3 Helpful Water Heater Upgrades You’ll Love
The familiar adage that you don't appreciate an object until after it's gone is often true, even for standard tank water heaters. You probably rarely consider this constant source of hot water until something goes wrong and cold water pours out of the hot water tap. Dependable hot water is necessary for so many aspects of life whether your family has several children or you're a family of one.
While the subject of your hot water heater is present in your mind, consider how you can improve upon this crucial home appliance. Take a look at these three helpful water heater upgrades you'll love because they increase your comfort and safety.
1. Expansion Tank
You might wonder why you don't have this handy device if your fixtures seem to experience slow drips. You may notice excess drops falling from the kitchen or bathroom taps even though you tightly shut them. Or, a slight drip at the toilet causes the toilet to run more than it should.
Drips like these can happen when high water pressure causes damage to rubber gaskets. Your water heater just might be the main source of high pressure. Water within the tank expands as it heats up. A full 50-gallon tank increases to 52 gallons at 120 degrees Fahrenheit. That extra volume is forced to go somewhere — usually into the pipes of your plumbing system.
An expansion tank provides a place for heated water to flow in these circumstances. This upgrade helps equalize water pressure as it manages thermal expansion. The result is far less wear and pressure on your plumbing system and fewer instances of leaks and drips. An expansion tank often results in fewer plumbing repairs and less water waste due to leaks and drips.
2. Recirculating Pump Hot Water System
The frustration you and your family members might experience as you wait for bath water to get hot is real. The need to run a large amount of water is wasteful, especially during times of drought. Fortunately, you do not need to upgrade to a tankless water heater to enjoy immediate hot water on demand. You can keep your tank water heater and simply add a recirculating pump hot water system instead.
A recirculating pump hot water system consists of a pump and a cold water return line attached to the fixture furthest from the hot water heater. The pump moves hot water toward taps while it pushes cold water to the water heater for heating. Hot water is always available at the tap when you turn it on.
Pumps recirculate water according to your specification. For example, you may want a pump to run continuously or only during certain intervals when hot water is in peak demand. Also, some pump models can learn your water consumption patterns and adjust to your needs automatically.
3. Drainage Pan
California Plumbing Code 507.5 is in place to guard against water damage from a leaking water heater and requires a drainage pan to be present underneath. This metal pan must rest beneath any water heater in an attic or other area where structural damage can occur to capture and drain water safely away.
A drainage pan is not usually necessary if your water heater is in a garage because this area is not often a living space. However, you may want to install a pan anyway. Water from a damaged water heater may land on the concrete garage floor, but pool rather than flow out of the garage if the concrete does not slope enough.
Rather than risk damage to important items you store in your garage, you can avert a potential flood disaster with this simple fix. Call Water Heater Pros and ask for a quote for any of these water heater upgrades.