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Why Am I Running Out of Hot Water?

plumber repairing a water heater

Is My Water Heater Broken?

Running out of hot water is never pleasant, and it can be especially uncomfortable when you’re left cold in the middle of a nice, hot shower. Unfortunately, there are many different reasons that you may not be getting enough hot water to meet all of your needs. That’s why it’s important to assess your situation carefully to determine whether there is anything that can be done or anything that needs to be done to take care of the issue. In most cases, running out of hot water doesn’t mean your water heater is broken. It just means your current water heater isn’t producing the amount of hot water you need to take care of all of your daily tasks. Here are some things to consider to help you decide what steps you might need to take with your water heater. 

Is My Water Heater the Right Size?

One of the first things to keep in mind is how a typical water heater functions. A water heater works by heating up the water that has filled up the water heater’s tank. It then releases this water into your home as it is needed. Usually, a home will run out of hot water if they have used all of the hot water in their hot water heater before it has had a chance to heat up any more water.

Perhaps the most common reason a home might keep running out of hot water is that the water heater you are using isn’t large enough for your family. Water heaters come in many different sizes. While a 30-gallon water heater is typically large enough for a home with only one or two people, it will not be sufficient to cover all of your daily tasks. Households with two or three people will usually need a water heater of about 40 gallons. Meanwhile, for a home with three or four people, it’s a good idea to have a water heater of about 50 gallons.

For very large families of over five people, a water heater of 80 gallons is generally recommended. It may also be a good idea if you have a very large family to think about choosing a water heater that operates a little bit differently than the standard water heater. For example, a tankless water heater provides hot water on demand and will typically not run out of hot water regardless of how much you may use over the course of a day. 

Is a Tankless Water Heater Right for Me?

If you are interested in finding a solution for your current situation, a tankless water heater is well worth considering. Tankless water heaters warm up the water as it moves through the appliance. Because of this, it is able to consistently heat up water. Another great benefit of a tankless water heater is that they only heat up the amount of water that you need. Because of this, they can help to save money in the long run while also being an environmentally-friendly solution. 

A final reason a homeowner may want to consider a tankless water heater is that they generally have great longevity when compared to standard water heater models. On average, a tankless water heater can last for upwards of 10 years longer than standard models of water heaters. Because of this, they can help to save you a significant amount of money in the long run, which makes them well worth the investment for most homeowners. 

Is My Water Heater Damaged?

Of course, there are situations in which a water heater is damaged and this is the reason it doesn’t seem to be heating things up properly. There are a few things that you can take note of to help you determine whether the issue you are dealing with is simply having the incorrect size of water heater or if there is actually damage that needs to be taken care of. Signs that you may be dealing with a damaged water heater include:

  • Water comes in spurts of hot and cold: If your water continuously goes back and forth between being hot and cold, it is likely you have an issue such as sediment build-up that needs to be taken care of.
  • Hot water runs out after a short time: If it seems like your hot water is running out much more quickly than it used to, you may have an issue such as a damaged heating element. 
  • Not getting any hot water at all: If you aren’t receiving any hot water, you are likely in need of a water heater repair or even a water heater replacement.

These are all issues that can indicate you have a problem with your water heater. In these situations, it’s time to call in the professionals. When you need water heater repair in Annapolis, MD, the team at David E. White's Plumbing, Heating, & Repair Company can be there for you. Call (410) 216-7132 to schedule your services.

What are the Dangers of Burst Pipes?

rusty pipe leaking water

When Should I Be Worried About a Burst Pipe?

There is never a plumbing problem that should be ignored. However, a burst pipe can be a true emergency, and one requiring emergency plumbing repair. It’s important to get burst pipe repair whenever this issue arises due to the large number of additional issues that can arise. Whether it’s in your home or in a commercial building, a burst pipe can quickly lead to additional damage in your home, and this damage can be incredibly costly to repair. Along with that, a burst pipe can be a health hazard if not addressed right away. 

How Dangerous Are Burst Pipes?

There are many things that make burst pipes dangerous. Knowing the dangers that can arise due to this problem is an important first step in taking care of this problem when you notice a burst pipe in your home. The greatest threat that a burst pipe poses is its ability to cause water damage in your home. Water can quickly flood into your home or onto your property, and this water can quickly damage your home or building. This damage can be dangerous in and of itself, especially if the damage is done to the structural elements of your home or building.

Another major problem that can arise due to burst pipes is the growth of mold and mildew. If not taken care of right away, a significant amount of water can be released onto your property. Even once cleaned up, all of that water can lead to excessive moisture in various parts of your home or building. Mold and mildew can grow due to this moisture, and that can be dangerous to your health.

When water is released onto your property, it may also come into contact with the electrical elements of your home or building. Though it may be surprising to think about, this issue can be a fire hazard. This is another one of the reasons it’s important to take care of the problem right away whenever you notice signs of a burst pipe.

What are the Signs of a Burst Pipe?

Keeping all of this in mind, it’s important to take care of a burst pipe right away. This is why every homeowner should know the signs that can indicate you have a burst pipe that needs to be taken care of. Some of the most common signs of burst pipes include:

  • Water leakage: If you see water spots developing on areas such as your walls or you notice a large amount of water on your floor, it’s possible you have a burst pipe in your home or building. 
  • Unusual sounds: A burst pipe can cause sounds such as gurgling or banging. Hearing these sounds along with noticing water leakage is often a clear indicator you are dealing with a burst pipe.
  • Mold or musty odors: If a burst pipe is not noticed immediately, water can build up inside your home or building and lead to the growth of mold. Noticing mold in an unusual area such as along your wall should get you to reach out for plumbing services right away. 
  • High water bills: Another indicator that you may have a burst pipe you haven’t noticed yet is a significant increase in your water bills that cannot be explained by anything else. 

If you notice any of these signs, it is a good idea to reach out to a plumbing professional. They can investigate the problem and determine whether there is a burst pipe or another plumbing issue that needs to be taken care of. 

What Should I Do if I Have a Burst Pipe?

If you clearly have a burst pipe in your home or building, there are a few things that you should do to prevent further damage. It’s always a good idea to reach out immediately to a plumber who can provide emergency plumbing repair. Many professional plumbers are available 24 hours a day and seven days a week to take care of these kinds of problems. 

After that, steps to take include turning off your main water supply. While it may be inconvenient, turning off the water to your home or building will help to prevent significant damage. After this has been done, it is a good idea to clean up any water that may have been released onto your property. Once this has been done, you can open up the doors to let in warmer air or turn on fans to help dry up the water.

It’s always important to remember that while it may be inconvenient, there are many things you can do to prevent a burst pipe from becoming a truly serious issue. The most important thing you can do is to find a plumbing professional who can provide the burst pipe repair you need.

If you’re seeking burst pipe repair in Annapolis, MD the team at David E. White's Plumbing, Heating, & Repair Company is always available to take care of things. Give us a call at (410) 216-7132 to learn more.

What are the Benefits of Drain Cleaning?

plumber performing a drain cleaning

How Often Should I Clean My Drain?

Many people don’t think about maintenance when it comes to their plumbing systems. However, your plumbing can be incredibly complex and is typically made up of numerous parts that all need to be functioning correctly to keep your system operating. Some of the biggest problems that can occur with your plumbing system are clogs, which can be prevented with the essential task of cleaning your drain. In general, drain cleaning performed on an annual basis is recommended. However, you may want to schedule an additional drain cleaning if you believe you are experiencing problems such as a drain that’s clearing out a little bit too slowly. 

How Can I Tell if My Drain is Clogged?

It’s usually pretty obvious that you’re dealing with a clogged drain. If water is backing up into your home through your drains, you have a clog and you need to take care of it right away. However, some clogs may not be as readily identifiable, especially if the clog in your drain is only beginning to form. Some things to watch out for that can indicate a clog and a need for drain cleaning include:

  • Gurgling sounds coming from your drains
  • Water exiting slowly through your drains
  • Musty odors coming from your drains
  • Air bubbles and standing water in sinks and tubs

If you aren’t certain what the issue is but your drains do not seem to be clearing properly, it’s always a good idea to call a plumbing professional. They can also provide services such as plumbing video camera inspection to identify the source of the issue so it can be taken care of promptly. 

How Can I Unclog My Drain?

If your drain is very obviously clogged, you may be wondering which steps you can take to get it functioning properly again. There are a few things that you can do on your own. It’s always recommended to use a plunger if possible. However, do not use a plunger that is primarily used for the bathroom toilet on other drains until it has been cleaned properly with bleach. 

In some cases, you may be able to see the clog near the surface of the drain. If this is the case, you can put on a pair of gloves and remove the clog by hand. Distilled water mixed with baking soda is another great combination that can take care of relatively minor clogs. A pot of boiling water can also help take care of clogs, especially when they have been caused by the build-up of grease and similar materials. 

If none of these home remedies work, it may be tempting to try and use other chemicals on your drains to get them moving again. But generally, when natural home remedies fail it is time to get help from the plumbing professionals. This will ensure you do not cause any damage to your drains or pipes that further prevents them from functioning properly.

Is a Clogged Drain an Emergency?

Another common question homeowners have is whether a clogged drain is an emergency situation. The best thing for anybody to do is to look at the situation and determine how serious the problem is. If only a single drain is not functioning the way that it should be, it may not be necessary to reach out for emergency assistance. However, you should still reach out soon so you can be sure the problem does not get much worse. In situations where a clogged drain is causing water to back up into your home, you may want to reach out for emergency plumbing repair. This is especially important if you have wastewater backing up into your home, as this can be considered hazardous to the health of you and your family. 

How Do Professionals Conduct Drain Cleaning?

You may also be wondering how exactly a plumbing company will carry out a drain cleaning when they come out to your home. In many cases, a plumber will get things started with a plumbing video camera inspection that will allow them to identify exactly where the clog is in your system. This way, they can determine what is causing the clog and what will need to be done to take care of it. Services such as hydro-jetting may then be used. This is a process that uses high water pressure to break the clog down and flush it away.

Do I Need Drain Cleaning?

If you aren’t certain whether a drain cleaning is necessary, the best thing that you can do is to reach out to a professional plumbing company. They can help you decide whether this or any other services are needed given the current state of the plumbing in your home. 

If you need drain cleaning in Annapolis, MD or the surrounding area, David E. White's Plumbing, Heating, & Repair Company can be there for you. Give us a call today at (410) 216-7132 if you would like to learn more.