Home Tips

February 2020

Water Heaters, Water Meters, and Hope Under the Sea

Why Service and Flush your Water Heater Annually?

It is recommended that a water heater be flushed and

serviced once per year.  A buildup of sediment and debris can sit in the tank and eventually can cause erosion, unnecessary wear, and can bring down the efficiency of your water heater.

Remove sediment from the bottom of the tank by flushing the water heater.  Each fall and spring, most township water departments flush fire hydrants for the same reason.  This activity also kicks up sediment and debris and sends it straight into your home via the water main.  Flushing your water heater annually will remove most of this sediment and debris and could extend the life of your tank by ten years!

Sediment and debris sitting in your water heater tank will hinder the heat transfer process, making your water heater work harder to keep that water hot!  Obviously, this adds to your utility bill.  It also will take the water heater longer to recover, leaving the last to shower with the chills. 

Water sitting in your water heater tank for long periods of time can produce a rotten-egg smell.  Stagnant water is a good environment for anaerobic bacteria which can produce the sulfur-like smell.  Flushing the water heater will help remedy this issue.  Another cause of this smell is a bad anode rod in an electric water heater. 

That layer of sediment and debris heating up and cooling down causes strange popping noises to come from your water heater.  As the water heater tries to heat the water, it is displacing and heating up whatever is laying on the bottom of the tank.  Regular flushing of the water heater tank can reduce sediment and debris on the bottom of the tank and reducing any snapping, crackling, and popping!

Why servicing your water heater is a good idea

Gas water heater burners produce soot, can develop carbon monoxide leaks, or can even develop gas leaks in your home.  Vacuuming the burner chamber and brushing burner ports can help your water heater operate more efficiently and will reduce the likelihood of a bigger more expensive issue.  Inspect the gas connections and flue connections and piping for potential leaks.  Our technicians use a carbon monoxide detection instrument to confirm the unit is safe from CO leaks.  Finally, check the expansion tank to ensure the internal bladder is not broken.  If the internal bladder is compromised, this could cause the water heater’s relief valve to activate and leak.

Tankless water heaters should be serviced and flushed a minimum of once per year

From air-intake screens and water inlet screens to flushing calcium build-up in the small heat exchanger tubes that can get clogged up and impede performance and pressure, it’s important to have your tankless water heater serviced and flushed annually.  Technicians also check for proper operation, make sure the flue and fresh air intake lines are clear, check the igniter, and check the burner assembly. 

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Water Meter Installation Requirement on LBI

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By now, most Long Beach Township homeowners know they need to have a water meter installed by July 2020.  If your home is located in Long Beach Township (any area on LBI that is not Barnegat Light, Harvey Cedars, Surf City, Ship Bottom, or Beach Haven), now is the time to call for a free estimate to have a water meter installed before the spring and summer rush. 

Our technician will meet with you at your home to determine the best location to install the meter.  Many factors contribute to determining whether installation in your crawl space, in a heated area of your home, or in a meter pit is appropriate.  Factors such as whether you winterize your home professionally each year, whether your crawl space is sealed enough to protect the meter from freezing, and finally location of the water main all play a role in determining the best location.

Meter pits are ideal for those that leave the water on all year as they are deep enough in the ground to prevent freezing, but the downside is they are much more expensive to install as digging with a backhoe is involved and the materials needed are more expensive. 

Meters installed inside your home in a heated space such as a utility closet, are also ideal for those who leave the plumbing on all winter.  Be careful, though, as water meters have a freeze plate designed to crack first if it freezes.  A prolonged power outage or heating system failure can happen at any time and can cause plumbing to freeze.  We recommend installing wifi thermostats that will alert you if the temperature drops below a certain level inside your home, indicating a problem with your heat and possibly averting costly water damage. 

Water meters can be installed in your crawl space, so long as the crawl space is weather-tight or as long as you have your home professionally winterized each season.  For meters that are installed in a location prone to freezing, they should be completely disconnected and emptied of any water each season to reduce the risk of freeze damage.  Draining your pipes won’t guarantee the meter is safe from freezing as there may still be water inside.

We recommend calling and scheduling your free consultation for installing a water meter today to avoid the rush as we get closer to the deadline. We prefer our client meet with us at the home so we are all on the same page as to location of the water meter and to discuss how winters are handled at the home.

Barnegat Light residents will be required to have meters installed as well.  Barnegat Light Borough will be providing the meters for free to homeowners.  Water meters should be available early May.  As of this writing, we are not aware of a deadline or aware of the process of obtaining a water meter from the borough.  Stay tuned for further updates on availability of water meters in Barnegat Light.  We are still able to schedule a free estimate for water meter installation.

Hope Under the Sea

The 3rd Annual Hope Under the Sea Gala to benefit David’s Dream & Believe Cancer Foundation (DDBCF) is brought to you by our friends, community partners and Title Sponsors at Scott Harvey Auto Group. Robin Harvey was welcomed to the DDBCF voluntary Advisory Board in 2019 and the Harvey Family has been a proud supporter of DDBCF’s mission of hope for families affected by a cancer diagnosis for 6 years.

Our Hope Under the Sea Gala at Adventure Aquarium on Saturday March 14, features spectacular views of the shark tank & the Philadelphia skyline, a cocktail reception, dinner, live entertainment and more!f

Visit davidsdreamandbelieve.org and order tickets today!

© 2020 Walt McCollum, Inc.

NJ Plumbing License D. Ross #11042

NJ HVAC License N. Lemma #8910