components are replaceable and available that extend their life for several years. Storage water heaters usually have a lifespan of 10 to 15 years. They also have minimal operating and energy costs so they prove to be more cost-saving in the end.
  • Avoid Standby Heat Losses. The traditional water heaters offer a ready supply of 20 to 80 gallons of hot water. When you turn your hot water tap, it releases hot water from the top of the tank. Cold water enters the bottom of the tank to replace the hot water so you have your tank filled with hot water always. Water is continuously heated even when hot water is not needed, known as standby heat loss, where energy can be wasted. Standby heat losses are a big issue with storage water heaters. Not with tankless water heaters! You get hot water only when you need it, and get it immediately so energy is not wasted.
  • Convenient. A tankless hot water heater allows your family to enjoy the continuous hot water, so you do not need to schedule bath times.
  • Space-saving. Demand water heaters are more compact than the storage heaters, saving you on space. They can be mounted on walls whether indoors or outdoors. They have an anti-freeze kit so mounting them outdoors is not a problem. Some smaller models can even be installed under cabinets, in a closet or near the point of use.
  • Environment-friendly. The electric tankless water heaters are 30% more energy-efficient and do not produce greenhouse gasses. This is not only good for your pocket but also for the environment, as you contribute to having cleaner air for a healthier environment.  
  • Safe and Clean Water. You get clean water all the time because your tank does not accumulate rust and scale caused by stored water. Tankless water heaters are built with excellent features to avoid boiling water from reaching your tap.


Call the plumbers at American Air if you’re interested in installing a tankless hot water heater in your home.

Will a Tankless Water Heater Save Me Money?

tankless water heaterSome of your high energy cost can be associated with your home’s hot water heater. As hot water leaves your water heater’s tank, it automatically refills, constantly heating the water and using energy.  A more cost effective alternative to these standard appliances is a tankless water heater. Also known as “on demand water units,” tankless water heaters only heat the water as needed.

With tankless water heaters, no money is spent heating 40 to 50 gallons of water and storing in a tank until someone is in need of hot water. Heated water that sits idly in a tank will eventually lose heat, even though the tank is insulated; requiring constant reheating. Tankless water heaters give you hot water on demand when you need it, so you do not heat water that is not needed. Thus, you save on energy costs. These tanks offer you a continuous supply of hot water enough to fill a big hot tub or a whirlpool. Compared with other tanks, tankless water heaters use 30-50% less energy. Depending on your usage, it gives you a savings of approximately $100 or more in one year. These heaters usually operate on natural gas or propane to heat water.

Tankless Water Heater Benefits

Along with saving you some cash, tankless water heaters offer some other great benefits.

  • Save you on Space. They are more compact than the standard water heaters, so they can be mounted on a wall or outdoors with an anti-freeze kit. The smaller units can even be mounted in a closet or under cabinets, nearer the point of use.
  • Tax Rebate. You get a federal tax rebate amounting to $300 with tankless units.
  • Availability of Hot Water. You get hot water whenever you need it.
  • Convenient to Use. Most of the tankless units are operated by remote control with four separate settings.
  • Clean Hot Water. You are assured of getting clean hot water because water is not stored in the tank that can lead to accumulation of rust and scale.
  • Clean Gas. The electric tankless heaters do not produce greenhouse gasses so you contribute to cleaner air and a healthier environment.
  • Long-Lasting. They have a life expectancy of 5 to 10 years with some lasting for more than 20 years compared to the conventional tank-type water heaters.
  • Durable. Less worries of leaks or flooding because of a ruptured tank causing water damage.


The operating costs of a tankless water heater differs from model to model. Read the manufacturer’s manual or call the manufacturer to get a better understanding of the product you are buying. Tankless water heaters are investments that pay for themselves. They increase energy efficiency and increases the value of your home with premium technology.  Contact one of our plumbers at American Air to discuss having one installed in your home.

Upgrade with a Sump Pump Battery Backup

sump pump battery backup

A sump pump clears water from your basement brought by excessive rain and flooding. There are five types of sump pumps:  pedestal, submersible, battery backup, combination and sewage; all of which are powered by electricity. Of these five types of sump pumps, the sump pump battery backup offers you the assurance of usability even if the power goes out or fails. Its battery propels when the power goes out, so you can continue using the pump.  

A battery backup, aside from a primary sump pump, has a second sump pump. It consists of the battery-powered pump, a powerful battery, a charger and an extra piping. It eliminates water from a sump basin that passes through a discharge pipe on the way out. The battery is long-life and does not require frequent charging.

American Air can also install a water-sensing alarm on your sump pump. With this alarm you will be alerted if the water level grows too high in the sump pump well so that you can examine further before water floods the basement.

Battery backup sump pumps are sold on the market all year long. Upgrade your sump pump and add a battery backup to enjoy the following benefits:

  • Forceful Pumping Power. Some battery backup sump pumps can be very forceful, capable of pumping 3000 gallons/hour at 10 feet of lift.
  • Flexibility. Homeowners can operate the battery backup themselves.
  • Easy to Install. Installation is easy, as they usually use the same discharge pipe as that of the primary sump pump.

Some manufacturers of battery backup sump pumps offer three models that are classified as good, better, and best. The best battery backups are fitted with a larger battery, a more sophisticated charger, and are the most expensive.

Spring lifts the spirits as we see more sunny days and blooming flowers. This season also brings rains, swollen rivers, the rapid melting of snow, and recurrent storms that elevate water table.  Standing water (even just a few inches) can damage furniture and appliances, corrode metal fixtures and wooden posts, immobilize mechanical systems, as well as encourage the growth of bacteria. Don’t be caught in a spring thunderstorm with no electric and a rapidly flooding basement. Upgrade your sump pump and add a sump pump battery backup to avoid water in your basement.